Saturday, 22 September 2012

Forever forty something . . .

With a whoop of joy and a nice cup of tea, I celebrated the news this week that middle age is now offically classed as 55 years old. By whom, I've no idea. The BBC? The Coalition? Dot Cotton? Anyway, I'm now firmly below that target and look forward to a continuation of Cliff Richard-like eternal youth.

Of course, it's a load of old nonsense. Under a particularly harsh light (thank you gents toilets, at work . . .) I observed the knackered-looking face, bloodshot eyes and slap-head hairstyle. But enough of the bloke standing next to me. No, in reality that middle-aged mug in the mirror was mine. Phsically, there is no getting away from it. OK, so I drag my weary carcass down to the gym a few times each week but it's only putting off the inevitable. I may as well cut to the chase, shove a Fray Bentos pie in my gob and don a pair of tousers with an elasticated waist.

Musically, I'm all over the place. No change there then. Earlier this week I happened across a playlist for a hospital radio programme I presented twenty five years ago. It featured Nana Mouskouri, LL Cool J and Cilla Black amongst others. I should have been dragged out of the studio and thrashed with a copy of Smash Hits. I was a young fogey. Today, I'm peering at an i-Tunes playlist that includes The Strawbs, Julia Boutros (she's from Palestine) and the Slim Willis Band (thank you Uncle Alan in Manchester). It's an eclectic mix but I love it. There's a relief about being over forty in that you really don't have to bother with mainstream pop anymore. Not for me (or indeed for anyone who likes music) Beiber, Flo-Rida or Taylor Swift. I won't be purchasing anything by Little Mix or Cheryl No Surname Anymore. I can bask in a bit of David Guetta, indulge in Sergio Mendes and enjoy a bit of Noel Gallagher. I do reserve the right not to like Coldplay though.

It's all a bit more Radio 2 than 6 Music these days and that's how it should be. Who needs another forty-something saddo desperately "chillin'" with the kids? I recommend sticking to reminiscing about Echo and the Bunnymen albums, New Order twelve inch singles and Nena's hairy armpits on Top of the Pops. And let's do it with a lack of grace and a mug of Tetleys.

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