It’s Never Too Late

July 1, 2010

Although most days I’m between the ages of five and eighteen mentally, sometimes I may as well be a hundred, and evidence is building for the prosecution to prove I am Officially Old™. Music is rubbish now. Fashion is ridiculous. Been there, done that. On those horrible days, I decide I’m too old to do something, or worse still that it’s all too late. I found a couple of stories this week to disprove that notion. I’m going to make sure my 100-year-old grumpy self never takes hold.

82 year old grandmother has starts a literary career
Myrrha Stanford-Smith from Holyhead, North Wales, a trained actress who later became a teacher and theatre director, wrote an adventure story called The Great Lie. It’s the story of a swashbuckling Elizabethan hero called Nick Talbot. Honno, the publisher was so impressed that it offered her a three-book deal. The debut novel started appearing on the shelves last week. “It was such a wonderful surprise,” she said. I bet it was.

75 year old man goes for the Badwater Death Valley Ultra Marathon –
for the 12th time
Jack Denness, known as Death Valley Jack for his regular participation in said marathon, has no intention of slowing down. This Marathon goes through the Nevada desert from Death Valley, the lowest elevation point in the Western Hemisphere at 85m (280ft) below sea level to halfway up Mt. Whitney. There are also temperatures of 55ºC (131ºF) to make things more interesting. Death Valley Jack, who lives in Kent, took up marathon running in his 50s when he gave up smoking. He’s raised over £100,000 through marathon racing and intends to do this race to raise funds for his local organisation, Cerebral Palsy Care. The man’s hardcore. I’m seriously impressed.

These stories show that you may be old, but it’s never too late to do anything, or have a whole new career.



  1. Hello, Thanks for stopping by my blog! I have bookmarked yours and will be checking in to read up on you. I had the great fortune to live in your great Country for 3 years in the 1980’s and loved my time there! British humor is still the funniest thing on the planet! Have a great day! Sorry about the England World Cup team…..we know your pain….

    • Our humour is excellent – you’re absolutely right!

      The country will have changed a lot since your stay in the 80s, particularly London. I think you should pay a return visit, just so you can get your UK fix. Thank you for acknowledging our pain regarding the World Cup. This is a USA/UK special relationship with real meaning. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  2. I heard once on a TV news item of a 90-something year old lady who completed a literacy programme and finially learned to read.
    When asked why she bothered with it so late in life, she just said it was one thing missing in her life that she wanted to conquor before she died, that a whole new world was now open to her in her remaining years, and maybe late but better than never!
    I was truely touched by her story and inspired that it’s “NEVER too late” to work at completing your dreams.
    I also saw in this story that when life did not give her chances when she was young, she disn’t use that as any excuse not to give it a go later in life.
    … and that’s a lesson *many* people need today.
    Bravo to all of these inspiring people!

    • That’s it, Kiwi. What’s past is past, but make no mistake, I’m not being flippant when I say that, because it can be very difficult to not let it dominate your life. However, once you decide to write a different story of your life by having a go and burying those ghosts, you can do almost anything.

  3. I am taking my wife over to London next summer for our 20th Anniv. She has never been to Europe and I have not been in the UK since 1988, so am eager to see how much has changed. Always loved London. Great city! Used to take the train down into Kings Cross almost every weekend then would take the tube everywhere. Made the mistake of trying to drive into the city ONCE…what a mistake!

    • Yup, the car is a challenge to use in London, so you’ll do best to steer clear unless you really have to use one. Congrats in advance of your 20th anniversary. I think you’ll be interested in looking at Kings Cross again. The changes have been massive.

  4. I feel really heartened after reading this blog entry! I always thought (in fact I kinda still do) that because I am middle-aged and not some sort of executive with the right to use a special toilet at work, I am a total failure.

    Even now as I work on my writing projects, I have this nagging doubt that it might be too late to launch a writing career. I hear people telling me that great writers like JK Rowling started writing when she was much younger than I am now, and working-class writers are not saleable.

    Oh btw, I just ran into a Writer’s Block. I decided that the best way to get pass this Block is to talk to fellow writers who do like my writings, so may I email you with some questions? Also would you like to be a Beta Reader for the manuscript?

    • No, no, no, no, no, Mallcop. Don’t give up. It’s exactly at that point when you need to push just that little bit more. You never know what’s round the corner.

      I don’t know how much help I’ll be as I’m not a professional writer. This blog is currently for laughs and venting my spleen, which may, or may not be taken further (as my friends keep nagging me to do). I admire you for giving novel writing a go.

      If you do send something, a chapter should be more than adequate. I could be wrong, but I believe when you send stuff to publishers, it’s usually a chapter and no more. That’s enough for them to have an idea of whether the book is a goer, or not.

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