Adapting to 40 – Not Quite Out Of The Game Yet!

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 –

Birthday Cake

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 😉

“We Teach Life, Sir.”

I have just discovered this wonderful, and very moving poem, by Rafeef Ziadeh.   It deserves to be widely heard.  Pass it on.

Ae Fond Kiss

It has just occurred to me, the major difference between my old job as a gas engineer, and my new(er) job as a carer is this – as a gasman, I saw my customers/clients, wee auld biddies in distress, once or twice a year, whereas as a carer, I see my residents/service users, wee auld biddies in distress, more or less every single day of the week.  I am told that I am their carer, not their friend.  In December(one week after my focking fortieth) I will have been at this job two years.  Most of these people are like family to me now.  I suppose that makes me a bad carer.  But hey, I never do anything ‘right’, life, love, and aw the rest o’ it.  But I try…

Proof Positive – Kilts Pull The Birds.

Just in case there was any doubt about the matter, I today present definitive evidence of the bird-pulling abilities of a Scotsman in his kilt.  Last Wednesday, I donned the tartan finery to attend the wedding of a good friend of mine.  After a few ales I looked a little like this –

The following day, a bird decided I was so good looking, she took up residence at my work in Newton Ferrers.  At the time of writing she has been there for over a week.  I reckon she has taken a wee shine to me.  Quite the poser too, loves having her photo taken.  And check out that plumage!

Of course, one always faces stiff competition when it comes to pulling the birds.  This little bugger is trying to steal mine.

Dream on, pussy cat!!

Beautiful Things #1.

I have decided to start taking more notice of the beautiful things in life.  One of the most beautiful things I have seen this past week has been this short video.  (now a working link)

Everton tribute to the 96 who died at Hillsborough by emmysguysandgals

Beauty can come from the most ugly of things.  What happened at Hillsborough 23 years ago was an ugly thing.  The lies told about it were ugly, and the truth revealed this past week is rather ugly too.  But this tribute by Everton FC to the campaign for truth and justice by the families of the 96 dead Liverpool supporters is both beautiful and quite moving.  It brought a lump to my throat anyway.  Despite everything, never forget that  there is real goddam human decency out there, even in football.

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/hillsborough–police-did-doctor-evidence-in-bid-to-avoid-blame-8126233.html

http://www.thestar.co.uk/sport/football/make-hillsborough-disaster-s-guilty-parties-pay-liverpool-captain-1-4954267