All This Ageing Well Is Killing Us

Staying fit at 50 is bloody painful – but it’s better than the alternative

Injured knee dreams of running

THE MISSUS AND I both woke up this morning crippled – in our different ways.
For me, it was a screaming knee, banjaxed from a three-mile run yesterday.
For her, it was throbbing feet: mangled by dancing in heels at a banging Gary Numan gig.  
She was also – as befits her instinctive embrace of the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle – hungover from drinking too much wine before, during and after the show.
Meanwhile, despite a blameless, booze-less, low-salt, night in, I was appalled to have a shocking headache of my own – the result of cutting out caffeine too drastically.
And then it occurred to me: trying to stay young was killing us both…

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Heaven Sent

Just when you thought the Man Upstairs had forsaken us, ​He sends a sign…

A shaft of sunlight
Image: Davide Cantelli/Unsplash

WHAT ABOUT the rain today, eh?

I went out for a long, exhilarated, walk through the park early this morning and, happily, got soaked.

Then the sun came out for a while, and I could hear children from the school next door playing outside during morning break. 

But at about 10.30 BST, there was a sound just like someone turning a hose on in the Heavens, and an even mightier deluge came down over London.

It was almost as if God was demonstrating his power, just when I thought he had forsaken us.

It was kinda like he was reminding us that he can wash away anything – or anyone – that He doesn’t like. 

It’s good to know that there is a God, after all.

We Could Be Heroes – If Hell Lets Loose Again

Why are we still so obsessed by World War 2? Maybe we need reassurance that our generation can survive its own looming cataclysm? 

A WW2 Memorial Statue
Image: Elliott Day/pixabay

I DIDN’T GO looking for it, but my hand was drawn to the war book as if by a magnet.
Max Hastings’ All Hell Let Loose. I found it in Smiths when I was looking for something else. A magazine, or Tea Obrecht’s novel, Inland.
Instead I came away with a 750-page Leviathan on a subject that I already have a fair understanding of – but which I always feel needs deepening or refreshing.  
Strangely, I’d almost bought All Hell Let Loose for my iPad a couple of evenings before.
I’d finished the novel I was reading and had a sudden book famine, but instead I’d plumped for Sarah Waters’ The Night Watch.
And then I realised: The Night Watch and All Hell Breaks Loose are both about World War Two (WW2). And so is the one I’d just finished – Philip Kerr’s The One From The Other.
I thought: What is it about the war?

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Brexit – Fucking With Your Five A Day

The EU may take our booze and our veg – but they’ll never take our freedom! 

A plate of fresh vegetables

THE MISSUS texted me today:

Darling, can u pick up wine tonight?
12 cases shd do it.
I will get same so Brexit doesn’t b***er up Xmas xxx

Keeping a cool head in a crisis is often all about remembering what’s truly important.

So, with this country’s biggest cataclysm since Dunkirk gathering, Her Outdoors has moved decisively to ensure that we can still get properly pissed – no matter what happens on October 31.

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Holding Out For A Hero (Who Advocates A Guaranteed Basic Annual Income…)

Heard of Andrew Yang? He’s the progressive genius who might yet save us all…

Andrew Yang campaigning
Image: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

MAYBE there really is a light at the end of the tunnel.
It’s a dim one for sure – and almost obscured by the black pall of hopelessness generated by Johnson, Trump, prorogation, austerity, Iran, yada yada – but it is there.
And the person holding the torch is a progressive American politician called Andrew Yang, who wants to revolutionise the way we live and work in the western world.
For a start, he wants to give us free money.
And after that, he wants to turn upside-down the way we think about work – so that a mother or a care assistant might be regarded, and rewarded, as highly as a banker.
Yang is one of 10 candidates left in the race to become the US Democratic Party’s candidate to take on Trump in 2020 – and currently polling fifth behind Big Beasts Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris.
More excitingly, he claims he is “peeling off” disillusioned Trump supporters from 2016 with his promise of a so-called ‘Freedom Dividend’ – or a guaranteed $1,000 monthly income for all Americans.

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It’s The End Of The World As We Know It…

Do the ‘scandalous’ scrums at Europe’s tourist attractions this summer herald the end of Western civilisation itself?  

Crowds around Little Mermaid

WOULD YOU put up with a two-hour, six-queue, wait for just 30 seconds with the Mona Lisa?
Would you fancy being ‘treated like cattle’ by staff at The Louvre – in order to squint at the tiny 77 x 53cm painting from three metres away, before being ushered away seconds later?
I wouldn’t either – but it’s what the 30,000 souls who queue each day to see the Da Vinci masterpiece have been enduring, according to Trip Advisor and The Guardian.
Recent feedback described visitors’ experience of the world’s most popular museum as stressful and shocking, “horrendous”, “scandalous”, and “a letdown”.
“Just skip it,” concluded another – which is a phrase that is, increasingly, is becoming a mantra for surviving modern life.

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Loneliness And The Middle Aged House Husband

I’ve been feeling quite alone of late. But maybe I’m just feeling more free?

An empty bird's nest
Image: F. Muhammad/pixabay

THERE ARE FOUR people living in our house still, but it’s starting to feel like an empty nest.

After my wife leaves for work around 8am, I sit alone in the top room writing and often don’t see anyone for hours at a time.

My son is, theoretically, present but – blessed with epic Summer Holidays after finishing his GCSEs in June – has done what most teens would, and turned almost completely nocturnal.

His sister, meanwhile, is finally about to start University, after a Gap Year working 9-5 in an office out west.

As a family, we are poised for change.

No-one is actually leaving the house but, by Christmas, the kids will be deep into their A-Levels and degrees, having taken another step up in maturity and a step further away from us.

And like British shipyards, steel works, coalfields, my House Dad business (Est. 2002) will feel closer than ever to locking its doors for the final time.

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The Kids Were All Right

Disastrous news for parents! A British teenager has won $1 million just for playing Fortnite – and proved that we’re too middle aged to know what’s best for our children 

A teenager plays video games in a darkened room

EVER HAD a row with your kids about computer games?

Ever thrown an X-Box out of the window or taken a hammer to a screen?

Ever put a games console in Time Out until they’ve done their homework?

If you have, it now seems that you were right Out Of Order…

This weekend’s news that a teenaged boy who played Fortnite for eight hours a day has become an overnight millionaire at an esports tournament has dealt a death blow to Parent Power across the nation.

Jaden Ashman, 15, not only took home $1.1 million from the Fortnite Word Cup in New York, but he managed to shut his mother up, too.

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Here Comes The Sun

It’s time to re-think my plan to retire to The Med. Yesterday’s weather proves that the UK is already The Place In The Sun.  

Older man with weathered skin
Image: Firdaus Ansari/Unsplash

FOR MANY people of my generation who are lucky enough to have a few quid, buying a Place In The Sun has long been a fond dream.
Whether the dream looked like a Tuscan Villa, an apartment on the Cote D’Azur, or something seaside-y in Spain or Portugal, lots of Brits of my age and older have long had moving somewhere with guaranteed sunshine high up on their To Do List.
But after yesterday – when the UK just missed out on recording its hottest day ever but temperatures still topped a stifling 38 Degrees Centigrade – I’m chucking out the plan.
Following the extreme summer last year across northern Europe – and with similar temperatures now reportedly 30 times more likely than previously due to global warming – there’s no longer any need to move to The Med.
Because where we live now has become The Place In The Sun.

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