Oldies at play? Is that OK?

  Enjoying  a creative urge at 80+

It happened in Maryhill, Glasgow.  I was exploring a piece of wasteland, I often do stuff like that. Actually, it was rather a nice piece of woodland and scrub where dog walkers and kids had created paths for themselves. Except that it was rather over strewn with litter.

When we were children my Mother always taught us to look for useful litter….it was war time. And if we were on a beach we had competitions as to who could make something out of whatever we could find.  Then, of course, no plastic bottles or rope, no plastic sandals, just timber, shells, and wreckage. Loved it.

Litter or Art?

The sight of the Maryhill litter brought it all back. No one watching, so gingerly picked up a few interesting pieces. Rather dirty, but who cares when you are 6 again?


Not the greatest compilation, but rather cute. Is she slightly squiffy?

Tried a few more. 


Rather dull. Could you try smiling a bit?


Not bad….really quite pretty for litter!                        

Tried doing  a variation on a theme  

This guy facing up to the world. Could do with a hairstylist?


        Or this one?  He seems a bit sad……in a sweet way

Taking pictures of the creations added another level of fun. 

But the camera hadn’t a clue what it was taking. How could it have!

The pictures came out labelled:

                      ” Glasgow Botany”

So to keep it happy I tried one with some pieces of glass and foliage.


Rather liked it so moved on to have go at a Creature.Wondered if it would be labelled  Glasgow Insectivores or something?  It wasnt. Probably gave up on guessing.


A bit dangerous? Almost afraid to touch him! I wonder who found him?

Finally…….imageBit weirdly skeletal? Needs a hug and a blanket ……

The whole thing took a full hour.

Totally lost track of time such fun just playing again !

What would people think?

I don’t think anyone saw an old lady picking up and photographing litter.  But can you imagine what you would think if you had seen me?

Batty old bag?  Artistic old person? A Grandma having fun?

Suspect it would have been the former.  But if child was doing  it?

 Ah nice to see her playing!   Lovely to see her being creative. etc

And what if it was a mature adult, say a male in jeans with a beard? Yes, it must be an artist!   But anyone with grey hair, clearly old must be a Bit Odd?

               Unwitting Ageism is everywhere.

This tendency to see Older People as different, not just ordinary humans with the same interests as they ever had, is a problem.  It is a stereotype we need to change.

We all do it even us oldies!

Do you deny yourself fun because:

“It isnt what old people should be seen doing”?

“We might look strange”?

Never ever accept that. Do what you like! Enjoy.

My Mother didnt accept it.

She loved fishing for tadpoles and minnows with a net made of an old stocking and a cane.  Just loved playing with water.

So, every year,after we grew up, you could see her, trooping through the village, jam jar on a string, as she took all the local children fishing. 

This blog is a tribute to her.







11 thoughts on “Oldies at play? Is that OK?

  1. Aw, I’m so glad I found another batty woman. I aspire to be old and batty one day – I’m half way there 😉
    I love what you did with the bottle tops, so introspective and I think you can feel the artists pain in the way it is slightly off-centred. The colours really highlight the contrasts in feelings the artist was having. Pah! Lovely to have made your acquaintance! Alex. http://Www.mylifelongholiday.com


  2. Just love your post, thank you. Love that you are so creative but welcome your insight with regard to how we view children doing creative things and how we view adults, especially older adults. Age appropriate behaviour, like age appropriate dressing always manages to confuse me. Keep blogging Joyce 🙂


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  4. How creative you are, grandma williams. Great to read your blogg.
    I don’t deny myself fun either .On Saturday I was sitting on a campaign chair at Renfrew Cross, waving my hands and my stick, dressed and muffled up in BLACK,(as we, the Horties , were being WOMEN IN BLACK, demonstrating against nuclear weapons, and Trident at Faslane ), all wearing white and red poppies.
    WHO are the “Horties”? . I hope you say. – a group of women called the Gareloch Horticulturalists.
    WHY? We want to turn Faslane on the Gareloch into a horticultural Garden, instead of a scene of possible mass devastation and destruction..

    It was fun – a group of like-minded women, young, aged, in wheel chairs, of different cultures and faiths, standing together, smiling and waving to the bystanders, near the War Memorial.


    • Lovely to read that thank you Sally. I can just imagine it!
      You are a Perfect example of active positive ageing…i.e. Has always been like that and isn’t going to change now!

      Sounds a super thing to do.


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