Monday, June 28, 2004

Hello, I’m Salvadore Vincent and I’m blog-sitting for the week...

It was my 34th birthday at the weekend. I am still in my early thirties though. Until 33, your thirties are divided into early (30-33), mid (34-36) and late (37-39). But now there are only two divisions – early (30-34) and late (35-39). I am obviously not in my late thirties, and early is the opposite of late, so I must therefore still be in my early thirties. This time next year I will just be "in my thirties".

However, last week someone asked me how old I was going to be, and I couldn’t remember. I know what year I was born in, and I know what this year is (except sometimes when I’m writing a cheque), but I’m now at the age where I have to do some subtraction to be sure of my age. This seems like a milestone, and not a happy one.

Other things I have noticed recently:-

It’s obvious to say that everything on Top Of The Pops and daytime Radio 1 is rubbish, but I’m now not sure about things such as if Orbital and William Orbit are the same person. They might be, or they might not be, but I don’t feel too inclined to find out.

I don’t get Bo Selecta. I’ve really really persevered and once thought I got it when drunk, but now I don’t any more. I therefore don’t see why it’s on in a timeslot previously reserved for comedies that I do understand – could they not put it on another channel and keep showing things that I get instead? I remember the glorious feeling on first watching The Young Ones that someone had written something especially for me. I expect that younger people now think that about Bo Selecta and are glad that even people still in their “early” thirties don’t get it. This is the first time I’ve thought this about a new comedy show (as opposed to just not liking it), but I suspect that it’s the first step to a subscription to UKTV Gold. And the day you realise that you’re listening to Radio 2.

My Euro 2004 guide tells me that for the first time, every member of England’s tournament squad is younger than me. (David James would have been in the same school year, but this does seem like clutching at straws). After Ronaldinho’s chip in 2002 there weren’t many people hoping that David Seaman wouldn’t retire, but I was wishing he would hang on a bit longer (perhaps as a reserve) to avoid another milestone for me.

Another recent milestone is that I now really notice draughts a lot. I could never previously understand why my parents had wanted me to close doors behind myself, but now on entering a room, potential air currents are the first thing I look for. When choosing where to sit in a restaurant I would rather be between a table of chain smokers and the gents toilets than anywhere near a window or a door. I can’t remember the first draught I noticed, but now I can’t stop feeling them. It’s like Death is standing behind me, stroking my neck to remind me of his presence. Tapping his icy fingers as he mocks my shallow, futile, meaningless, existence and how soon it will all be over. A memento mori in breeze form of the inevitable and ever-closer day when he will return me to dust.

Which is worrying, but not half as upsetting as the crushing realisation that Sven’s probably never going to pick me now.