Keeping your brain alive in retirement - what do you do?

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rmurphy195
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Keeping your brain alive in retirement - what do you do?

Postby rmurphy195 » 30 Oct 2017, 10:24pm

This is inspired by the Sudoku thread!

For me its

Sudoku/killer sudoku - until I get fed up of the game, then I leave it for a while, then do them for a while, rinse and repeat!

Microprocessors - as an ex-IT person have had great fun learning to programming microprocessors (Arduino and minis) - then drop it for a bit when I get fed up, then make up some more projects. Great fun, 'cos I'm doing it for fun not for professional reasons

Learning stuff - I no longer have to learn stuff for professional reasons, so I learn stuff that looks interesting. Much more fun that way! Go round library, pick up random books from the various sections, read the interesting ones and simply don't bother with the boring stuff. That way I've ended up walking bits of the peak district/ironbridge gorge and other places with a 30-year old reference book in one hand and an OS map in the other, building a small model rail layout powered by modern digital control, found out about the achievements of Brunel and the other great engineers (and seen some of them) that sort of stuff!

Trundled off to the Severn Gorge Countryside trust's outdoor learning program - fascinating time doing practical stuff, from identifying trees (no, really!) to walking the landscape with an industrial archeaologist, seeing limestone burning/iron smelting the iron age way, seeing how old lime kilns are preserved, grinding rock to make paint (to paint rocks with). Great fun!

DONT do GPS - except to see where I've been, how far I've walked/cycled. I tells me where I've been, not where to go - OS maps and planning do that. Or simply get lost and find my way back!

Tried to learn to fly - well, succeeded in fact but didn't get as far as the pilots license (long story). But on the way I've flown over the Welsh reservoirs and Aberystwyth a mile up, chased a circular rainbow across the landscape with the plane's shadow in the middle, learnt to navigate, learnt to pilot a plane and do the radio and do the navigation and enjoy the view, all at the same time (with only minimal input from the flight instructor - thanks Frank!). And learnt how to avoid getting airsick doing it!

Learnt a bit about how electronic components work (well, I've led a sheltered life in some ways!), and burnt my fingers (literally) a few times on the way!
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""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

thirdcrank
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Re: Keeping your brain alive in retirement - what do you do?

Postby thirdcrank » 31 Oct 2017, 7:58am

The single thing which has had the biggest rejuvenating effect on me has been the experience of grandchildren.

For anybody looking for social contact, I'd recommend the rather pretentiously named University of the Third Age (U3A.) I wonder how many people are put off by the name?

https://u3a.org.uk/

I'd agree that some technology can make you lazy - mental arithmetic and long division must be good for the brain - but it's easy to use excuses like that to hide a fear of such stuff. IMO it's important to keep up with technological change to avoid being left behind. I'm not talking about space rockets but mobile phones, ATM's, personal computers and the like.

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Paulatic
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Re: Keeping your brain alive in retirement - what do you do?

Postby Paulatic » 31 Oct 2017, 9:03am

thirdcrank wrote:The single thing which has had the biggest rejuvenating effect on me has been the experience of grandchildren.

For anybody looking for social contact, I'd recommend the rather pretentiously named University of the Third Age (U3A.) I wonder how many people are put off by the name?

https://u3a.org.uk/

.

I’ve looked at that link :shock:
Is it just me or do other people find the images portrayed very very scary? Reminds me of TV adverts in the afternoon.
No thanks I want none of that, i still haven’t time yet as I’m still busy with garden, securing firewood, walking , cycling, reading.The only thing I do now which I didn’t do when working is make a point of doing cryptic crosswords when I can get hold of them. My contribution to keeping the brain alive.
Whatever I am, wherever I am, this is me. This is my life

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brynpoeth
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Re: Keeping your brain alive in retirement - what do you do?

Postby brynpoeth » 31 Oct 2017, 9:04am

+1 for contact with children, othewise:

Sleep a lot, cycle a lot, learn new things (storytelling) and try to meet new people

Seems to me many older people are very up to date with www etc
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thirdcrank
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Re: Keeping your brain alive in retirement - what do you do?

Postby thirdcrank » 31 Oct 2017, 10:06am

Paulatic wrote: I’ve looked at that link :shock:
Is it just me or do other people find the images portrayed very very scary? Reminds me of TV adverts in the afternoon. ....


They have obviously been to some consultants for the website and I agree that the impression given is pretty grim but you are quite wrong to dismiss it on the basis of a glance at an ill-conceived website, which I only linked for the national list of local contacts. The organisation is not much more than a loose framework of local groups covering all manner of interests.

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al_yrpal
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Re: Keeping your brain alive in retirement - what do you do?

Postby al_yrpal » 31 Oct 2017, 2:08pm

Dont do anywise, I wuz thinkin aught to do moor, but the best picket in a blue frame seams to be the Thing...

Al :lol:
Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. CTC gone but not forgotten!

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661-Pete
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Re: Keeping your brain alive in retirement - what do you do?

Postby 661-Pete » 31 Oct 2017, 2:12pm

I can certainly relate to some of the activities mentioned here.

Mrs P and I have both been U3A members for some years now, and I can assure you there's nothing 'scary' about the organisation. Basically, you enrol with your local branch and then seek out interest-groups that appeal to you. It's all very friendly and informal, and it stays at a level one can cope with. I do French Conversation and Bridge - not the most energetic of pursuits, I grant you! Mrs P accompanies me in the French, and also does Tai Chi. All these are a lot cheaper than evening classes!

I've also been playing Bridge on an online website, though that gets a bit hairy at times...

As to Sudoku, I've been regularly tackling the daily puzzle in the Guardian since time immemorial - well, almost since they started publishing them. Usually find them not too challenging now - not even the ones labelled 'hard'. Not tried the 'killer' Sudoku though.

Also in the Guardian, I have a go at some of the puzzles on the weekday 'puzzles' page. Including that old stalwart the Cryptic Crossword, for which I reckon the Graun sets the toughest challenge of any of the daily papers (others may beg to differ here :roll: ). Once again, usually I manage to complete it - though sometimes I give up in despair. Not so often as I used to!

Furthermore, in the last few months I've tried my hand at setting cryptic crosswords, myself. With rather mixed results as regards reception by others, though. But I have had the honour to have one of my efforts curated and published online by one of the professional setters*, on his own website. And moreover, I've enrolled in a one-day course on the subject, run by another of the 'pro's, coming up next Saturday. Where I go from here is anyone's guess....

*P.S. I won't say who, because public self-promotion on this forum isn't really the 'done' thing. I used a different pseudonym than what I use here. Feel free to PM me...
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Mick F
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Re: Keeping your brain alive in retirement - what do you do?

Postby Mick F » 31 Oct 2017, 2:24pm

I do a lot of thinking, and I think clearly when I ride a bike.
I ride a bike as often as I want to think.

I can't ride a bike when I have things on my mind, so I need a clear head to ride. I have a conscience, and when something is bothering me or there's something I should be doing, I can't ride.

I rarely read a book.
The only thing useful in a library, is the chap who renews my bus pass.
I don't do crosswords or puzzles - other than jigsaw puzzles.
I don't read magazines.
We don't have a telly.
Rarely listen to music.

I talk to people.
I have a social life.
I enjoy pubs.
I enjoy the garden and looking after it.
I enjoy cutting down trees and logging them up.
I enjoy hard work.
I enjoy riding a bike. :D

My brain is very much alive.
Mick F. Cornwall

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661-Pete
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Re: Keeping your brain alive in retirement - what do you do?

Postby 661-Pete » 31 Oct 2017, 2:26pm

Incidentally, should this thread perhaps be moved to Health and Fitness?
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

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NUKe
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Re: Keeping your brain alive in retirement - what do you do?

Postby NUKe » 31 Oct 2017, 5:12pm

Mick F wrote:I do a lot of thinking, and I think clearly when I ride a bike.
I ride a bike as often as I want to think.

I can't ride a bike when I have things on my mind, so I need a clear head to ride. I have a conscience, and when something is bothering me or there's something I should be doing, I can't ride.

I rarely read a book.
The only thing useful in a library, is the chap who renews my bus pass.
I don't do crosswords or puzzles - other than jigsaw puzzles.
I don't read magazines.
We don't have a telly.
Rarely listen to music.

I talk to people.
I have a social life.
I enjoy pubs.
I enjoy the garden and looking after it.
I enjoy cutting down trees and logging them up.
I enjoy hard work.
I enjoy riding a bike. :D

My brain is very much alive.

I am not quite there retirement that is but I think Mick has got it about right the most 8important thing is to Socialise and keep active.
NUKe
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Mick F
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Re: Keeping your brain alive in retirement - what do you do?

Postby Mick F » 31 Oct 2017, 6:17pm

NUKe wrote:Socialise and keep active.
Yep. :D
Mick F. Cornwall

thirdcrank
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Re: Keeping your brain alive in retirement - what do you do?

Postby thirdcrank » 31 Oct 2017, 7:45pm

It seems to be generally accepted that social isolation AKA loneliness in old age and it's not necessarily easy to prevent on your own, so to speak. Keeping the brain working involves more than crosswords: it needs a willingness to take on new ideas, ie to learn.

Tangled Metal
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Re: Keeping your brain alive in retirement - what do you do?

Postby Tangled Metal » 31 Oct 2017, 8:50pm

Well I'm a long way off retirement (and gets later every few years it seems) but my parents certainly are. They're heavily intimate U3A. It's kind of subsidized adult education. My dad does his things and my mum her things. It fits around their time with our son too which really helps us out. A grandchild certainly does a lot for keeping you going I think but having seen my dad when collecting our son before he'd started school I suspect being run ragged has its good and bad points too.

BTW my dad's far from being a joiner but U3A got him out through his interests (photography and geology) and the socializing wasn't important at first. Now he's become a little bit more social so the social side of U3A has become a positive too. The groups he's in gets him out doing those activities outside of the group sessions so it's not just a couple of classes a week it's more than that with the days out doing the activities too.

Me I'm hoping I'll be fit enough to ride a bike and walk and perhaps other things too. Unfortunately I think I'm something like 25-30 years of work left before the state pension gets paid.

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ferrit worrier
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Re: Keeping your brain alive in retirement - what do you do?

Postby ferrit worrier » 1 Nov 2017, 1:22pm

My Father is 89 and he's relatively active. A cabinet maker by trade, he was complaining that he'd not got a lot to do last year so we bought him timber and ply wood for a baseboard and track and points. a few years ago he'd been given a "Train set" which had sat in the box. His brain is now full of wiring point motors and sections of track. he only spends about half an hour at a time on it but it gets him out of his chair and moving about. and gives us ideas for Christmas presents i.e. coaches and wagons etc.

I retired in July 2016 got a part time job working for an undertaker. and it's not all local work. I've been to Chester, Wigan, Northampton, Northwhich, Plymouth. and a few other places. I've got the old Landy which is playing up at the moment :roll: I'm off today so
I've got the carb off in bits found some clag blocking a jet so fingers crossed. Then I've got a large model railway in the loft, that keeps me busy at odd times.

How I had time to work full time I'll never know.

Retire and enjoy life, don't forget this is not a rehearsal this is what you get, make the most of it and have fun.
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661-Pete
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Re: Keeping your brain alive in retirement - what do you do?

Postby 661-Pete » 1 Nov 2017, 1:32pm

Tangled Metal wrote:They're heavily intimate U3A. It's kind of subsidized adult education.

U3A is not subsidised. It's entirely self-financing and self-supporting, although it is a registered charity. Many groups do not have a formal teacher or lecturer: instead a member of the group who has some knowledge of the subject assumes the voluntary role of group leader. Many groups are small - our French conversation group has just nine members; we rotate our fortnightly meetings in each member's house in turn and pay no 'door money' (although the host for the day provides tea and biscuits).

Larger groups, like my Bridge group (about 60 members) have to meet in a public hall, and for that we pay door money, mainly to cover the cost of renting the hall. £2 per session in my case. And there's an annual membership fee for the U3A as a whole: £10 (£18 for couples). Won't break the bank - even without 'subsidies'...!
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).