The internet can provide a wealth of information and entertainment for the pensioner, and is especially valuable to anyone who’s housebound, antisocial or constipated.

For instance, simply by typing in the word ‘pensioner, you immediately have access to 75,600,000 entries, at least seven of which might be of some possible relevance. This may seem a very low proportion, but in sorting the cyberwheat from the cyberchaff, you’ll be able to learn more than you ever wanted to know about over-sixty lesbian porn, the number of doughnuts eaten by the average American in a typical day and the best way to rear alpacas for the meat trade.

Much of the internet is designed for the under-twelves and sites such as Facebook, MySpace, AcneGeek and SlothBlog have little to offer the pensioner unless you’re grooming potential car washers, window cleaners or lawn mowers.

Using free downloadable software, it’s relatively straightforward to set up your own website, and you can then share your interest in coin collecting, country houses, Victorian ferret recipes or rearing alpacas for the meat trade with thousands of like-minded people throughout the world.

Sites providing information on benefits and concessions are of particular use to pensioners, though care should be exercised when completing on-line forms if you’re not to be inundated with wind turbines, organic vegetables and mobility scooters, albeit at generously discounted prices.