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This is a question Getting Old

Drimble asks: When was it last brought home to you just how old you're getting? We last asked this in 2004, and you're eight years older now. Eight. Years.

(, Thu 7 Jun 2012, 13:24)
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This question is now closed.

Getting Old...I appreciate it.
As the saying goes. 'Old age and treachery beats youth and enthusiam everytime.'
I'm better in my 40's at cooking, managing money, making lurvvvee. I have cheaper car insurance and can outdrive boy racers in their saxos. If I choose to. I don't feel that competitive edge everytime a mobile disco pulls up next to me at traffic lights. I can be comfortable in a well fitted suit or jeans and t-shirt and don't have to follow that latest clothing and fashion fads.
I can listen to all types of music, enjoy discovering new bands and those that influenced them.
I can drink if I choose, Beer, Wine or spirits, for the taste not to get rolling around drunk in the street.
I write with a fountain pen, shave with a double edged or a cut throat razor and wear a watch that still uses a clockwork wind up mechanism. Yet can find my way around a iPhone and Laptop without having to ask someone half my age.
Yes my bones make unusual noises at times, and I no longer heal as fast as I once did. But I count them as small prices to pay for all the knowlege and experience I have accrued.
(, Thu 7 Jun 2012, 14:59, 4 replies)
About a year ago I noticed an entry in the local paper regarding an impending rendition of musical tunes by an English band called “GBH”. This was to be their first Australian tour.

“Wtf?” methinks, pondering over the paper with my latte and croissant. “GBH?...can it be the same band I listened to during my well-spent youth?” I leaned back and remembered that somewhere in my garage is a GBH vinyl disk with grooves scratched into its surface. When I was a schoolboy, I would carefully mount this disk on a machine and listen to the amplified scratchings. I have many such disks of a similar genre.

After calling the venue to verify that yes, this was the same GBH from many years ago, I fired up the Mercedes and poodled down to the venue to secure a ticket, lest they sell out.

On the night of the concert, I went straight from work (office attire), parked in a nice well lit place were no scum could deface the car, and entered the establishment.

Now..the days of leather jackets, studs, cropped hair are long behind me, so I sort of stood out like dog’s balls amongst the more colourful clientele. For me, one of the many gifts of middle age is a mental attitude whereas one doesn’t give a flying fuck for the wardrobe opinions of sheep, be they punks, Goths or Mods. Of course they all dress so individually. Yeah, the whole fucking flock of them.

Anyway, the support bands were pretty good, I frantically tapped my foot in time as I supped on my Coke Zero (had to be at work early the next day, and really, alcohol consumption interferes terribly with the anti-depressants...‘though it can be fun... in a controlled environment).

The crowd was a mix of old fat punks, old fat I-was-a punk-once-here’s-my-obscure-band-t-shirt blokes and very young punk folk, who strangely to me, were dressed in the same leather jackets, Docs, tartan pants and mohawks from the late 70’s early 80’s. Fuck’s sake. They were even affecting the same sneers and expectory habits from the day.

Finally GBH took the stage, they certainly had presence. What really brought it home to me about being middle aged was this; all the old fat punks crushed to the front of the stage and were leaping around like a bunch of excited basset hounds. A bunch of eagerly pogo’ing beefy unfit men is a fearsome sight to behold. You defineatly need to be pissed to join in. They were having fun.

But, the younger punks were milling around the outer edges, too scared to go near the scrum of baying fools at the front of the stage. I finally realised that they weren’t really interested, and they DIDN”T KNOW ANY OF THE SONGS!

You know how at a live gig, when your favourite bands strikes up one of their standards and the crowd cheers, well, the over 40’s were the only ones cheering, ‘cos they were the only ones who had any idea what was being played.

One young bloke I yelled with couldn’t name a single song after any of the bands that were patches sewn on his jacket. They were all circa 1982 bands, he was probably born in 1992. They just weren’t interested in the music, let alone leaping around and ruining the carefully created hair (and maybe losing a few teeth in the bargain).

But, there they were, taking pictures on their iphones of each other to put on Facebook. They were there man, they were there the night GBH played.

I dunno, kids of today. Tch.
(, Sun 10 Jun 2012, 16:30, 3 replies)
I think I am back to front again
I got up the duff when I was 18, so all that time when my friends were going off traveling and going to Uni and clubbing or going to festivals till they chewed off their own eye lids, I stayed at home and quietly got on with bringing up mini-me and working and doing bits of studying.
I felt bloody old then.
He is 21 now and over the last few years, I have become self employed after going through Uni finally, although not having the same experience as the youngsters in my class. I am now free to do what I want, while all those same friends who looked on me in pity now have dark rings round their eyes, and are frazzled from the lack of sleep, school holidays and endless rounds of fucking face painting.
They wonder where their life has gone and I know THEY now feel old.
Having him so young means I influenced his taste in music, film, comedy, books to the point that he now influences me. I was only young myself of course and still SO into stuff.
We have been to gigs, festivals, comedy clubs, talks all kinds of things together. Some from his suggestion, some from mine.
I get to still spend time in dingy gig venues, surrounded by kids, while I watch HIM play, very fondly remembering being 8 months pregnant and being sat, protecting my big bump at the side of the stage while watching bands like Fugazi.
My 41st birthday was a few weeks ago and he of course came the party along with a gang of his mates and I think I outlasted them all. But yes the recovery takes a hell of a lot longer.
Not that I advocate having kids that young, it wasn't easy but I am now getting to do what I should have been doing years ago.
I do sometimes catch myself wondering how the hell I ended up with such a grown man in my life, and I don't feel especially fit or healthy or really much different to 20 years ago. I don't own a house, I don't have a pension or anything sensible like that, having done much of it on my own.
So those of you feeling all young because you don't have kids, I feel young because I do.
But I do know that living life back to front has been an odd experience, and continues to be, but I don't think I would want it any other way.
(, Thu 7 Jun 2012, 22:58, 15 replies)
i used to pride myself on taking everything i needed to a festival in a small rucksack.
I used to sleep on the tent floor in a thin shitty sleeping bag, for 2 hours or so, spring out of bed like a startled whippet, and spend all day moshing.
Now, i seem to have a large rucksack, and a holdall full of shite. my tent is fooking massive, i have a self inflating rollmat, a sleeping bag AND a blanket/poncho thing, i spend half the day moshing, the other half sitting down wondering if i'll live to see tomorrow after all the earlier moshing, and i sleep for about 6 hours and wake up feeling like i was gang-raped by a troop of irate baboons the day before. every year, the pain-to-pleasure ratio gets less favourable, the amount of crap i take with me increases, and the noise/face i make when extracting myself from camp chairs gets more improbable. by my calculations, by 2020, i'll need to set aside a full day of the festival to allow for the time it takes me to get out of my camp chair, and hire two to four sherpas. fuck, i might even need a TROLLEY. when the time comes that i decide i need a coolbox, i will knock it on the head and just sit in the garden with my headphones on, with the sprinkler running over my head, periodically pay my girlfriend £20 for a slice of undercooked shitty bacon in a white bap with watery ketchup, then snort some bicarbonate of soda off the floor beside the toilet.
(, Tue 12 Jun 2012, 15:53, 14 replies)
I was working at Download this year as part of the security team.
I struck up a conversation with a gent who had just come away from the second stage looking rather unsteady on his feet. He told me that he was having a break from the crowd because he got caught by someones elbow in a moshpit and it winded him, but he told me he'd be going back in when he got his wind back 'to get the little fucker'.

He was 83 years old.

I no longer feel that I'm too old for anything.
(, Mon 11 Jun 2012, 13:17, 12 replies)
I realised I was getting old...
...the day I found myself eating a bag of Cadbury's Animal Biscuits without pausing first to see what each animal was :(
(, Thu 7 Jun 2012, 16:32, 4 replies)
Back to the Future was filmed today

Marti Mcfly would go back to 1982...

(, Thu 7 Jun 2012, 14:52, 4 replies)
Getting Old
Several months ago, I had the pleasure of driving my young daughter "up north" for an interview at Birmingham University. It was a short detour to take us through Redditch where I was born and past the Terry's Springs factory where all my family used to work. Alas, the factory was gone; long since destroyed and the land turned over to grazing sheep.

I had the pleasure of telling her: "Eeeh, I remember when this was all factories."
(, Thu 7 Jun 2012, 21:46, 2 replies)
I had to get a new passport last year
When i went to get my photo done the stupid machine gave me a set of pictures of my dad.
(, Tue 12 Jun 2012, 23:50, Reply)
I'm aging backwards
In my late 20s (10 years ago) I went down with M.E. and was basically bed-bound for a few years. I put on loads of weight and had no energy at all and was constantly in pain with permanent thunderous headaches. I felt very much like a fat old man. Probably aged about 90. I was also in a marriage that was going utterly to shite, partly because of my illness but for other reasons too.
But over the last few years my health is gradually getting better. I'm also single now and I'm really loving my life. I go to gigs and dance (OK I need to use my walking stick while I'm dancing otherwise I'd fall over and I can't leap about..yet and drink beer with stranger by fires on the beach. I reckon I'm down to my late sixties now. At the rate it's going I'll probably be completely free of it by the time I'm in my 40s and I'll always be aware of how much goodness I'm getting because I really have been to rock bottom and back again. I really fucking love my life now and I'm in pain all day every day so if I ever do make a full recovery I'll have to be scraped off the ceiling
Sorry for the violin inducing story and lack of lulz...
(, Sun 10 Jun 2012, 23:19, 8 replies)
I love Hyracotheria
Best of all the animals

(Edited; grammar corrected, thanks to FengPooey)
(, Fri 8 Jun 2012, 11:49, 3 replies)
Jurassic Park is old enough to vote and buy alcohol. Which reminds me of this gem from XKCD.com.

(, Thu 7 Jun 2012, 18:05, 4 replies)
I haven't posted on here for a while,
but seeing this question has pulled my nose from my maya books and set my fingers tapping. This topic is almost constantly on my mind these days, not so much because I am now a lumbering dinosaur with the mind of a kid but because the days/weeks/years are now flying past at the speed of light.

It's an odd sensation. I'm only 34, but then that means that I was celebrating my 30th birthday four and a half YEARS ago, and not months, which is what it feels like. It was Christmas 20 minutes ago, and I didn't get a single bit of lego.

It feels like if the rate of acceleration keeps increasing, before I know it I'll be dead of old age, and I won't even have gotten used to having to shave. I probably won't have time to finish this book.

Another thing is my memory. I used to have a great memory. I used to go to the flicks, see a film and would be able to recall almost every scene. These days I have to be reminded whether I've seen a film or not. Sometimes if I can't sleep, I try to test myself to see if I can remember what I had for dinner each day for the last week, and it's surprising how often I'll get stuck on yesterday for at least 5 minutes. It was fish and chips, by the way. I remember because I had peas too. I don't remember what I had on monday. Wait.... is this thursday?

I suppose it's a symptom of having a bit of a sedentary life. The big memories stand out and seem as though they were yesterday, but the rest is just mundane mince.

It's also a jarring moment in a young man's life when he realises there is a marked difference between the required legal age and the required moral age of potential ladyfriends.

It's horrible. It wouldn't be so bad if at least the world was getting better as it whizzed past, but it isn't. It's getting more and more shit each time I remember to look. I remember staggering from a pub at the age of 20 and thinking to myself "you know what? I love music. All kinds of music. I love dance music, I love rock music, I love metal music. Every generation hates the next's music, but I literally cannot think of a single direction popular music can go that I won't like." And then what happens? Pop Idol, Fame Academy, X-fucking-factor. After I've finished gasping and tutting, I turn around and expect everyone else to be doing the same only to be astonished to find that no, everyone else on the planet is quite happy with this horrible trend. It's happening with everything. Every single creative outlet humanity has is being reduced to one generic lump of teen-oriented shit, because teenagers haven't seen it all before, they're stupid and they're rich, so they're the most lucrative market. Meanwhile, we're planning ever more sinister ways to stop our old people surviving for very long because the economy can't support them. The whole world is turning into a horrible cross between Hollyoaks and Logan's fucking Run.

In summation, I appear to be a 34 year old pensioner, angrily banging on the window of life, warning youngsters to stay out of my garden. I'll burst that ball if it goes near my petunias.
(, Thu 7 Jun 2012, 17:17, 5 replies)
You know what these are.

Extra points if you still have some.

Super extra points if you have loose ones in case you need spares.
(, Fri 8 Jun 2012, 15:28, 21 replies)
I'll pearoast this
In 2005, I enrolled at my former 6th Form college to do a couple of A levels. I would be in classes with kids half my age and I wondered how I might be received. Fortunately I wasn't shunned as some weird outsider that would be on the watchlist of social services and pretty much got on with everybody.

The college broke up for Xmas and on my return in the new year, a good many of my classmates brandished iPods. I however didn't as I'm not keen on listening to music through earphones. In maths, the teacher would allow us to listen to music whilst working through an exercise book and I was pretty much the only one in the class that didn't have an iPod. This would not do.

The next lesson, we were working through a trigonometry exercise and people were plugging in their iPods so I fished out of my bag my answer to this ubiquitous over-hyped music device. A 20 year old Aiwa personal stereo, complete with battery cover held in place with red electricians tape. It drew considerable attention. Do kids nowadays have no knowledge of older technology? When I was their age, I knew what a Dansette record player was and that it played 78s, and TVs that could be fixed by your dad belting the side of it with his shoe and I could even have recognised a gramophone.

But no, this was like some weird alien device that they couldn't even comprehend. It played a format that they had no memories of and was obsolete before they even started nursery school. Surely their parents must own similar stuff. This was proved when one of them declared that their dad had something in the loft that played cassettes.

To complete the image, I dug out "Now That's What I call Music 10". The problem was that it needed rewinding and notwithstanding the technical wizardry of Aiwa's R&D department, my player had no rewind function as it used up batteries on a scale not seen since Big Trak. Rewinding the tape involved slotting the cassette spool onto a Bic biro and spinning it around and around and this actually drew gasps as if I had just levitated out of the window.

If only I still had the original headphones which were those strip of spring-steel affairs with a sponge headphone pad at each end; none of these uncomfortable ear-plug things for me.
(, Fri 8 Jun 2012, 15:10, 3 replies)
I enjoyed the novelty of women minding their children to "Get out of the man's way", and being surprised that they were referring to me.
T'other day, however, I was in PC World, and asked a very pretty young female shop assistant about a product.

Her response was lovely - polite, smiling, slightly flirtatious, which was exactly what I was after - I was flattered, until I suddenly realised how easily it came to her, and how safe and un-self-conscious she clearly must feel around me due to the fact that she didn't consider the middle-aged man in front of her in any way sexually.
(, Fri 8 Jun 2012, 11:11, 10 replies)
I recently told someone I was worried I'd die young.
They looked at me and said "but you aren't young".
I suppose it's one less thing to worry about.
(, Thu 7 Jun 2012, 19:27, Reply)
I'm not sure, but I think my reactions may be slowing down a bit these days.
(, Wed 13 Jun 2012, 16:07, Reply)
Sticking a pin in my ego.
Some while back, I was in a Subway when the cute teenager assembling my lunch me I had "a really lovely voice".

Thinks: "Wahey! You might be old enough to be her dad, but by Christ you've still got it."

No. Her next remark? "You remind me of my grandad reading me bedtime stories when I was little".
(, Mon 11 Jun 2012, 9:27, 1 reply)
Miss the 80s?
Try being casually racist and terrified of nuclear war.

Those of you in the north of England might also want to lose your jobs.
(, Sat 9 Jun 2012, 12:51, 4 replies)
Total Perspective Vortex for 50-somethings (like me)
The gap between the present and the release of 'Anarchy in UK' by the Sex Pistols is greater than the gap between the release of 'Anarchy in UK' by the Sex Pistols and the end of World War II
(, Thu 7 Jun 2012, 21:31, 1 reply)
The Save icon
I was showing the work experience kid - I say "kid", she's 19 and at Uni - how to use a bit of software in work (there's a knob gag in there somewhere). When I told her to click on the save icon, she said "which one is that?", to which I replied "the one that looks like a floppy disk" she looked puzzled for a minute and said "what's a floppy disk?"
(, Mon 11 Jun 2012, 11:40, Reply)
My friend called the other night.
She was rabbiting on about about a party she’d been at, at some point saying “And guess what? I ended up having a threesome!”
“Oh?” I replied.
“Yeah, me and two blokes! It was brilliant! We were in a conservatory and ended up shagging over a load of chilli plants!”
“OOOO!” I exclaimed, my interest piqued. “What kind of chillis?”
(, Mon 11 Jun 2012, 10:06, 15 replies)
Going on holiday to the Algarve, out of season, going to the Antiquities museum at Albufeira instead of lamenting that most the the pubs on sunset strip were closed, on that mile-long street of boozers on the route to the sea.

Getting married at 20 and having a daughter at 25, thus keeping me out of the student/youngster years of pissupedness and mad bonking, by being at home being responsible. On the other hand, now I've been divorced 11 years, all my contemporaries are having to settle down where as we are (relatively) free to pursue what ever we want to (and can afford to) do. While they are now talking about nappies and nursery wallpaper and toy trains, we get off to rock gigs and stay up late getting drunk to loud music :-)

Finding that these days only degree-educated computer scientists and programmers seem to know what hexadecimal is, whereas I got mine from a BBC Micro User Manual at age 11. This is an important part of my work day so it is relevant.

Not wanting to join in with knockabout 'workshop' banter i.e. 'Oi, wanker!' aimed at someone you actually regard as a friend, and not saying 'Fuck you with a rusty fork, cuntstick!' to someone on the internet who can't see your nod and a wink to let them know it's light-hearted ribaldry- I call a spade a shovel, me, and what I say I tend to mean literally. Which is obviously why I failed at the casual ribbing that is /talk. Although to an ousider, /talk looks like the kind of mortal insulting that would get you run through with a duellists' sword in C.18th France.

Being punched by a random drunk teen in an unprovoked attack in my old hometown of Stourbridge, which - because he had a sovereign ring on - cut my cheek enough to leave a crescent-shaped scar and yet- reigning in my natural instinct to retaliate with extreme prejudice (the karate moves I gained when young are still instinctively available under duress) because 'grown man beats up 16 year old' does not make a good headline, especially as the friend I was with at the time was a primary school teacher- 'Teacher of 8-year olds involved in drunken fracas' even less a good headline. So in essence, thinking about consequences.

Putting your back out. By picking up a cat. He is a fat fucker, but still.... full extension sideways, OWW FUCK and 4 weeks wincing when you get up out of a chair.

Not wanting to listen to a SINGLE track in the top 40. There was a dry patch in the 80s that was all Stock Aitken Waterman but then it swung back to Blur, Pulp etc. which was acceptable even though I still am a Metallist at heart. But now? It can quite frankly all fuck off. I even got fed up today being on hold to Orange where I was captively forced to listen to the product of the charts being fed into my ear while on hold. For 40 fucking minutes.

Treating driving as an economy game instead of 'how fast can I take this corner?'. Goddam medium size diesel saloon that's 10 years old and I can still get 58mpg out of it... tiny delicate inputs, calculation of gear changes and apex-clipping arcs, no more than 33% throttle etc.

Watching the Apprentice and instead of thinking 'Aha, thrusting young entrepreneurs who are going to revitalise the economy', thinking 'It's a spot the wanker competition and everyone apart from Nick Hewer is in with a chance of winning'

But probably most of all.... picking up litter that other people have just thrown on the floor right next to a bin.
(, Fri 8 Jun 2012, 21:56, 1 reply)
Shitting myself in Tescos.
Bending over to check out the grapes, I thought I wanted to fart but instead shit myself. I minced back to the car feeling it dribbling down my legs. There is no way you can bounce around driving for 15 minutes without it getting absolutely fucking everywhere. My girlfriends laughter still haunts me, she literally couldn't breathe with hysterics when I got home.
I never trust a fart now, there is always an element of suspicion it could be a pant filler.
(, Fri 8 Jun 2012, 15:14, 2 replies)
Your first Christmas in which you make a net loss. It's all downhill from there.
(, Fri 8 Jun 2012, 14:53, Reply)
I work with a chap who's 21
I have to keep telling him off for starting sentences with the words "Back in the day..." on the basis that, at 21 years of age, there IS no 'day' for anything to be 'back in'.

For example: "I remember back in the day, when they first started using Chip and Pin..." Bollocks! Back in the day, they had great big clunky plastic roller things that they'd use to take a copy of the details on your Access card (your flexible friend). And that's only if you were flash. Most of us had chequebooks and a handful of groats. Chip and Pin came in about six months ago.

It's like a sales assistant in PC World starting a sentence "To my knowledge..."
(, Fri 8 Jun 2012, 13:48, 2 replies)
You know...
...that lost feeling that creeps over you when you walk into a room, stop and pause, and then can't remember what you went in for?

That just happened to me.

Only the room was called Asda.

I even had a trolly with me
(, Tue 12 Jun 2012, 18:18, 1 reply)
Didn't a year used to be a long time?
When you're a kid, a year is an unimaginably long time. Even a week is as close to "forever" as to make no difference - especially when the grown-ups tell you, "Sorry, not today, but we'll go next week, I promise."

But now, a year is so short, I catch myself thinking, "I'll do that next year," and not considering it to be procrastination. In my head, the world has turned into that scene in The Time Machine (the original one, you young whippersnappers), where the sun goes around the sky so fast it's a blur of light, and the hem-lines of the skirts in the shop-window opposite go up and down like a short-sighted rabbit in the Bear Factory's reject bin.

Birthdays fly past like cars on a motorway. Christmas unloads its bowels on the duvet of my consciousness with alarming frequency. I blink and friends' toddlers shoot up like bamboo in the rainy season, and the next time I see them they're telling me of their impending sex-change operation and their thriving internet business.

I'm starting to think of a decade the way I used to think of a year. At this rate, I won't even notice my declining years; a moment's lapse in concentration, and whoops! There go my seventies!

Perhaps old people don't really have bad eye-sight, they just can't focus on the speed the world is moving around them.
(, Mon 11 Jun 2012, 15:10, 5 replies)
Never forget you're not as young as you think you are.
Just returned from Download festival today. The Prodigy were playing on Friday and in a fit of you only live once mood I managed to wrangle my way to the front by playing the, I am old and I may never live long enough to see them again card. Having got there and chatted to the youngsters around me, they band appeared on stage and it was bloody fantastic. I managed to get through one song whilst being pushed and shoved about before I had to leave and dance at the outer edges of the crowd.
(, Sun 10 Jun 2012, 21:30, 7 replies)

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