To the New Statesman
I can confirm Peter Wilby’s observation that old age creeps up unnoticed from my reaction on being offered a seat on the Tube by a stranger for the first time. The overwhelming emotions are those of surprise, indignation and insult, with gratitude a long way behind.
Some years later, I still try to avoid eye contact on a full Tube, so that no one makes what I continue to regard as an unnecessary offer. (Dr Graham Mott, Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire)
No, no, no! That’s silly. It’s really nice to see young people (usually women, also American servicemen) proffer their seats for old people. It shows they are thoughful, well-mannered and well brought-up. Mostly, and understandably, they stand up for my wife, and get a nice smile and a big thank-you. There are not enough little human gestures like this. Glad Dr. Graham Mott is not my doctor!