A 73 year old has just won the crown of being the oldest person to swim the English channel.

Otto Thanning, a heart surgeon from South Africa, said he did it to show what older people are capable of if they look after themselves.

In the same week there’s an intriguing footnote in an article by Anthony Horowitz, in the Telegraph. He went to Palm Springs, in California, to write an article about the place, and also to persuade a legendary, Pulizer Prize-winning author, Herman Wouk, to give permission for a 10 part television series to be made from his novel, The Caine Mutiny. Mr. Wouk said he would think about it, and Mr Horowitz was happy as he could be, he said,to be meeting a literary hero.

Mr. Wouk had many questions to ask them from behind his desk, ‘where he was working on his latest novel. The end of the story is that his lawyer sent a message, two days later, saying that he was willing to work with the TV team.

‘But this is the remarkable thing,’ wrote Mr Horowitz, ‘In a few days’ time he was going to be 99 years old!’

Clearly, his age had nothing to do with his ability.

Which proves that it isn’t your age that matters, it’s how you are. We’re not to count our days, but to make our days count!

Louise Morse

Louise Morse MA (CBT) is media and external relations manager for the Pilgrims’ Friend Society. She is a writer and speaker, and author of books on issues of old age, including dementia, published by Lion Monarch and SPCK. She is a cognitive behavioural therapist, and her Masters’ dissertation examined the effects of caring for a loved one with dementia on close relatives.

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