Age is but a number
Talk to a senior citizen in the UK and, sooner or later, they will say something along the lines of “I’ll be 82 next birthday, you know…” In France, they are not quite so fixated on age and its perceived limitations.
Older women tend to fall into one of two camps: those who don a flowered pinny and sensible shoes the day after their 65th birthday, and those who continue to be as chic and stylish as they were in their 30’s. Men merely buy a new beret to celebrate their retirement (although the more flamboyant among them may cultivate a more luxuriant moustache). They continue to drive their 2CVs, vintage Renault 5s and tractors with as much carelessness as they ever did. Those who proceed a little slower undoubtedly do so because (a) the speedometer has broken; or (b) they can’t see where they’re going. Unlike in the UK, there is no mandatory visit to the doctor’s on your 70th birthday to verify your fitness to remain behind the wheel of a moving vehicle.
We have a pair of hyperactive pensioners as neighbours. They own a field the size of a couple of football pitches and have dug and planted it themselves with more vegetables than they could ever hope to eat. He is regularly spotted swaying at the top of a ladder inspecting his roof, often wearing a surprised expression as if he doesn’t quite know how he got there in the first place. He recently crafted a weathervane in the shape of two cats, which he fixed to his chimney while it was quite windy (well, at least he could be certain it worked). I don’t think everything goes to plan, though, as we regularly hear anguished cries of “Merde!” echoing from the other side of the hedge.