Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy. This column appears in the South Wales Evening Post, Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star. Website – www.philevans.co.uk
There’s an insidious trend in the media, fuelled by various politicians and other influential figures (who would do well to choose their words more carefully), to blame everything that’s wrong with society, with the exception of Simon Cowell’s bizarre haircut, on those ‘terrible people . . . ‘The Elderly’.
Take last winter, when we were told very bluntly that hospital bed shortages were caused by ‘The Elderly’.
How dare old people get flu and pneumonia and fall over on slippery pavements, breaking arms and legs?
It’s an outrage!
Some under-30s complain that ‘The Elderly’ are the main cause of the housing shortage because they’d rather stay in their three or four-bedroom houses than sell up and move into a one-bedroom, no-garden flat overlooking the gasworks.
These whingers don’t consider that to own their home, ‘The Elderly’ had to scrimp, save, maintain and work hard for it over 40 years.
They don’t consider that many of ‘The Elderly’ need extra bedrooms so that grandchildren can stay overnight.
Not all old people sit around the fireside, wistfully thinking about the past.
Many have a wide circle of friends and relatives who stay with them for fun weekends and celebrations.
When marriages fall apart, where do sons and daughters (and their children) usually turn for shelter and emotional comfort, often for the long term?
Mam and Dad’s house!
That wouldn’t be possible if Mam and Dad lived in a small flat with a gasworks view.
When, provided they eat their greens, today’s under-30s eventually reach their 70s, I wonder ifthey will contribute as much to society as today’s ‘Elderly’?
For the record – many of my mentors, that have shaped and guided me, provided wisdom and encouragement over the years are now well into their 70s and I will always remain grateful for their engagement and sharing.
Full Steam Ahead.
One of the great things about living in Carmarthenshire is that there is always something interesting to do right on your doorstep.
Last Sunday, I was lucky enough to be invited out on a train journey which included a three-course Sunday lunch onboard.
No, this wasn’t the Orient Express by any means. But, for me, it was as close as it gets here in Wales.
The Gwili Railway in Bronwydd, Carmarthen, is where my journey started – and the scenery and service were quality, to say the least.
It certainly was an adventure and one that I had heard about many times before.
But I’d not bothered to enquire further as I didn’t think that this was worthy of an afternoon out.
Well, let’s be honest, we all get it wrong . . . occasionally.
This service is run entirely by the most enthusiastic volunteers that I have met.
We were served up the most delicious Sunday roast by smartly dressed waiters, as the train ambled through the type of stunning scenery that can only be found here in Wales.
Topped off with delicious apple crumble and custard, there was no better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.
What an experience – and one I will definitely be repeating.
Now then – where shall I go next Sunday?
You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales and www.philevans.co.uk