I apologise if this appears to take the form of a health and fitness page in this newspaper. But, as I know a number of my friends will comment, why not, for once, write with some practical advice instead of quoting a lot of poetry or trying to solve the problems of these tumultuous times – which is about as useful as murmuring a warning in the middle of an overpowering hurricane.

This year, Toronto, where I spent a few months, hosted the 14th global conference of the International Federation on Ageing.  As an 85 year-old, the conference was of special interest to me – although I have to admit that I am not so much one of the ageing as much more one of the already aged.

Experts in the field, many of them quite young, gathered from all quarters, offered advice, based on extensive research, not so much on how to add years to one’s life as to how to add life to one’s years. Adding a bit more time of decrepit, brain-fogged old age to life by heroic medical interventions wasn’t the objective…..

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