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.

I Will Survive…

OK, I admit it, I have been a miserable bastard this last 9 months or so.  I apologise to all those(all two of you) who have had to read ma sad laments and moans.   From today I intend to get back to normal.  There may still be the odd bit of moaning though….  😉

Beset by a litany of problems, that, frankly, might have killed a lesser man, I have allowed maself to wallow far too long in a depressing stupor.  Falling out with my father, falling out with my brother, becoming homeless, the stress and hangover from Occupy Plymouth(which I have still to write about at some point), serious health problems in the family, being skint, getting bronchitis, an abscess in my mouth, and the falling apart of what I regarded as a serious long-term relationship, all contributed to the ‘perfect storm’ that afflicted me.  It has taken me til now to clear the mental fog all this has caused.  Problems still exist, my Mum is going in for a hysterectomy soon, and Dad in for an operation on his prostate, I’m still skint, and single, but things do not seem so irredeemably bleak as they did a short while ago.  I am not quite sure what has lifted my spirits, possibly the intervention of some good friends, but I feel better.  Maybe the two weeks I had off work, which I thought I had wasted, have actually done me some good after all?

Anyway, thank you to all those who have put up with me, tried to lift my spirits, or attempted to distract me from my own personal annus horribilis.   You will be pleased to know your efforts have not been in vain.  All I need noo is ma leg over and I’m sorted…    😉

The Boy The Girl Forgot.

I wrote in the last post that my ex-girlfriend had said that I would forget all about her when I met someone else, and how I took that to mean she would forget all about me when she met someone.  Well, tonight I got wind of my erasure from her memory banks, and the consumation of her relationship with another fella.  A fella she first started chatting to when we were still seeing one another too.  Sadly the quote from Bob Marley I referenced previously isn’t working it’s magic anymore.

It’s half past one in the morning, and I am unable to sleep, and unable to rationalise my feelings.  I don’t feel good, that’s for sure.  And I am annoyed by my own inability to ‘man up’ and just ‘get over her’ as a few well-meaning folk have tried to encouraged me to do.

That’s easy for them to say.

Some say that love is “the highest form of energy”, but if this is so then it cannot be destroyed or diminished.  It can only be changed into another state.  And a tempestous energy like love can likely only be changed into something equally as tempestous.  Which is why it is said love often turns to hate, and vice versa.

Not that I am anywhere close to hate.

And I feel this way despite the fact she has met someone else.  I feel this way despite the fact that her love was always conditional and mine was not, and despite the likelihood that she is in the process of forgetting me.  Despite my suspicions that I was a stopgap til something better came along, and despite the fact I am a no good bum, undeserving of such wonder in my life, I FEEL this way.   Despite the fact there is no hope, I feel this way.  Despite the fact she even advised her family to remove me from their friends lists on Facebook, I feel this way.  And despite her desire to remain friends after ripping my guts out, I feel this way.

Maybe one day I shall generate some ill-feeling that will help me get over her.  Just not tonight.

Feelings, they are a pain in the fucking arse.

Rachel Corrie Shall Never Be Forgotten.

I have just been reading this article and the subsequent comments, and now I just want to curl up into a ball and cry.  What a fucking world we live in.

Some of you may not know who Rachel Corrie is, or was.  You should know.

Rachel was a young American woman, just a few weeks shy of her 24th birthday, who was murdered in 2003 while trying to do something good and kind and noble and beautiful.
Rachel died trying to stop something wicked, criminal and barbarous from happening to Palestinian families and homes in the lands under illegal military occupation by Israel.
With others in the International Solidarity Movement, she tried to use her body to prevent the destruction and theft of Palestinian land and homes by the State of Israel.  Can you imagine getting told to abandon your home?  No compensation, no nothing, just go, because one of these things was about to knock it to the ground?

Caterpillar Armoured Tractor

Your land now belongs to someone else.  You are homeless and nobody cares.

But Rachel cared.  And they killed her for it.  Rachel tried to stand between the bulldozers and the homes of innocent people.  But the bulldozers didn’t stop.  She died a horrible and heroic death.  This week she was once again denied justice by an Israeli court.   And Jesus wept….

“We should be inspired by people… who show that human beings can be kind, brave, generous, beautiful, strong – even in the most difficult circumstances.”  Rachel Corrie.

Rest in peace.

“Three years after Corrie’s death, an Israeli army officer who emptied the magazine of his automatic rifle into a 13-year-old Palestinian girl, Iman al-Hams, and then said he would have done the same even if she had been three years oldwas cleared by a military court.

Iman was shot and wounded after crossing the invisible red line around an Israeli military base in Rafah, but she was never any closer than 100 yards.  The officer then left the base in order to “confirm the kill” by pumping the wounded girl full of bullets.  An Israeli military investigation concluded he had acted properly….”

Further reading –

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/28/rachel-corrie-verdict-exposes-israeli-military-mindset
http://rachelcorriefoundation.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Corrie
http://edinburgheye.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/tragedies-and-names/