Posted by: jkirkby8712 | March 11, 2012

Friday, 8th March 2012 – there are surveys, and there are surveys!!

I’m not sure that the following little bit of research information is actually working for me!!  A report by the National Seniors organisation, entitled ‘Grow older, sleep better’ tells us that contrary to popular belief, getting older does not necessarily mean getting less sleep, US researchers say. A study of nearly 156,000 Americans by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania shows insomnia may be a sign of underlying illness, not simply ageing. The researchers found that poor general health and depression were linked to sleep disturbances and tiredness. The study revealed a slight rise in sleep disturbances during middle age but most people reported fewer problems as they grew older, with 80-year-olds sleeping better than those in their 50s [oh well, there’s still hope for me, a while before I get to the 89s!!].  Last year, another study showed older people could withstand sleep deprivation better than younger people and healthy older people did not have more trouble falling asleep. So for me health might be the problem, but really, I think lack of sleep is just something I’ve gone through life with  –  a habit of late to bed, early to rise, and don’t seem to be able to get out of that pattern!

Meanwhile, here’s another report that affects my age grouping, according to some more research. The Global Financial Crisis [GFC] has hit Baby Boomers hard – particularly if they are older single women in poor health and on lower incomes. New research out this week has shown such people are some of the worst off among the 5.5 million people born between 1946 and 1965, with many of the eldest already retired. Baby Boomers’ expectations were surveyed by National Seniors, through its Productive Ageing Centre. Researchers found the 40% of survey participants rated themselves “worse off” after the onset of the GFC in late 2007, despite Australia weathering the financial storm better than most other countries. Of those living alone, a total of 45% of women reported being negatively affected by the GFC, compared to 38% of men. Socio-economic status, health and age also played a big part in Boomers’ financial security.  Around half those still working said they had been affected by the GFC and would delay their retirement, compared with 27% who rated themselves financially secure.  But retirees whose health did not permit a return to work had no choice but to cut spending and wait until economic conditions improved, along with their incomes.

These surveys aren’t always that comforting, I must admit, and so often, a similar survey conducted by somebody else will come up with a completely different outcome. I think that like the politicians [at least when they are on the negative side of a survey], we should simply claim to take no notice of such polls, at least until they become more favorable to us.

Something much more favourable, and of particular interest to a Blues fan,  is that the Carlton football team have one more game to play in the pre-season competition, and  Blues skipper Chris Judd will make his 2012 debut in Maroochydore [Queensland]  this weekend, as Carlton squares off against the Brisbane Lions in Round three of the NAB [pre-season]  Cup.   Jarrad Waite, Andrew Walker and Nick Duigan will also return to the line-up for the first time this year.  Unfortunately Mitch Robinson, who was due to return to the team for his first official match of 2012, was ruled out of the side after suffering stiffness in his back at training on Wednesday. Mitch has completed all the pre-season training and was scheduled to play the next two NAB Cup matches in his preparation for the opening round of the season.   On another positive note, Nick Heyne, who joined Carlton via the Rookie Draft in December last year, will make his Carlton debut on Saturday. Nick played his junior football at Orbost-Snowy Rovers and the Gippsland Under 18s before being drafted by St Kilda with selection 48 in the 2008 National Draft. He played three games for St Kilda in 2010. Carlton’s first selection in last year’s National Draft, Josh Bootsma, is also in the team for Saturday. He made his Carlton debut in Adelaide in round one of the NAB Cup and was rested last Sunday against the Western Bulldogs. After playing in the first two rounds, reigning John Nicholls medal winner Marc Muphy will be rested, along with teammates Bryce Gibbs, Andrew Carrazzo, Eddie Betts and Kade Simpson.  Senior Coach Brett Ratten said the plan was always to ensure that most players would play at least one or two NAB Cup games.  “Right now it is all about practicing our structures and preparing for the season ahead, so it is great to have these senior guys back in the team so we can give the other boys who have had big pre-seasons a bit of a rest before Round one,” he said.  “It also gives an opportunity for some of the younger boys to have a hit-out at AFL level, which is a really valuable experience so early in their careers.”

In the meantime, the main football season commences towards the end of March, and thanks to my children giving me a ‘Season members’ ticket [for home games], I will be able to get to a number of matches this year – not so much of the television supporter during 2012!!  . The opposition football code of rugby league, have already begun their main season, with Round 2 of the N.R.L. to be played  this weekend.  Speaking of this weekend, for those employed, it is a long weekend, with the Labor Day holiday due on Monday. It is also Melbourne’s Moomba Festival. When I was much, much, much younger, I would generally spend most of this particular weekend in the city and environs, enjoying the Moomba festivities. These days, I think you would have to pay me to go into the city!! Too crowded, too hectic a pace of life!!

I spent a large part of today out in the garden, digging out more weeds and/or mowing the lawns. I was ‘interrupted’ late morning by a visit from eldest son, James; he had an assignment due at the university at some stage today – he wanted me to check it over [proof read] it before he took it in. I must admit I was expecting to have a printed copy to read, but no, it was on his computer, so I needed to read from the screen. For those purposes, I generally prefer a hard copy, don’t really find it easy reading a lot of material from a screen. However, couldn’t be avoided today, especially as my printer is still not working!

By early afternoon, it was becoming quite warm, and not surprisingly, by late afternoon, your personal essayist was feeling somewhat stuffed [a rather rude definition for ‘exhausted’].  Then I couldn’t really relax until a late visit from the ‘tree man’ who came to give me a quote for the removal of a dead or dying tree that I’d only just realised was in it’s last stages of active life. That quote wasn’t quite as high as I’d anticipated, although it still grates a little to have to pay somebody to come and remove a tree from one’s property. Anyway, that will happen in a couple of weeks!

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