An update on the ebay auction I announced yesterday. (a) The bath duck is up over the two-pound mark (and the signed copy of my book, amazingly, is up to 31 quid). (b) I am now putting another couple of interesting Watson-themed items up there, to really pump up the pressure. Namely: two tickets to a show of your choice (by me), including a ‘backstage tour’ where I will make you a cup of tea. AND the chance to have a minor character in my next novel named after you. Pretty cool. Cool enough to make it worth going to www.tiny.url/pohnpeisoccerebay. No?
Responses from yesterday also reveal that nearly everyone remembers Sesame Street with fondness, thankfully. Not all that surprising I guess, as I think it was still on until very recently – on Charlie Brooker’s show ‘You Have Been Watching ‘ we watched a remarkable clip of James Blunt appearing on it. But I’m definitely at the stage of my life where, to be frank, I’m Older Than People. This is something I’m trying to address positively, rather than running away from, by doing this ten-year blog. Keeping what amounts to a diary of the decade is an attempt to rationalise the passing of time, remind myself (through your interactions) that it’s passing for everyone in the same way, and it’s fine. And when I start to nudge towards my forties, at the other end of this blog, it will also be instructive to look back to some of the 2010 entries and remember that things weren’t necessarily better when I was younger, just as, if I could look now at my diaries from 2000, I wouldn’t regret the fact that I’ve aged, but instead be grateful that I no longer live solely on pasta and Mars bars, and have had sex.
There is also a certain dignity that comes with the first advances of age. I’ve come to quite like saying things like ‘I’m a bit older than you…’ or ‘I’ve been around long enough to know…’ to support my arguments, which has possible for the first time since I notched up 30. The reassuring illusion of wisdom is easier to pull off. Experience in its own way is as gratifying as the wide-eyed energy of youth. I was on Frank Skinner’s radio show this morning and he’s over 50; he was talking about the bizarreness of being older than the Prime Minister. But I know which one I respect more.
Also, I think people have an ‘ideal age’; some people love being 18 so much they never entirely admit they’ve left it behind (like Jon Bon Jovi, whose boast ’18 Till I Die’ is looking increasingly hollow now), while others only really hit their straps when they’re into their sixties and they get to do things they’ve been somehow building up to all that time. I think for me, between about 35 and 45 is the age I was – as it were – always meant to be. Old enough to be producing your best work, young enough to still be playing tennis.
After that, we’ll see. Hmm. It’s not THAT far off. Maybe we’ll say between 35 and 55. That sounds better.