Did you forget the keys on the way to open the door, then forget where you parked the car in which you left your handbag with the keys in them? Do cocktail parties and business functions fill you with dread because every familiar face comes with a just-forgotten name? Age-Activated Attention Deficit Disorder has not exactly made it into the psychiatric textbooks but it should: as soon as one hits 50, forgetting the boss' wife's name becomes a distinct possibility. The slightest task – taking out the rubbish, for example – can get stored in the wrong compartment and vanish from our thoughts (though, of course, AAADD is a neat excuse when it comes to avoiding housework). Much research is being done to prevent memory loss, but take it from a former diplomat: the only way to remember anyone's name is to copy the Americans and repeat it over and over, as in 'Yes Bill, that is absolutely fascinating, Bill'. They will be flattered, and the tantric exercise will ensure future invitations.
Helen Kirwan-Taylor – firstname.lastname@example.org