Tag Archives: solipsism

What is a grown-up?

There is a view that 49 going on 50 is too old to be listening to the likes of this:

Or this:

Alternately, I could claim that I’m just paying attention.

I’m struggling with my life at the moment. I have a responsible, well-paid job by my standards. We have a nice flat (though we could do with a bigger one). We have two lovely children, even if they do occasionally behave like monsters).

It’s not enough – or it’s too much – and I’ve still got no idea what I’m going to do about it.

Douglas Adams was my age when he unexpectedly collapsed on that treadmill (surely a symbol in direct opposition to everything he stood for). Joe Strummer had just turned 50  when a  heart condition that could have taken him at pretty much any point in his previous life finally called time. I’m clearly at a dangerous age for a man, an age men die or make stupid choices or both.

My whole dilemma, of course, is a product of too much privilege and education. If I lived in Victorian times, I’d be a clerk or a factory manager or a middling government civil servant in an unimportant department and none of this would be an issue. Would it?

Perhaps I should get religion. Or go to the pub. Or enter a Buddhist monastery. The Japanese nobility of Heian times regarded that as a perfectly valid retirement option once one’s children were grown up and settled. What their wives thought isn’t recorded. Perhaps they were obliged to become Buddhist nuns. Supermum wouldn’t be having any of that.

The question is, what does a grown do? I mean, honestly, what would Strummer do? What would Douglas Adams say? And is it perhaps a not unpromising thing (to, at the very last minute, take a glass-half-full perspective) that I still really have no idea what I want to do with my life? Or perhaps I know – let’s admit that – but getting there. Well’s that’s the tricky bit.

Comments closed because this is a bit silly.

Note: OK, comments opened due to demand. Though the people who demanded it are probably going to be the only people who actually do comment and they left their POV on another post entirely. 

Hadrian’s Walk Seemed A Good Idea Eight Months Ago

I can’t quite remember the day when at Dan at All That Comes With It mooted his absolutely barking idea to have a bunch of bloggers march from one end of Hadrian’s wall to another for the benefit of the Joseph Salmon Trust (Donate! Donate!) but I was definitely having breakfast.
“There’s a bunch of bloggers marching across Hadrian’s Wall for charity,” I mentioned to supermum. The children must already have left the room or nothing resembling a conversation would have been taking place.
“You should go,” she said. “It’ll be good for you.”
“Well, maybe I will. Could you cope with the two of them for a week?”
“Don’t see why not. Could you cope with all those strange blogging types?”
Supermum doesn’t blog or Twitter. Or pay any attention to LinkedIn. She does have a Facebook profile but regards that as socially normative. You could say that she harbours certain prejudices about bloggers in general or me in particular. She also knows that the major questions for me would be “Could I cope with all these people I’ve never met? Could I share a room with strangers? Keep up conversations all day and into the evening without going insane? Deal with not being by myself for a whole week?”
Well, we’ll see, won’t we? Everyone I’ve met is lovely (come on – these are people who’ve given up a week of their time to trudge across the north of England and raise nearly £20 – loveliness is part of their job description). But, God, I’m tired – and that’s after only 6 miles!
“Good for you” is also supermum-speak for “You might actually speak to people.” I have. Dan, for example and I had the odd sense that I’d known him for simply ages. Weird, huh? But good weird.
Another weird thing was being the one presented with the bill for twelve people in the Indian restaurant this evening. Perhaps I looked the most authoratative. Perhaps I annoyed the waiter the most.
I’m also pretty sure I’m glad I’ve come, though hearing how little elf cried because I wasn’t there and dudelet whispered “I miss daddy” just before he went to sleep can sap a man’s resolve a little. I just have to remind myself that they don’t seem to care that much when I’m actually at home (even though it isn’t exactly true).
And finally, here’s an iPhone picture of a weird Newcastle shop. How many instances of “weird” was that?