Ageing, with attitude

Cardi, slippers and a wee sweet sherry? No, ta. I’m not quite ready for mind-numbing middle age.

Or maybe I’m just kidding myself on. I’ve got just about enough marbles left to be well aware that I ain’t no spring chicken no more – the harsh truth of the matter is that I am well and truly over the hill. Because by the time you cast your failing eyesight over this, I will be stampeding another day closer to a half century. No, ya great numptie, not playing cricket, but lurching towards A Very Big Birthday.

Yes kids, the big five-oh is almost upon me. And I can’t quite get my head round it. It’s gobsmacking, eye watering and, frankly, completely unbloodybelievable. FIFTY? How the hell did that happen?

It seems like only a few minutes since I was wide eyed with wonderment at David Bowie and Marc Bolan on the box. Surely it was just a few weeks ago that I jumping around like the mad wee punk rocker I once was to The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers and Siouxsie and the Banshees? Isn’t it just a wee while since I got the barber in Lewis’s to shave my head, number 1 all over? Rude girl, right enough.

Boy, those were the days. That was when life was a lot less complicated, when Woodpecker cider was our cocktail of choice, we shared packs of 5 Kensitas Club, stomped about in our Docs and drainpipes, and thought we were the dog’s.

I might not be quite the young gun I once was, and maybe I’m about encounter a full-on midlife crisis, but so far fifty feels just fine, and not so very, very different from back in the day. Aye, the outside might be on the slide, the eyesight’s shot and the joints are aching, but the old grey matter seems to be firing on all cylinders, and the punk rock spirit is alive and well, still snarling and spitting (well okay then, not spitting, because that’s just manky…). So frankly, I’m damned if I’m giving in gracefully.

It’s that spirit and general attitude to life that makes me throw my head back and laugh like a banshee when I come across rules and regs about middle age. Thems the rules for some other kind of sofa surfing, slipper wearing midlife mammy. (My all time fave bit of behavioural bollocks was when I spotted a woeful women’s magazine proclaiming loudly that thou shalt not wear a denim jacket once thou art over 40. Tell that to Chrissie Hynde why dontcha…)

Anyway, there’s a lot to be said for being really quite ancient, especially if, like me, you choose not to go down the botox/cosmetic surgery/sensible shoes route. But hey! I’m not writing off the possibility of reintroducing some DIY black hair dye and a tube or two of Crazy Colour…

At 50, there’s self confidence for a start (shame it takes so long for us Scots to get that sorted, but better late than never, eh?). There’s self acceptance, greater tolerance, and a lot less pointless and soul sapping angst. There’s the enduring pleasure of being part of a generation who questioned the rules and did it their way. And there’s the unadulterated joy of being part of a family who will keep going to see live music ’til we’re ready to join the great rock’n’roll gig in the sky.

And of course, it’s no coincidence that I waited until I was half way to a hundred to start my own business. The knowledge that several decades’ worth of work experience and life skills are being brought to the sole trading table is profoundly satisfying for this old punk.

Now, where the hell’s that denim jacket? I’ve got a party to get to.