Follow me on Twitter: @janemcintyre12



I'm Jane McIntyre, a voiceover and writer, formerly an award-winning BBC radio newsreader and producer. My blog covers life, love and loss; travel, coffee and chocolate; with some heartfelt pieces in the mix about my late dad, who had dementia. Just a click away, I'm half of the team behind - two empty nesters who whizzed round the world in 57 days.

Saturday 13 June 2015

Kylie, Lulu and me.

Remember the Commonwealth Games closing ceremony? Kylie, in her thigh-highs; Lulu rockin` those tartan leggings? There`s not much between them height-wise; but hell--they`re twenty years apart. And, as Twitter so generously acknowledged during the proceedings, they`re both ageing so damn well.

I studied them on stage, shoulder to shoulder, belting out Auld Lang Syne, and reasoned, without the slightest soupcon of bitterness, that it`s probably easier to look that good if you`ve got great genes, a whole team of stylists, a limitless budget and your own range of beauty products.

But then...imagine the stress of having your name, like Lulu does, on a range of goodies called `Time Bomb`. You`d have to look incredible every time you went out. If you even put the bins out sans slap, some snapper would catch your crows` feet and send `em viral in a nanosecond. Not that either of them has got crows` feet of course. (Yeh, c`mon.Whoever said life was fair?)

Either way, for the rest of us...drifting numerically somewhere in between the two songbirds, getting older has the potential to be a bit depressing. You can`t get away with wearing anything you like any more. Keeping fit takes more effort, especially on the days your trainers look up at you, sideways, and say:`You`re going out running? Seriously?` The tubes of `age defying` moisturiser seem to empty faster. And...OK...heads don`t (always) turn like they used to.

You can get glum about it. Or you do what I try and do. And spin it.

So...every time you feel down about your DoB; dwell, for a moment on people in the news; or on people you`ve loved and lost, who`d have given anything to reach the age you`re at now.

Remind yourself that while age might be a real thing that occasionally laughs, hyena-like at you, from that yellowing birth certificate in the drawer, it`s really a state of mind. In your head, you`re still 18, yeh? OK...27. Well, you know...

Your mother told you to always tell the truth, but she didn`t mean about the age thing. Really. Until you hit the zone where you`re proudly calling radio stations and saying `I`m 86, you know...`; lie a little. If no eyebrows are raised, you`ve got away with it.

Either that or the person you`re lying to has had Botox. Ha.

Have a lovely day :)

PS: Ever thought about what it means to act your age? Take a look?

And you talk on Twitter? How old is everyone else you talk to? One day I asked. And they fessed up :

Thursday 11 June 2015

Dementia..or dating? : the choice isn`t yours

Two ladies; both out for coffee; each with a companion. The one on my right was probably late seventies. Neat grey hair; polished nails, car keys in the pocket of the dusky pink bodywarmer on the back of her chair--an Audrey, probably. She talked animatedly to a lady of a similar age about a new gentleman friend. He was `on a lot of committees`; a widower, who`d loved to go dancing with his late wife. He`d told her they `both deserved some fun and some friendship, now ,` and she`d agreed. In fact--talk had turned to holidays; a cruise together, maybe. The friend nodded; made approving noises; pointedly stirring her latte in a lull as you might a wind-up radio...egging her on; keeping the confidences coming.

`Dolly` was a few tables away to my left, and a few years ahead; her wheelchair tucked in tight. The young woman opposite called her Nan, and gently encouraged her to try a corner of her scone, dabbed enticingly with butter and jam. The older lady`s expression hardly changed as she ate; almost obediently. No voice was heard. Her thoughts seemed locked away; her eyes, distant, as Dad`s had become, in the later stages of his Alzheimer`s, in the days when he could still just remember how to eat; and sip from an open cup.

Audrey favoured a route that took in Sicily, or somewhere like that, but they`d only just started looking.The onboard facilities these days were incredible. So, too, cabins with a balcony, but they cost a bit more. A pause; then a neat deflection of the inevitable question to follow: offering to pop up for a piece of flapjack for them both, and another drink--her treat; anyway, they had half an hour on the car park ticket.

Dolly was being encouraged to pick up her paper napkin and blot a splodge of raspberry jam from her chin; no, up a bit; no, hang on; her granddaughter would come round. Dolly leaned her face back and closed her eyes, childlike; trusting, as her skin was wiped clean; roles reversed.

Audrey edged past, tray laden with more coffee; the promised treats; a morsel more about the mystery man, maybe, for her waiting friend.

I got up to pay, needing, somehow, to connect with Dolly and her carer as I passed their table. It`s been a year since Dad died and I`ve avoided even glancing at people with`s hurt too much. I knew what a major effort it must have been to get Dolly ready; to explain to her what the morning had in store. And I knew, for both of them, what the months ahead have in store for them, too. My throw-away comment about the delicious scones in this place was met, as I guessed it would be, by a blank expression from Dolly; food consumed five minutes ago, forgotten. She turned, instead, to the familiar, for now, face of her granddaughter, and told her they probably needed to go back and get ready for bed.

A look back as I left, took in Audrey`s friend, agog now, stirring her coffee briskly; excitedly, to a stiff froth. And Dolly being told gently that she was just confusing night and day again; the way she did sometimes.

Two people.Two parallel lives. And how they can diverge, for all of us, with one roll of the dice.

+I wrote about Dad`s dementia pretty much all the way through its progression, to his death last year. Please click on the `Dad has dementia` link on the right hand column for more. Or click on the other stuff...about chocolate, or holidays, or being a TV extra....or that French bloke on the beach in Nice. Thanks for dropping by!

Comments on Twitter: Thanks for these, and the retweets :)

This is a lovely post. And the last sentence sums it all up. x

Beautifully observed, Jane ....

So concise & poignant, it might be a short story, via

Isn’t it wonderful? The juxtaposition of the two fit and able ladies with the dementia sufferer works so well.

Yes - I read this when you tweeted it earlier & can't stop thinking about it. Incredibly effective