The Guardian newspaper has a column every weekend titled, ‘This Much I Know’, in which celebrities share their lessons learnt in life. My mind often flits while I am reading the column of the week to what my lessons would be.

This Much I Know

One of my lessons would be to have been aware, during my younger days, that life doesn’t end at 40. When you are below the age of 30, ‘old’ has an expansive meaning. I used to view people beyond 40 years old as ‘old’. It gets worse. Anyone over 50 seemed ‘really old’ to me.

Perhaps it was an attitude of that time in the world when the concept of ageing as a positive notion hadn’t taken hold. Maybe it was just me being a numpty.

I am a great flag waver for midlifers who want to try new things, expand horizons and put themselves out there. Blinking hell, my entire blog is about having a great midlife.

So while I wouldn’t want to participate, even if I was eligible, I wish everyone being put forward as a contestant for the middle aged version of ‘Love Island’ the very best of luck.

If nothing, the show will be a banner against ageist attitudes. If younger people can do xyz older people can do the same too type of thing.

‘Romance Retreat’ the child aspect

The upcoming program is currently looking for contestants. The show is to be called ‘Romance Retreat’ and is described as, ‘looking for “vibrant single parents” to go on. The blurb reads, “This is the ONLY dating show where single parents can search for love, by spending time in a luxury retreat, where all the parents have been nominated by their grown up children.”

A sprint for love and romance in the full glare of the nation? Yikes. Not for the middle aged single faint hearted.

My only quibble is over the rule on being nominated by a ‘grown up’ offspring. Surely being middle aged means that one has acquired enough autonomy, agency and wisdom to make one’s own decisions.

It does seem rather reductive to live in hope that your child/ren will nominate you. Why can’t people nominate themselves?

Kudos to the children who do put their parents forward though. From my experience, children get embarrassed that their parents are even watching people kissing on TV and look the other way when there’s a sex scene on. A role reversal of sorts.

When is it on?

I can’t wait for the show to air. People my age romping by pools and trying to outdo each other in warm sunshine. It will be a very welcome distraction from sitting at home with the heating turned off worrying about my pension and bills. Pure escapism = mental health help.

Yes, we need a middle aged ‘Love Island’.