Listen Up Grandkids … Google Can’t Give You a Hug!

by Penny Cook

Sibylesque Enthusiasm quote

When we, as grandparents, are bombarded by the current angst about social media, technology, politics and childhood … what can we hold onto to for our grandchildren? What can we offer beyond all that?

If we’re not on a screen and can’t be swiped, what can we do?

Let’s never forget that children learn through relationships.

sibylesque-kid-chewing-iphone 2

All children will be able to swipe and navigate the internet to get information … which children will have access to real life face-to-face conversations? Which children will get hugs and listening? Which children will have access to time and ‘old people?’ Where will they get their stories and the feelings? If enthusiasm is contagious where will it come from?

Enthusiasm is an emotion resulting from a story which comes from a real life interaction. If there is no real life interaction where will the enthusiasm come from? You can google the word enthusiasm, but can you google up enthusiasm without a real life interaction? Grandparentship is so important for our alpha kids. You can’t swipe grandparentship.You don’t get a hug from Google. You don’t get wisdom embed in your life. Google doesn’t listen. So who can?

Grandies can. They still need us.

Penny CookPenny Cook has been an early childhood educator for over 30 years. She loves to travel  – anywhere. Penny is a mother and ‘Nan Pen’, who is continuously fascinated and amazed by her two young grandchildren.  She has always wanted to live in  a tree house by the beach …’s never too late!!…….

Photo source: reddit


I love my mother but I don’t want to have children!

by Kerry Cue

Sibylesque parent worry quoteWhy would a  daughter who loves her mother not want to have children? Be careful what you wish. We feminist mothers wished that our daughters would be free to make their own decisions in life. Nevertheless, we are the first generation of mothers, who cannot assume that grandchildren will appear. I understand why young women, who had difficult mothers may not want children. But young vibrant women who love their mothers … that is a different group. Why wouldn’t they want children?

I had the opportunity to ask a young successful professional woman, this question. She adored, and was also grieving for, her mother who had recently died at the age of 71. The young woman had postponed child bearing until her forties when, fortunately, she gave birth two much loved children when she was 42 and then 45 years of age.

Sibylesque girls with pram 2

So why don’t feminist daughters of feminist mothers want children? Or, some of them, at least. The young woman first cited failed relationships. Some young women stumble through their twenties and then their thirties from one failed relationship to another. I would add job security as another factor. Some young women worry that they cannot afford children.

Nevertheless, this young feminist felt that feminist mothers are so adamant that their daughters establish independent careers, any talk of motherhood gets lost in the conversation.

So you’ve been warned. Maybe all feminist mothers should talk up motherhood a little more. Afterall, when we mothers get together at any age, guess who we talk about?

Photo source:


OMG! It’s Official. I’m a Card Carrying Senior

By Kerry Cue

Sibylesque Kerry Cue Quote 4

Adele HorinAdele Horin runs the fabulous and informative Coming of Age Blog. In her article, I hate my Senior’s Card, Adele captures the emotions many of us feel from ambivalence to downright hostility when we are first declared a certified senior.

 ‘What boomer can relate to being a “senior”?‘ Adele asks, adding, ‘It reminds me of senior centres where very old people play bingo. I recently cycled 280 km beside the Danube River. I lift weights in the gym. Just a few months ago I was called a worker.’

Adele’s husband suggests she is ‘in denial’, but she protests that now she is lumped in the same age category as her 84-year-old mother. Is this fair? Is it accurate? Could some other word be used to describe ‘younger’ seniors?

Sibylesque Body Builder 86

Adele hates all the baggage the comes with her seniors card, but will she leave it at home. No. She loves the discounts.

 We, THE SIBYLS, declare Adele Horin an Honorary Sibyl for her brutal honesty, sharp observations and her meticulous and thoughtful reporting on age-related topics.


Adele HorinAdele Horin has worked as a journalist in Washington, New York and London covering politics, society and economics. She wrote about social issues for The Sydney Morning Herald for 18 years. Then in 2012, at 62 years of age, she retired from the SMH “not to spend the day in a dressing gown but to think, write, participate, and to engage with my generation in a different way” And her blog, Coming of Age,certainly does engage with her generation on multiple levels.

Photo Source: Coming of Age Blog, pinterest.


Being Wise about Being Old

By Kerry Cue

Sibylesque tim Wilson Quote

Sibylesque is dedicated to challenging the ‘little old lady’ stereotype and developing a realistic, yet positive outlook on aging. We have already noted that a positive attitude to aging can increase your quality of life, improve your general health and even increase your life expectancy.

Sibylesque Grandmas Rock

Yet wisdom lies in not only tackling life full on, but also knowing when to bow out gracefully. I know a number of males, who have waited until retirement to go wild. Several bought motorbikes for the first time in their sixties. One bought a 1000cc Suzuki. But he was so worried about sitting in the middle of the road on his big bike, he’d only make left hand turns. He’d take ages to ride anywhere because he had to sort of spiral into his destination.

Another 60+ retiree bought a Harley. He won’t ride it in the rain. I picture him riding his Harley holding up an umbrella. His wife/biker’s-moll said he went out riding one day and came back. He forgot his glasses. He went out and came back again. He forgot his boots. Then he forgot his wallet. ‘Do you know what this means?’ she asked me. ‘We’re talking Alzheimer’s on a Harley’. Is he a danger on the road? Should he hand in his helmet? And who decides?

You are the one who must decide in life when it is time, in one situation or another, to take a backseat. The decisions may be BIG. Should I retire? Should I downsize? Should I sell the motorbike? Or, SMALL! Should I get others to climb the ladder? Should I stop wearing those floppy, loose-fitting, and potentially dangerous, shoes?

Life is, and has always been, a gamble. Just like the lyrics of the Kenny Rogers song to be wise about old age ‘You’ve got to know when to hold ’em/ Know when to fold ’em/ Know when to walk away/ And know when to run.’

Until then, Go Grandma, Go!!!!!

Photo Source:  Corbis Images


Sibyls’ Salon


Sibylesque William James Quote
Sibyls Doris Brett and Kerry Cue, have inaugurated The Sibyls’ Salon to promote philosophical discussion about aging or, as The Sibyls are an opinionated lot, ageing.

The Salons provide a lively afternoon of feistiness, reflection and frivolity in a safe environment, which feeds ideas into Sibylesque.(See below) As the concept develops we will, eventually, open the salons to all.

Sibyls' Salon Philosophy

Teaching computers to Shree Durga teachers, September 2011

Sue Lees teaching computers to Shree Durga teachers, September 2011

 One aim of the Salon is to raise money for a charity linked to one of our sibyls. Sibyl Sue Lees has worked as a volunteer in Nepal.

Mahabir Pun

Mahabir Pun

The Challenges in Education in Nepal are huge. eg.

Many children are sent to school with little or no food. Where provided, Kajaa often consists of handfuls of beaten rice in a child’s pocket. It is hard for children, who are malnourished and hungry are less able to concentrate and learn.’  

Find further reading here: challenges-in-education-development-in-nepal

The Sibyls have raised funds to help connect remote schools to the internet. This not only allows students to continue their education beyond secondary level, it can also be a future source of income. Sue Lees began working directly with Mahabir Pun – the truly amazing Nepalese teacher who worked out how to connect remote villages and schools to the Internet.  Now Mahabir, has aurhorised two young Nepalese men – Nabin Parajuli (an engineer) and Phurba Lama (a former teacher) to work with Sue Lees as an independent team.  Donations can still be made to the Nepal Wireless Network Project, through (contact us by e-mail).  The donation will be directed to the Dolakha/Sangachok areas connections.

Here is his thank you letter from Nabin Parajuli for the donations:


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Donations can be sent to Nepal Wireless. Anyone interested in working as a volunteer in education in Nepal will find helpful information here: volunteering Nepal