When you are young you regard birthdays as a staging post to growing up.
When you are over50 they become markers to the cemetery
These cheery thoughts – “intimations on mortality” as Wordsworth described them, are with me as I listen to Leonard Cohen’s new album “Popular Problems”
Thanks to everyone who has sent me birthday wishes- social media makes these things a lot easier but a Linked In message is no less effective than a card in the post (to me at least).
I often wanted to get to 50 as a cricketer, but I only made the mark in my dreams. As an opening batsman for the SW11 and Suffolk Stoates , I must be Britain’s least competent wielder of the willow.
I used to get out at first change, having fended off the fasties (usally with a couple of fours from knicks through the slips), but then some spinner would bowl me a tempting half-volley and I’d be stumped – half-way down the pitch.
My old friend Andy Weaver came to call yesterday. Andy and I go back a few years to a morning in Cairo when he pretended to be a journalist and we became mates.
We lost it for ten years after I kicked him our of our house for some forgotten misdemeanour.
He found me on social media and I found him in the CockPit pub in Ireland Yard. He didn’t have a scythe but he had that look in his eye. We embraced as long-lost friends embrace, we didn’t cry – but I came close.
53 not out- intimations of mortality – actuaries tell me I have another 33 years in me and if I can lay off the hooch, get back on my bike and stay out of trouble with loose women, I might just prove them right.
But for the moment, I will play the young man and get my kicks where I can.
I never could pick a googly – so if you’re keeping wicket, watch out for chances.