I turn 60 this year. SIXTY.
Blah blah age is just a number, you’re only as old as you feel, 60 is the new 40 yeah yeah right.
I never got pearls for my 30th.
I never got rubies for my 40th.
No gold for my 50th [although I had a new wedding ring at 53]
I doubt if there’ll be diamonds at my 60th- but my wife is a diamond, so I’ll let it pass!
In happier news, mum and dad just celebrated their diamond wedding, so I’ve sent off for a letter from the queen for them. They are ardent royalists. Sigh again.
Anyway, what can I REALLY say about being 60? Hmm I’ve always said my lucky number is 6, because it’s a factor of each bit of my birthdate [18/6/60].
I often joke with the kids I teach that they shouldn’t keep me waiting as I’m so old I could die before they answer the question…then they ask if I’m 100 or something. When I say no, but nearly 60 they are usually shocked. I used to think this was because I look younger, but let’s be honest it’s just because it’s a huge number lol. The fact I was their age in the 70s is beyond their comprehension.
Let’s do a quick review, in 10 year chunks as that seems to be a thing of late:
1960-I was born! Top of the pops was Cathy’s Clown, the Everley Brothers.
1970- In the Summertime, Mungo Jerry. I was at primary school, what can I say? We’d moved out of granddad’s house in ’69, mum and dad were struggling to make ends meet, but we were fine. Round about then, we got our first colour tv which was a big deal! We also had a phone IN THE HOUSE- but hardly anyone else did so there weren’t many friends I could call lol. I passed my 11 plus round about here, so off to grammar school in ’71.
1980-TOTP was ‘Crying’ by Don Mclean. At 20, I was newly married, living in a 20 storey block of flats, working in an office [and about to be made redundant.] We had no honeymoon- we were supposed to be going camping, but I put the tent out to air on the rooftop drying area and it blew away. Sigh.
1990. Apparently Elton John’s ‘Sacrifice’ was No 1. Who knew? At 30, I had three kids aged from 4-7, was living with my father-in-law, working part-time in the local off-licence and doing Ann Summers’ parties, making clothes for other people for pin money. Oh the 1980s pouffy prom dresses and net petticoats! Most of MY clothes were old, second hand, or just generally crappy. I got involved with making costumes for the amateur opera company and had a lot of fun with that.Ex-husband was made redundant multiple times over the next few years as Thatcherism grew ever more rampant. Times were HARD.
2000. Number 1 was an absolute horror according to Google, that I definitely don’t recall. In the interests of comp[leteness, I give you ‘the Trouble With Me’ by Black Legend. [WTF?] As the ‘new millennium’ started [don’t get me going on that, I’m a mathematician!] By 40, things were very different. I’d gone back to full-time work, been made redundant, gone to college and then university, got my PGCE and started teaching maths. Father-in-law got a nasty case of bowel cancer and died, sisters-in-law did their damnedest to evict us and sell the house over our heads. I’d thought things were hard before, this was a rough time. Ex-husband picked himself up a bit, also went to college and then uni, and also started teaching.
2010: TOTP apparently was ‘Shout’ featuring Dizzee Rascal and James Cordon. Can things get any worse musically? Wait a few months and we’ll see… By the time I hit 50 my first marriage had ended, work was becoming ever more problematic with several dreadful bosses one after the other, the menopause was kicking my ass soundly, my relationships with my kids were by and large in tatters…but I’d met my wonderful wife and we were building our lives together.
As 60 looms on the near horizon, work is looking good, my experience is being recognised and my employer actually considers me to be an asset. I am passing on my sewing skills via a thriving school sewing club. I can pick and choose what sewing I do, and my marriage is wonderful- we will celebrate our 7th anniversary in August. My kids [and grand-kids] are, well, let’s draw a veil over that one for now, but who knows what time will bring? I can’t even imagine how things will have changed again by the time I approach 70-that’s just a silly number. Let’s hope I will be able to retire [and survive on reduced income], that the NHS still survives, and I will be able to have had the appropriate medical care to maintain decent health.
Well to apologise for those last few ‘musical’ monstrosities, here’s some CLASS. TAke it away Paul