A 2030 day in the life: the perspective of a retiree

Old man wearing glasses reading a letter
Preparing for the future
Albert is an arthritic retiree in the year 2030 – read a letter to his old friend Robert.

Dear Robert,

Hello old fellow, I hope you are well. It was a pleasure getting your letter last week. I know these days we’re supposed to write on people’s walls or ask Alexa to send an e-card but you can’t beat a good old fashioned letter! Do you have an Alexa? My daughter Rosie finally made me get one a few years ago. I must admit, it was quite strange at first. I didn’t see the point in asking something to turn the light on when I could just stand up and do it myself. However, it’s definitely helpful now when my leg is giving me a bit of jip.

I’ve had a good life but these last few years, age has started to creep up on me. Do you remember George? He was the lorry driver who used to drink with us in the The Castle Arms back in the 60’s. He had a heart attack when he was 45 and has been on a mobility scooter since. We’ve been lucky haven’t we Robert?

Rosie bought me a new Alexa thingy recently – one of those AI home-care assistant things. I’ve called her Joan. Joan reminds we when to take my tablets, she’s linked up to my chair to monitor my movement and she alerts Rosie if I need assistance. I think if my wife was still alive, she’d get a bit jealous – I probably speak more to Joan on a daily basis than I ever did with my wife!

Joan also adds groceries to the Tesco delivery shop when I’ve forgotten – my memory isn’t what it used to be! It’s very helpful having the food delivered but I do miss having a reason to go outside. That’s why I still always walk to the local café for a brew and a tea cake. I like keeping this the way it used to be. It gives me someone to talk to on a Tuesday as well. I can’t speak to Joan all the time!

Thank you for asking about my grandson Alfie. He’s a cheeky one that boy. He’s nice and polite but spends too much time with those VR headset hats. He does all sorts with it. Watches virtual reality television shows, plays games and also sees his friends using them. The youth of today have a very different childhood to what we had. We didn’t have a television until I was 7. It only had one channel and was black and white. We also spent a lot more time outside. I think I prefer it our way.

And the food he’s used to! Rosie says they like to get a takeaway from that kangaroo riders company about three times a week. Apparently, Alfie’s favourite food is sushi! Sushi! In our day it was meat and two veg every night and if you’re lucky, fish and chips on a Friday. How it’s all changed hey? They’re going away next week, Rosie and Alfie, to Norway. The boy is only 12 and it’s astonishing how many countries he’s been to. I don’t think I went abroad until I was about 22. Brilliant though, how the world has opened up. I hope Alfie makes the most of that.

How’s your daughter Alice getting on in her new job? I hope she’s being careful. Cyber Security specialist in the army – wouldn’t have heard of that back when you were in the army Robert! It’s a different war these days to what we’re used to. No more boots on the ground, it’s all online. A far more sinister war if you ask me, you don’t know what you’re fighting. I’m sure Alice is settling in really well though. Send my best!

The exchanging of letters has been very nostalgic, but I must admit, writing with a pen does cause my arthritis to play up. I don’t know how we managed all that letter writing when you first moved out to Qatar! If you don’t mind, I’ll go back to contacting you over Facebook. I tell Joan what to type and she does it all for me. Gives my hands a rest.

All the best,