I have had 6 whole days to get used to the fact I am now 40 years old. This time last week I was a young 39yr old, full of vim and vigour. But those days are gone now, and I even have the slippers to prove it.
To be honest, I was dreading turning 40. There really didn’t appear to be anything good or joyful about the whole ordeal as I contemplated it in the days and weeks leading up to it. But I was wrong. I had two of the best evenings I have had all year last weekend.
On Friday evening, the day of my birthday, I traveled up to Bristol with a young lady friend to see the awesome brilliance that is Rufus Wainwright in concert. Having seen him live once or twice before, I was expecting a good show, but Rufus managed to surpass all of my expectations. Not one person left that concert hall who was not grinning from ear to ear. The concert opened with an a capella rendition of Candles, the closing song from the new album ‘Out Of The Game’. The album version of Candles is not one of my favourite songs, but the version he performed on his own in Bristol was stunning. Here is a video of him performing said song in London earlier in the year. I have found myself singing this all week!
Other highlights of the night included fabulous versions of ‘Out Of The Game’, ‘Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk’, ‘One Man Guy’, ‘The Art Teacher’, ’14th Street’, ‘Going To A Town’, ‘Montauk’, ‘The One You Love’ and a truly memorable cover of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Everybody Knows’. The end of the concert was also pretty wild and bizarre, with Rufus dressed in a toga, a stage invasion, and a giant panini singing ‘Gay Messiah’. It had to be seen to be believed! In fact, you can see it right here –
It does give me pause for thought that one of the campest guys in the music industry is singing the current soundtrack to my life, but them is the breaks. I have had a pretty shitty year up til now – I won’t recap on my year of heartbreak and dodgy health – but it was hugely reassuring to find that I can listen to Rufus and still smile. All is not lost, not by any means. I had worried that listening to Rufus would be too painful, but the exact opposite was true. It was glorious. Thanks for the tickets, Dad!
The very next night I was out to celebrate my birthday with a bunch of the girls from work. The wonderful Anne went to the trouble of making me a quite splendid cake, which you can see pictured below –
Anne the cake-maker is sadly leaving us next month, which is a devastating blow professionally. Though, I suppose it is a lucky escape for me, as the cake I feel I would be obliged to make for her birthday next year would likely get me the jail….
And so, anyway, it transpired I spent the first few days after my birthday eating jam sponge breasts. And it is not every year I can say that! The girls from work ensured I celebrated my birthday in fine style, plying me with booze and making me dance to Robbie Williams. I love every single one of them, even if they did make me dance to Robbie bloody Williams. They helped make an old man very happy 😀
Here’s to 50! Bring it on!
I shall leave you with Jericho, a song that I dedicate to you know who 😉