New Old Cold Feet

The characters may not be quite 50 but Mike Bullen’s superb script tackles many of the issues our generation is facing.

We saw James Nesbitt’s character, Adam, still struggling to deal with the death of his wife Rachel.  We heard his friends trying to dissuade him from marrying a woman almost half his age.  We watched Hermione Norris’s character, Karen, acting as a sympathetic godmother to Adam’s son, expelled from school for smoking dope.  We wept as father and son struggled to articulate their love for each other and shared loss of Rachel, despite their differences. We sympathised with Pete, facing an identity crisis brought on by a lack of job and dire career prospects in mid-life.  We felt for Robert Bathurst’s character, David, admitting to a loveless second marriage.

John Humphrys of Radio Four Today’s programme challenged Mike Bullen earlier this week, suggesting he could risk losing younger audiences by focussing on issues that affect our age group.  But we think Mike Bullen has created a compelling raft of characters that we will enjoy watching as they tackle some of the most common but daunting challenges of middle age. We’re delighted to have a series on television that’s helping us build our road map to life in our fifties and beyond.

We’re applauding Thames Tideway Tunnel as one of the few construction companies to embrace ‘returnships’, allowing adults to return to work after an extended absence.  On Wednesday morning Radio Four’s Today programme interviewed Rachel Tomkins who described how she started a new job with the company after a nine-year-break with her children. Julianne Miles, co-founder of Women Returners, explained to listeners that her organisation enables women to return to work after long breaks, offering supported routes back to work.  The organisation partners with corporate employers to develop returning professional internships or ‘returnships’.

We have talked about Apple before, and these kind of ‘returnship’ initiatives are going to be increasingly important in the light of this week’s news of Apple’s heartless, ageist and idiotic failure to hire JK Scheinberg.  JK Scheinberg left Apple in 2008 after 21 years, having masterminded the top secret Marklar project to run Apple’s operating system on Intel chips.  Bored with retirement, he applied for a job at one of Apple’s Genius bars.   Despite possessing a vast knowledge of Apple’s technology, no-one even bothered to call him after his interview. News of Apple’s appalling anti-ageism emerged in a New York Times article by Ashton Applewhite, author of This Chair Rocks:  A Manifesto against Ageism.  What with that and this week’s launch of those EarPods and ugly, expensive AirPods, we really are despairing….