Dame Judi Dench’s portrayal of older characters in film such as Mrs Brown, and 'Q' in the latest James Bond movies has brought dignity to the representation of the elderly on screen. We certainly need to see the older generation portrayed rather than young actresses acting the part of an older woman. And I'm thoroughly sick of seeing young beautiful women playing the part of a high court judge or a commander.
In an interview with the US celebrity magazine People she says: “There’s nothing good about being my age. Someone said to me, ‘You have such a wealth of knowledge,’ and I just said ‘I’d rather be young and know nothing, actually.’” She has no plans to slow down and wants to keep trying new things. Source: BBC.
Although eight years younger, I have plenty of experience. Some could say that's a wealth of knowledge. As it's Sunday, the day when I reminisce, I'll tell you about my relocation in the late 50s, when I was the tender age of 14 to 16.
Living in Australia at the time, I started high school as a natural progression to my schooling, although not gung-ho about learning. I would rather get on with all the exciting things life tempted me with. Needless to say, I didn't do well at my studies.
The highlight of 1957 was going to see Elvis Presley in Jailhouse Rock with a naughty girl from school. I'd persuaded my mother to let me stay with her for the weekend, and I saw a different side of life from my normally prim existence. Boys drove by the streets in her neighbourhood, whistling and shouting comments, which went to my head. I'd arrived. I was a flirting woman, not a girl.
Soon after that, Mother, my sisters and I moved to Glenelg, a seaside town in Adelaide, South Australia, to be with my Uncle Pete, whose wife had left him with two small children. We moved into my grandmother's house, built by her grandfather during the early settlement.
Of course, I enrolled in the local high school, but beforehand, the headmaster confronted me with the question of whether I really wanted to learn. I said no, and bowed out of further education.
The first job I found was a junior in a city advertising agency, hired by a very understanding boss. I didn't do much and after a year, he arranged for me to go to his friend on the other side of Adelaide, working as a doctor's receptionist. In the quiet suburb, I met some boys who took me for rides in the back of their 'ute', all laughing and joking, with never a hint of impropriety. How innocent those days—both the era and my own naivety.
I loved life at the time, loved going to the beach close by, sitting on the white sand in the sunshine beside the Life Saving Club, rubbing coconut oil on my skin, flirting with the boys, and swimming in the gentle waves. Ah, yes, Judi, being young takes a lot of beating.
Would you rather have knowledge or youth? How unfortunate that you can't have both.