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Whoda Thunk? People Get Happier as they Age

I never dreamed it when I was younger. Who would want to be OLD? Having nice tight little bodies is fun, right? Even if you have to pay the price of worrying all the time about maintainence, LOL!

As it turns out, people get happier as they get older. Whoda thunk it?

People ‘get happier as they age’
From BBC Health News

Older people appear better able to control their emotions

Most people get happier as they grow older, studies on people aged up to their mid-90s suggest.

Despite worries about ill health, income, changes in social status and bereavements, later life tends to be a golden age, according to psychologists.

They found older adults generally make the best of the time they have left and have learned to avoid situations that make them feel sad or stressed.

The young should do the same, they told the American Psychological Association.

Ageing society
The UK is an ageing nation – in less than 25 years, one in four people in the UK will be over 65 and the number of over-85s will have doubled.

And it is expected there will be 30,000 people aged over 100 by the year 2030.

According to University of California psychologist Dr Susan Turk Charles, this should make the UK a happier society.

By reviewing the available studies on emotions and ageing she found that mental wellbeing generally improved with age, except for people with dementia-related ill health.

Work carried out by Dr Laura Carstensen, a psychology professor at Stanford University, suggested why this might be the case.

Dr Carstensen asked volunteers ranging in age from 18 to mid-90s to take part in various experiments and keep diaries of their emotional state.

She found the older people were far less likely than the younger to experience persistent negative moods and were more resilient to hearing personal criticism.

They were also much better at controlling and balancing their emotions – a skill that appeared to improve the older they became.

Envisage ways to thoroughly enjoy the years ahead and imagine living to a healthy and happy 100
Design your life and daily routines to reinforce this goal
Don’t put all your “social” eggs in one basket – invest time outside of your family and career too
Dr Charles explained: “Based on work by Carstensen and her colleagues, we know that older people are increasingly aware that the time they have left in life is growing shorter.

“They want to make the best of it so they avoid engaging in situations that will make them unhappy.

“They have also had more time to learn and understand the intentions of others which helps them to avoid these stressful situations.”

Dr Carstensen said the young would do well to start preparing for their old age now.

This includes adopting a healthy daily routine and ensuring some social investment is spent outside of the workplace and family home.

Andrew Harrop, head of public policy at Age Concern and Help the Aged, said the findings were encouraging.

“For many people, older age and later life is often looked upon with dread and worry.

“Far too many younger people assume that getting older is a process that will inevitably mean sickness, frailty and lack of mobility and greater dependence. However, this is far from the truth in very many cases.

“Many older people lead active, healthy lives enriched by experience and learning.

“This positive advantage can be brought to bear across so many aspects of daily life which – in turn – hugely benefits our ageing society.

“It’s vital that there is growing acceptance that just because someone is getting older, it doesn’t mean they no longer have a significant contribution to make.

“This study is one of many which shows that later life can be a enormously positive experience.”

August 10, 2009 Posted by | Aging, Character, Community, Family Issues, Health Issues, Relationships | 4 Comments

Overbuilding Leads to Lower Rents in Doha

Rents to tank in two years, says expert
Web posted at: 8/10/2009 1:43:47
Source ::: The Peninsula / By MOBIN PANDIT

DOHA: One of Qatar’s most trusted real estate investment experts says he sees the rental market taking a massive beating over the next two years due to excessive housing supplies.

Currently, there are no less than 15,000 apartments ready for occupancy across Doha literally with no takers, says Nasser Mohamed Al Mansoory, CEO of Qatar Oman Investment Company, a listed entity.

And there are many housing projects in and around the city which are coming up and expected to be ready for uptake by next year, he told The Peninsula yesterday.

The population of the country, according to him, is already down from 1.9 million at the peak of the housing shortage recently, to around 1.6 million. “These are the latest figures. So, with so many people having left, where do you think the demand is going to come from,” wondered Al Mansoory.

Not only apartments, there are villas as well which are lying vacant all around. Little thinking has gone into these projects and that explains why there is suddenly a dearth of takers.

These are the units which are difficult to attract tenants on high rentals given the fact that supplies are excessive while the demand is limited. “We, therefore, expect the rents to come down,” said the CEO whose company actively invests in the real estate sectors in Qatar and Oman.

He said thoughtfully: “I wouldn’t be surprised if over the next two years (by 2010-11) you see the rents in Doha back to their previous levels to QR1,200 and QR1,400 monthly.” Already, two-bedroom apartments whose going rates were QR8,000 not too long ago, are now available for QR5,000.

“See the newspapers. Their classifieds are full of ads for all categories of vacant houses day in and day out, clearly signaling that supplies far exceed demand.”

Similar is the situation with office space, he said. Supplies are now abundant. The rates per square metre are sliding by the day. In the Old Airport area, next to a building where office space is available for QR250 per square metre, the going rate, for example, is QR160 per sq metre.

August 10, 2009 Posted by | Building, Bureaucracy, Doha, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Qatar | Leave a comment

Finding the new Ponderosa Steakhouse in Doha

“Are you sure you know where it is?” AdventureMan asked.

“Well, pretty sure.” I answered, and God bless him, as hungry as he is and as tired as he is after a long day at work, he just sighs and trusts me.

“If this doesn’t work, we can always eat at Villagio,” he says, and I marvel at his equilibrium.

“The man at the other Ponderosa said you go three roundabouts from Ramada junction and it is on your right, and then he said something else but I didn’t understand.” I added.

We went three roundabouts, and then started taking the slip roads, an adventure in itself. We saw a lot of car repair places, some smaller Lebanese restaurants with all guys eating inside, and had to go back and forth, because sometimes the slip road ended, sometimes the shop roads ended. After another roundabout, and a long row of very modern, empty glass office-looking buildings on the right, there it was, clearly visible from the road, and I realize what the man had been telling me was that it was above the Pizza Hut.

This is what it looks like from Salwa:

This is what it looks like from the side road – “Ponderosa “steakhouse” in Arabic

Maybe about once every three months or so, when I really felt a need for some meat, we would brave the horrible road-trek at Cholesterol Corner, otherwise known as the Ramada Junction, to eat at Ponderosa. It isn’t fancy, but it truly is popular, with its buffet and inexpensive steaks. I really like their filet, just a little 6 oz. steak but they do it better than many of the big expensive hotel restaurants.

If this works, we have said to ourselves, it would be a real blessing for us, not to have to hassle with the traffic patterns of entrance and exits, not to mention the congestion.

When we get inside, the blessings just continue to pour forth – we learn that this is their first night open to the public (we didn’t know!) and that they had promotions going – the buffet was 29 QR – which is what the price was six years ago, before it started creeping up – and that every main entree on the menu included the buffet and tonight only was only 40 QR (around $11).

So for $11 each, AdventureMan ordered the fried fish, and I ordered the filet mignon. Taking a risk, I even ordered it MEDIUM RARE.

The Ponderosa Buffet is the Ponderosa Buffet. It has some American salads, some Arabic salads, and a taco bar, and a dessert bar and a soft ice-cream machine. It was all very very clean and well presented.

When my steak came and I bit into it – it was truly amazing – medium rare! AdventureMan said his fish was very lightly battered and very hot and fresh tasting.

I didn’t remember to take photos until about halfway through. I must be the absolute worst restaurant reviewer in the world. That’s where my filet steak used to be, LOL:


Yes. I used some A-1 Sauce. I love it on steak. But I tasted the steak first, and it was a great steak.


There used to be four pieces of this hot, delicious fried fish.

The dessert bar:

I had watermelon, AdventureMan had a lot of the fruits, but I could see most people were going for the chocolate pudding and the soft ice cream. 🙂

The Ponderosa is upstairs, over the Pizza Hut. You enter from the side road. Paved parking is limited – maybe 12 spots – but there is that hard rocky surface, lots and lots of it. This is supposed to be the biggest Ponderosa in Doha, and it may be – it is full of booths, all very private, several different areas.

We won’t go that often – we have other favorites – but we are really really glad this Ponderosa has gone in, and we don’t have to go down to C-ring anymore in that maze of mad motorists. We also think that with all the housing going farther and farther out of Doha, they chose a very smart location to attract those moving away from the center. And – I am impressed – my steak really was medium rare!

August 10, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, Community, Cooking, Customer Service, Doha, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Living Conditions | 8 Comments