Happy BlogDay, Son

On Monday, we celebrated seven years since

The day when (with rather more than a wince)

My wife gave birth to our eldest son

Her oven pushed forth a small wrinkly bun

31972_400011638365_3247297_n

It’s fair to say we expected a girl

But everything happened in so much of a whirl

It took me a while to realise with joy

That our first ever baby, was actually a boy

My wife is a teacher at an all-boys school

And during her pregnancy set a strict rule

To avoid the names of some kids who she taught

Which made it quite tough, but after some thought

There was one we agreed on, so we told the midwives

That Oliver Martin had entered our lives

He was cleaned and weighed, an outfit arranged

Then I had my first cuddle, and everything changed

30036_427857241349_58986_n

I cried like a girl, I’ll gladly admit

Overcome with emotion, and scared half to shit

I was now responsible (along with my wife)

For the safety and wellbeing of this tiny life

As I sat there, proudly holding my lad

All I could think was “Fuck me, I’m a Dad!”

I’m sure that I speak for my wife and I, when

I say that it’s been quite the whirlwind since then

There’s been feeding, and screaming, and teething, and naps

Not to mention all manner and colour of craps

He learned to crawl, and then stand, and then walk, and then run

And before we knew it he’d gone and turned one

252154_10150192964333366_2661790_n

Now here we are six more years along

It’s fair to say that I’ve got some things wrong

But I try the very best to do what I can

To raise a polite, well-mannered and respectful young man

He’s handsome and clever; he’s wacky and fun

I couldn’t be prouder to call him my son

He supports Stockport County, just like his Dad

But this particular Hatter, is especially mad

18425036_10155312884906350_7775155408009577913_n

There is honestly no feeling that I enjoy more

Than seeing his face light up when County score

We’ve shared joy and elation, disappointment and tears

(He even ignores all the swearing he hears)

I know that his childhood won’t always last

But it’s sad to think how he’s growing up fast

It’s his last year in Infants; done his first SATs exam

Match of the Day is his favourite programme

He’s learning guitar, and just lost his first tooth

I wish life could slow down, to tell you the truth

But for now, I’ll just watch him, and try to enjoy

The years we have left while he’s my little boy

It might seem quite soppy, but I’m just trying to say

How proud I am of him (in my own unique way)

Oliver Martin, you are second-to-none

So, this blog is for you…

Happy Birthday, son.

 

 

Standard

Go Shorty, It’s Your BlogDay

As I alluded to in last week’s entry, Wednesday was my birthday, and I am now officially one year older (as tends to be the way with birthdays).

happy-birthday-memes-10

My body clock has ticked around by one. I have added another mile to the odometer that is my life. The Earth has completed one more orbit around the sun, since the date of my birth, on 8th February 1980. The sands of the hourglass, which represent my existence… ah, fuck it, you get the idea.

I don’t tend to dwell on birthdays that much (although, if you read the corresponding blog entry from this time last year, you will know that I came up with 36 reasons why turning 36 was shit – https://middlerageddad.wordpress.com/2016/02/12/happy-blogday-to-me), but 37 does strike me as a particularly pointless age to be.

For starters, you can forget telling people you are in your ‘mid-30s’, because even though that may be arguable from a mathematical viewpoint, for some reason the year between your 36th and 37th birthdays, is the precise time of your life when everything on your body suddenly deteriorates, so no one will believe you. At 36, if you are lucky, you can pass for someone in their early thirties, or maybe even late twenties, but at 37, you bloody look 37 (and feel 47). It’s all rather upsetting.

13900109_10153856933988366_7770297381688465502_n

To be honest, I’d far rather have turned 40 – as at least that’s an excuse for a big party – than 37 (which, quite frankly, isn’t). I’m pretty certain that 37 is the most pointless age I have been since I was 15. Back then, I was old enough to celebrate my birthday properly, yet too young to (legally) drink, or drive, or do anything remotely grown up and fun. Now that I am grown up, and I am allowed to do whatever I want (so long as my wife grants permission), my body won’t allow me to. Ok, at 15 I was also spotty, hormonal, and socially awkward, but at least my fucking knees worked.

I don’t wish to drag the mood of this otherwise perpetually upbeat blog (shut it) into a downward spiral of despair, but I would like to explain why, for me at least, 37 is a profoundly disappointing age to be. Yes, I am well aware that this contradicts what I wrote about turning 36 last year, and that I promised: “there’s no way in hell, I’ll be able to do a list of 37 reasons to be grumpy next year”, but I was young and naïve then, and didn’t know how lucky I was. Besides, I still won’t be doing a list of 37 reasons why this age is even worse (I shall spare you that), but I will give you the main areas where I now feel older than ever. Because I am.

Memory

First up, let’s start with my fading memory.

I know I mentioned this last year (well, I’d forgotten, but I just re-read the corresponding entry), and I know everyone struggles to remember things as they get older, but in the last twelve months, I’ve suddenly started forgetting obvious stuff (who sang well-known songs, important dates, the names of our children…). It has now got to the point where it physically hurts to try and force myself to remember things, and the only positive to this, is that I can justify making more lists so I don’t forget. I bloody love lists.

A friend of mine (who, he won’t mind me saying, is a fair bit older than me) recently joked that his memory had got so bad, he had gone upstairs, reached the landing, then completely forgotten his reason for going up there. It was only as he descended the stairs again, and wet himself, that he recalled his initial intentions. I’m worried that this is where I’m headed. Which leads me nicely to my second point…

Bodily Functions

In particular, increasingly frequent trips to the bathroom. I have always had a relatively weak bladder, particularly when drinking alcohol, but in the past year, the time between my finishing a cup of tea, and being in critical need of a piss, has reduced to a little shy of seventeen minutes. In cold weather, you can virtually halve that.

I have also found that, as I approached 37, the balance between ‘stand up’ and ‘sit down’ wees, has shifted dramatically in favour of the latter. This is partly because I relish a nice sit down, far more than a man of my age should, but also because I can’t completely trust a fart anymore. This is not to say I am forever shitting myself, but there are times when, having opted for a sit down wee, it suddenly dawns on me that there is perhaps potential for a more ‘involved’ visit while I’m there (if nothing else, it’s a time saver, but I do worry that my advance warning system has started to falter slightly).

Sadly, much as I enjoy a good sit down wee (stop me if I dwell too much on my toileting habits, as I wouldn’t want to sink the blog into a mire of distasteful subject matter – seriously, shut it), this comes with the added danger of my knees locking if I spend too long sat down. Of course, this is the same for any prolonged sitting that I happen to partake in, but at least in other areas of the house I can ask for assistance getting up again, whereas I really don’t wish to burden my wife with helping me off the toilet (just yet).

Appearance

Ok, let’s move away from toilet humour (although there was nothing humorous about the above from where I was sitting – which was probably on the loo), and turn to hair.

In the last twelve months, I have discovered my first (and then second and third) grey hairs. Thankfully, it seems to have stopped at three for now, and I know many people my age will have several more, but three is a shit number of grey hairs to have. I have no problem going grey, but I would far rather wake up one morning looking like Phillip Schofield (who, I think we can all agree, has provided the definitive master class in going grey with style), than face the dilemma of whether to try and disguise the three I have. Thankfully, my laziness easily supersedes any shred of remaining vanity, so I’ve just left them.

My hair line has also started receding. I’m not quite at Ant (from Ant and Dec) levels yet, who frankly has a forehead so large it’s now a ‘five-head’, but it’s getting there far sooner than I would have liked.

4551

‘Five-Head’

As a side point to the above – but related to my appearance – I just bit into an apple while typing this, and squirted juice all down my work shirt. I merely glanced down, smeared it a bit, then left it there. Really couldn’t give a shit.

Birthday Gifts

When my family recently asked me what I would like for my birthday, I did wonder whether it would be acceptable to say ‘more socks’, barely five weeks after Christmas. I genuinely don’t know where they’ve all gone.

I also quite like getting new CDs, but I daren’t ask for some of the ones I really want, as I’ll only embarrass myself. You see, I’ve started to like some moderately trendy bands of late, and even hate myself for listening to chart music at my age, even though it was in no way an attempt to appear young.

Embarrassing Language

I have started to use the word ‘trendy’. Apparently.

Public Transport

I accidentally sat in a ‘priority seat’ on a train last week, and started to move when I realised my error, but then convinced myself that, if it came to it, I could probably argue my case.

priority-seating-2

I have also now reached an age where, apart from any travel companions of my own, I hate every other person on a train. All of them. Every single one.

Turning 40

I have already started planning my 40th, as at least that should be fun, so I might as well get 38 and 39 out of the way quickly (as, I am sure, they will, since there is no fucking way my birthdays are still 365 days apart). I am literally wishing the next two years away.

And, as soon as I typed that, I realised that my 40th is three years away, not two, which means that when my memory recently departed, she took ‘basic maths’ with her.

Celebrating

I have not been able to deal with hangovers for a while, but now find that I will get hungover from even the smallest amounts of alcohol. Seriously, I had three lagers the other week and, ok, I’m not used to drinking lager much anymore (it’s a young man’s drink), but I felt like shit the next day. That’s woeful.

It also meant that celebrating my actual birthday, on Wednesday (a ‘school night’), was simply out of the question, so I have had to postpone any proper drinking until tomorrow night (I’m out this evening playing middle-aged badminton), when I will have Sunday free to deal with any consequences.

Even then, I will most likely restrict my celebrating to a few beers, perhaps a rum and coke, and the Terry’s Chocolate Orange that I have been saving in the fridge all week. Oh, and I’ll probably be in bed by 10.30.

Cheers!

522690_10151547474966350_1977451279_n

 

 

Standard

Blogging a Dead Horse

On Sunday, I turned 35.

Whilst this is not generally considered to be a significant age, certainly as far as your average Clintons is concerned, it was, for me at least, quite a poignant milestone, as it now means I am officially half-way to 70.

Of course, there will be plenty of people reading this who would just love to return to their mid-thirties; when it was only their fingers that clicked, and they didn’t have to worry about things like winter fuel allowances and ‘having a fall’. There is also the famous adage that ‘life begins at 40’ which, I am sure, has an element of truth to it, despite the fact it means I became -5 years old over the weekend.

So, whilst you might be expecting me to complain (who, me?) about the fact that my birthdays seem to be coming around faster than each new series of The X-Factor, I am going to try and be positive for once, and heed the advice given by Eric Idle during the musical conclusion to Life of Brian.

Don’t get me wrong, no-one (well, at least those over the age of 18) likes getting any older, but you can at least try to focus on the advantages of ageing, like looking forward to retirement and daily naps. Sadly, my retirement is at least 30 years away (assuming I make it that far), and I’ve already mastered napping, so I’ve chosen to concentrate instead on the other benefit of growing older: the ability to not give a shit.

Whilst I am hopefully a few decades away from stopping suddenly in the street for no reason, buying huge quantities of cat food (despite not owning a cat), or deliberately choosing the busiest times of day to go to the Post Office or bank for no apparent reason other than to publicly piss myself, I have at least reached an age where I don’t need to try and be cool anymore. Some would argue I’ve never been cool, and they’d be correct, but I’m now finally at a point where I no longer need to try and prove them wrong.

So I’ve come up with a three stage plan.

Step One: I’m going to wear things that I think are comfortable, even if they look rubbish. Jumpers are becoming ever more prevalent in my wardrobe, as are sensible trousers. I recently made the mistake of going into a ‘cool’ clothes shop (I forget which) to try and buy some new jeans. To my horror, the largest size they stocked was ‘slim fit’. Now, I know skinny jeans are all the rage with the yoof of today, but surely you can’t classify ‘slim’ as being the fattest a customer can get, before they are so physically repugnant that they aren’t worthy of shopping with you? Nevertheless, this shop had decided an appropriate business model, was to start with ‘slim fit’ as being the largest size they would stock, and then work their way down through ‘skinny’, ‘stretch skinny’ and ‘spray on’ until they presumably reached ‘Excuse me Sir, but is that your penis?’

Step Two: I’m going to watch programmes that I find entertaining, and that I enjoy, regardless of what others may think of them. For example, I know Take Me Out is utter dirge, and Paddy McGuiness is essentially a monkey in a suit, but so help me God if it’s not the programme I look forward to the most during the week (with the exception of Pointless, obvs). I think my love of this show, probably stems from the joy I used to get playing along to Blind Date when I was younger, only now there are lots of (often prettier) women to choose from, rather than just 3, and the selection process isn’t interrupted by rounds involving panels of men or pensioners.

Actually, I wouldn’t mind going on that show, if only to give my ego a much needed boost by at least having one or two lights left on after I’d walked out of the ‘love lift’ and given my name. That said, I suspect I’d lose the interest of whatever stragglers were remaining after round two: “Now, here’s Greg’s wife to tell us a bit more about him….”

Cue immediate ‘black out’.

My idea for a show would be to merge the concepts of Take Me Out and The Voice, so that someone has to decide whether to turn around and go on a date with someone, purely from the sound of their voice. I don’t want to offend anyone here, but there are certain regional accents which, when particularly strong, are not in the slightest bit attractive. Equally, give me an average-looking lass who turns out to be from Newcastle, or perhaps Dublin, and my knees are all aquiver (or, perhaps, something more manly).

Step Three: I am going to listen to, and more importantly purchase, music that I like. Yes, I like Def Leppard and Roxette, ok? Yes, I know they’re not cool, and never have been, but I like their songs. Even worse, I’ve recently started downloading (oooh, hark at me) tracks from current artists. Don’t cringe, please. Taylor Swift? Check. Pharrell Williams? Sure. That All About That Bass song? Abso-fucking-lutely. I know it’s not very cool for me to like stuff that the young ‘uns are listening to, but screw it. Apart from Ed Sheeran. He’s a pointless ginger waste-of-space that I can barely form an opinion on, he’s so bland.

So, there you have it. My three step guide to turning 35 and not giving a flying fuck what anyone thinks anymore. Just think, in five more years my life begins, and I can buy a sports car.

Standard