40 things about being 40

I turned forty last week and with this mile stone I thought I would give you my list enjoy.

1 Baking bread is suddenly good.

2 As is playing a guitar.

3 The prospect of playing a guitar in public is terrifying.

4 You jump when your mobile phones go off at the cinema .

5 You forget to turn your mobile to silent in the cinema.

6 You have a life-belt rather than a six-pack.

7 Your younger colleagues think your sex drive is a lie. (little do they know.)

8 You buy more chart music than ever but still go home and slap on madonna’s like a prayer.

9 You start running for health, not for looks. (or try to.)

10 You punch the next person who says “life begins at forty.” and laugh when anyone uses a fist bump in place of a hand shake.

11 It takes a lot longer to get worked up.

12 Harmless flirting may not be perceived as being so harmless. You don’t want to be known as a dirty old man.

13 Maybe Twitter has passed you by.

14 You worry about being wrong, you apologise for being right.

15 Moisturiser for men is firmly embedded within the morning routine.

16 Thinking about death begins to compete with the six second thoughts about sex.

17 You sit at traffic lights singing along to pet shop boys. Girls at the traffic lights laugh at you. You don’t care, you only sing louder.

18 When your boss asks you when you can do some urgent task, you welcome the challenge.

19 You think groups of younger people who wear hooded sweatshirts with the hood up look sinister. You feel like you should cross the street to avoid them.

20 You go out drinking less often due to the realisation that it’s rubbish and the musics to loud to talk.

21 You become less certain of things than you used to be.

22 On the rare accession you go out, you feel uncomfitable because all the girls seem to be wearing little more than there underwear.

23 Reading is the new tv. Because everything seems shallow on the box.

24 Board games make a comeback.

25 10:00pm becomes the new midnight.

26 You find children more interesting, and are less perturbed about making small talk with them.

27 You increasingly find your self searching magazine racks for diverting entertainment.

28 You can cut through the smalltalk and to get to the point. (Or looking at this list maybe not.)

29 Your teen years are now considered retro and cool.

30 You find solace in crashing waves.

31 You begin to worry about the decline of public services.

32 You wonder if you will ever see the seven great wonders of the world, or even outside of Europe.  

33 You have a ton of fabulous friends who also just turned forty, or are about to.

34 You think nothing of spending £12 on a bottle of wine or £30+ on a bottle of whisky.

35 You take a thermos pretty much everywhere, filled with your favourite coffee.

36 The urge to give in to peer-pressure disappears. (So I’ve been told.)

37 You talk like you have something interesting to say. (and don’t care if its not that interesting.)

38 Your never on your own anymore.

39 Your on your own to much.

40 You know the best thing about reaching forty is that fifty is ten years away.

 

 

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Emotions

Recent events in my life have left me thinking a lot about emotion. On the 10th of may 2011 my father passed away and like every one who has ever lost a parent, it kind of hits you hard, or maybe I should say harder than you think it will.

He had been ill for many years, I thought I had prepared myself for the eventual outcome. The one thing I could not prepare for is how my emotions were going to act.

Because I write it seemed only right that I write something. The first night after his death I found myself writing about me and my father, mainly about him and the kind of man he was, the thing is that its all very personal and not suitable for a blog post. This left me with a dilemma. Do I follow the rule of;

“you must always write the truth no mater how painful”

or do I hold on to the personal info and find the middle ground. I just kept on writing what came, after two days I stopped to check what I had written, I noticed a pattern. That is I had been moving from who my dad had been to how I felt about him. His Stories and Poem’s have always effected me, eventually making me write stories for myself. As you can see its happening now I’m beginning to get personal. If unchecked I will probably pour out all over this macbook air.

I am a father, I have two boys. I also had a father of my own as you will have and every person who has ever lived will have.
My roll as the father of my children is quite traditional. I believe I should be a provider and protector to my family. Of course this also includes my wife, (she if really wonderful) as a father I’m to sacrifice my wants for the good of the family. This was my interpretation of the things passed down to me from my father.

My father passing away has lead to me reflecting back on my life. Being that I have known him all my life It stands that eventually I would reach my childhood. This was in the seventies as I was born in 1972. Things were different then. For example no Internet, no video films, never mind cable tv. There were only three tv channels and definitely no xbox or play station three, Just mum and dad and marbles.

I salute parents everywhere we are a result of them and our children will be a result of us.

Rest In Peace DAD, Love you always.

Photo of Keith glenn

Emotions part two

I thought, so I write.

Today while having a break at work I looked on what I had posted last night. People say I think to much, I might agree and promise what I have written below will be the last on my emotional state. (for a while anyway)

Grief Can be the most destructive of the emotions; it’s more like a lucky dip, depending on what part of your life your in. when you are in your younger years it’s all about working out how to deal with such loss.
As children we all look at our parents and regard them as invincible. Mum and dad will be there for ever. Then we have our first pet or relative pass away and the wall of safety is shook.
Like all things experience makes for control and composure. The more that pass away the better we deal with it.
Personally for me I sometimes feel I’m a bit to composed.

On the other end of the scale people who don’t except loss tend to have a hard time coming to terms with the person that has pass away. This can lead to all the bad emotions like anger and regret.

In the end it all comes to control, no one wants to have control took away from them. When we lose loved ones in my experience it’s when I felt at my most helpless.

There is nothing we can do to change this. No amount of wealth or power will bring that person back. In the end we all have to give in to the overwhelming power of death.
When we say that someone needs time to except the death, what we are really saying is we have to except that there is no mistake and no second chance and we are never going to see this person alive again.

How to deal with grief for me (and we all deal differently) it’s all about memory’s. We have this wonderful brain that holds everything we have ever seen, smelt, heard and touched. So take advantage and make what I call a memory box of the loved one who has pass away. Take any personal items you might have, place them in the box. Then in the years to come when you feel you might be losing there face or voice in your mind, take out the box and like a miracle it all comes flooding back. Sometimes with overwhelming results. But usually welcomed.
I have done this now more than once, each time I learn a bit more on how I deal with loss. The overwhelming lesson is that we should never be scared of our own memory’s. It’s this ability that sets us apart from all other life. We play things out in our minds so that we can learn and love from people who came before. To me this is a wonderful gift that we give when we die. My father was a great story teller and when he died I just searched in my mind to find all that he had told me. I now have enough material to last two life times. Thats mine and his, thanks dad.
This would not be if I shut of the memory’s.

To end this I will try and some it all up in one sentence. It is simply to remember and grief will become joy.

Odyssey, the Fantasy Writing Workshop

Odyssey, the Fantasy Writing Workshop.

ODYSSEY - The Fantasy Writing Workshop

I came across this web site a few weeks ago, I have found it very helpful. Especially the pod casts, download them and get some very valuable advice from some of the best authors around. The podcast include talks from Publishers, Agents, and Authors.

If you find the site helpful let me know.

Relationships and the Facebook, Twitter revolution

Relationships and the Facebook, Twitter revolution

In my recent post Life Under Construction I talked about how life is never really finished building. Recent events in the lives of people I now illustrate that very well. The modern world with the communication tools we have today is great. (come on this is how I speak to you now) The internet and mobile technology has sent most of the world into communication overload. Where as only twenty years ago you would have only talked to an old school friend at the school reunion, Facebook and Twitter make this a daily occurrence for most people today.

There is a down side to all this, you may gasp in surprise. What with all this tech, how could there be a down side?
As always its relationships, boyfriends, girlfriends, man and wife maybe mother and son. These are relationships that have grown from a time before the Facebook, Twitter revolution. From a time before there was this option. A saying my mother still says to this day is “the grass is always greener on the other side” She would say this a lot when I was a kid growing up, looking at other kids wanting what they had, I have grown up to be a reasonably stable person and under stand that desirer is fleeting, once a goal is achieved we all move on to the next. Knowing this makes me think a bit more carefully before picking my next projects.

What has this to do with Facebook and Twitter?

I have seen things happen and normally Facebook or Twitter are involved for instance I have seen relationships fall apart because of one social network or another. Whether right or wrong these people found a new solution to there relationship problems through these mediums. Reaching out, connecting with people they would not normally discuss such maters with. (hay lets be honest dose it not cross your mind that maybe if people spoke to each other about there problems there might be more blank spaces on Facebook). Life is about stages, we move through them as we grow. Childhood and the ‘good old school days’ are really meant to stay there, in the past. Not to be revisited every day, scratching at old sparks that never grew to be a flame (There is normally a reason why they stayed as sparks in the first place). We move from school days to collage days, to marriage and then to have children of our own.
Its the marriage stage thats hard, especially when the children come along. If you can hold on, the next stage should be the best of all. Its this stage when the children have gone on there journey, that truly is for you and your partner. All the learning is finished, all the passing of experience to the next generation is done. This is when life is built and you are just applying the finishing touches to the decor.

Finally I believe if you can hold on to the one who came with you on most of this construction project we call life, then this stage is all the better for there presence. After all no one knows me like my wife.

Please Please comment, good or bad I really don’t mind.

To have a van dyke or not to have a van dyke that is the question?

To have a van dyke or not to have a van dyke that is the question?

(please not this was published december last year)
As promised here is the picture of my van dyke. Now believe me when I say, ‘I don’t love this’. What I do like is the ability it gives me to mess with my looks. You see from as long as I can remember I have always been told to take care of my appearance. My father would give me big talks in the bathroom telling me how to brush my teeth, make sure my hair was in good order before leaving the house. This is all good and no doubt you were told the same. So you might ask why I’m bring this up? well the answer to that is that I’m thirty-eight years old and I have noticed a slight thinning of my hair…my hair line migrating north leaves not much to play with these days. So I’m at, lets say a cross roads to what I choose to play with.
Here is the dilemma do I keep the van dyke? Do I do something with my hair instead? When I first decided to grow the van dyke it was because we are holding a New Year’s Eve party and its fancy dress with a cowboy theme. So I thought why not grow this, get a half decent fancy dress outfit and i will be the part. Simple you would think, the problem was not in me, it was in the way people changed round me, the way people looked at me in the street and spoke to me. I seemed to be getting more, dare I say it…respect. I mean why? Why would having a bit of hair on my face give people a different view of me. I suppose you could look at it from another point of view, maybe it is me that has changed! Maybe my approach to people has changed therefore making their response differ from it had been before the van dyke. If you would like to compare me before then here is my profile picture where I don’t have the van dyke.

I am married, so this probably will give my wife a slight say in the decision, after all it is she who will have to look at me every day.
My wife hates it, she says it make my look forty-eight and mean like nasty mean. I don’t see ether of those points but she will have much weight when it comes to making this decision on New Year’s Day. Looking at the two pictures now on this blog I kind of like the no van dyke version of my to the van dyke version. I am slightly tanned and on the beach so we all look good there or should I say we all think we look good there. Anyway if any one ever comes to my blog them please leave a comment as to which you prefer. Pro van dyke or against van dyke I will make the decision on New Year’s Day. I will post a picture then.
Have a good new year.