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Yvie Burnett: Maybe sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll hold the key to a longer life

The music festival season is well under way.
The music festival season is well under way.

Hello from a bit of a chilly Manchester – but not as chilly as Dublin was over the weekend.

I’m still working on the music festival circuit. These festivals take place in the summer for the simple reason they are outdoor, so they are booked when it’s supposed to be warmer.

Honestly, the weather in Dublin last weekend was reminiscent of a cold November day, and in Cork it was like we had been placed under a rain machine on a film set.

Now, I’m at the side of the stage, so I don’t get soaked during the actual gig, but oh my goodness, the die-hard fans braving the weather in their skimpy little outfits, totally wet through from top to toe, made me feel a bit ancient because I would have been at home tucked up in my bed rather than have been standing there if I was them.

I missed Glastonbury this year because we were in Ireland but it seems to have been a huge success after its absence due to Covid.

I did manage to see Paul McCartney’s set on TV. How incredible is he for 80 years of age?

Paul McCartney delivered a fantastic performance at Glastonbury last weekend.

I doubt very much I will still be going to these festivals when I’m 80, let alone performing at them.

I don’t suppose there were many audience members in his actual age bracket. It’s funny, isn’t it, that quite a lot of these old rockers are still going strong.

The sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle isn’t meant to be that healthy, but with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood also performing a huge gig this weekend at Hyde Park in London, and all well through their 70s, it seems like they are all doing something right.

While Mick Jagger is said to work on his fitness for about six weeks before a big tour, Paul McCartney’s secrets to keeping fit seem to be in his vegetarian lifestyle and his love of yoga.

Indeed, Paul is said to like to do handstands, which not many people can do at any age let alone at 80.

I’m surrounded by 20-somethings while at work, but seeing these septuagenarians and even octogenarians out there in our business, I feel like a spring chicken!

Ronnie Wood, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, of The Rolling Stones, are still going strong in their 70s. 

So being with 20-somethings you learn new things all the time, and the latest craze seems to be a social media alternative called “Be Real”.

It’s obviously an antidote to the dozens of selfies which we all delete until we decide on the one we look best in.

Be Real is exactly that.

At a randomly selected time every day you get an alert to your phone and you have two minutes to take a photo of the real thing you are doing at precisely that minute or you miss it for that day.

It’s a photo of what you see and also a photo of yourself at the same time. You can’t take another one or it tells everyone you have.

So, you end up with perhaps a boring photo of what you are doing and a non-posed or filtered photo of yourself.

It’s fun to do.

I’ve ended up with many chins in my photos and can’t change it to make myself look nicer, but that’s the whole point.

It’s actually quite refreshing in these days of perfect models on Instagram to show your mates that you don’t take yourself so seriously that you can’t post an “ugly” photo of yourself and that at some points of the day we are all doing something boring.

Compared to the glamorous staged photos on Instagram of beautiful people with perfect lives, it’s a breath of fresh air.

The Be Real trend is all about taking unfiltered, honest selfies to show real life. 

Wonderful, inspirational cancer sufferer and campaigner Dame Deborah James, who I have talked about here before, passed away this week.

Seldom have we seen someone raise so much awareness, and indeed incredible funds for a campaign, in such a relatively short space of time.

Yes, many people will have died from bowel cancer this week and it will have been just as sad for their families, but the reason that there is such an outpouring of grief for Deborah and her family is because she touched so many people with her honesty and her fun “live life to the full while dying” approach.

Deborah wanted her legacy to be “find a life worth enjoying, love deeply, have no regrets and always have rebellious hope”. Most importantly she wanted us all to “check our poo” and not be afraid to talk about it.

Have a good week everyone,

Yvie x

Deborah James, who sadly succumbed to bowel cancer this week.

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