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 😉

Yeees! Gerrinthere Andy Murray!

It’s well past two in the morning, and I’ve just watched Andy Murray win the US Open tennis championship, and enjoyed it tremendously.  A fine topping to a terrific evening.  Just what the doctor ordered.  It’s amazing what a few beers in a new place, with some new folk, followed by the success of a fellow Scot, can do for ones mood.

I was roped in this evening to fill in for a missing player in a local pub darts team.  Darts is not completely alien to me, as there is dartboard at home, and I was a member of a team when I lived in Rothesay that won the New Year’s Shield, some 10 years or so.  The match tonight was in a pub called the Revenue, and we lost, with me winning one game and losing another.  They were a great bunch of lads, and I had a highly enjoyable evening.  Following that, we retired to the Fortescue, where I shared a drink with another delightful group, including some lovely ladies, and even a particularly lovely lady.  She even touched my arm, by jings!  And if that wasn’t nice, I don’t know what is….

And from there it was home to watch the final set and a half of the tennis, via an excellent free live stream a friend had pointed me to, while playing Romanza on my guitar, slightly intoxicated.  At 4-2 I knew Andy had won it.  It was great to see a Scottish success story, to alleviate the gloom from Saturday’s Serbian debacle.  And I’m claiming Andy as Scottish, not British, ye ken?  😉

Well done, Andy.  Fred who?