So the big surprise of the summer was the middle aged & middle class going totally gaga over ‘Love Island’
‘Im not watching this mindless trash’ I declared sniffly, before becoming hooked within 10 minutes. You can take the girl out of Preston…
It didn’t matter whether you voted in or out, whether you were aged 25 or 55, whether you had a bulging, red overdraft or an offshore account on The Cayman Islands…the nation pulled together in their united love for this highly addictive, reality porn.
In fact, as I took a quiet, little afternoon train to Paddington (at the height of Island fever) the chap opposite, well into his 60’s and ‘Autumn years’, giddily nudged me and asked ‘So, what do you think of Muggy Mike coming back in?’
I raised a ‘what nonesense’ type of eyebrow before throwing myself enthusiastically into the conversation. Yes…Mike was hot and no… you wouldn’t necessarily want him on your university challenge team but yes you might like him for two nights in Greece ( his suggestion ) We agreed that anyone who spelt out your name in avocado toast was a keeper ( especially if he modelled for Calvin Klein ) and no I wasn’t a fan of sex on TV…well…not on a nightly show with no romantic script.
Sooooo, have the newly middle – aged gone mad? What’s with all this trying to get down with the kids? Are Gen X ers just a little sad sac, clinging onto their halcyon days… or genuinely still kinda cool?
Let’s take a look at the clues…
The baby boomers warned us about the midlife crisis years ago. some of us even witnessed it first hand as our own ‘mum’s & dad’s’ navigated their way through their ‘mid’ years in a cloud of ‘Rive Gauche’ and Frey bentos.
‘Hey, did you hear that Marjorie Wilks ran off with George from the chicken van on Robinson street?’ I distinctly remember my auntie Denise telling us over the fence in 89′
‘She was menopausal you know’ replied mum, nudging her bust up a notch as if that explained all…and perhaps it did.
Everyone had their own way of dealing with mid life back then.
Our neighbours, Mr & Mrs Cockburn, went wild and joined caravan club the minute they turned 40.
Meanwhile over at church parade Brown Owl ( who had been 40 + since birth) left her hubby and ran off to Fuengirola with Tawny Owl ( A.K.A Mrs Henderon) never to be seen again
It was horses for courses but things were a changin’.
At the time we scoffed at their silly antics, we would do things better, differently and besides, it was a life time away for us.
Yet, just a few sleeps later and I wake to find that my friends are all now toying with their own sliding doors , mid- mad, moment.
So, nowadays. we join book clubs or grow hipster beards ( and that’s just the women.) We do tough mudder and get tattoos ….oh yes, we are way cooler than our parents were.
‘Should I shag my secretary or do a Triathalon?’ Asked my friend, Tom just last week.
‘Oh Tom, don’t be such a cliche….everyone’s doing a Triathalon. The latter would surely be less training’ I suggest, solemnly.
‘Besides, triathalons are soooo middle class’ I add with distaste…squeezing lime over my Dorset crab on sourdough.
It’s actually pretty great being a little older & wiser but it’s all packaged up as such a great, big, bloody bore and nobody wants to appear past it to their younger counterparts!
Middle aged spread
Middle of the road music (See Genesis for baby boomers or Coldplay for Gen X)
Middle class problems
( See – RSI from de stoning avocados) widely reported in the press, I kid you not.
Top, middle or expanding bottom & stuck in the middle with you!
Soooo, what can we do to keep our Peter Pan-ness rocking for another decade or two?
I recently hauled my sorry ass down to ‘Hacienda classics’. Oh yeah…still got it, still got it. We weren’t in Moss side or wherever the hell it was (most people were D.O.A, so exact location was always hazy back in the day) …but now, 20yrs on ‘The Hacienda’ had reformed once more at the equally edgy… Royal Albert Hall
Ex super cool clubbers gathered to reminisce over Pete Tong and their ‘Madchester’ days…but instead we found ourselves in a sea of salt n pepper hair, swaying and eating nibbles…who the hell ever ate at the real hacienda? It was nil by mouth for two days before and two days after…non?
Next up was ‘Festival’ season.
Off we toddled to The Cornbury festival to celebrate Tom’s 43rd birthday. We can get down and dirty with the millenials we thought Yet there was no escaping, we were much older this time around. Unlike Reading 1992, there would be no gritty, shitty army & navy tent that smelt of socks or a single bottle of mad dog in sight ….instead it was all Babaganoosh and Bollinger, poetry and piano.
We had been bullied into overnight camping there by the birthday boy. ‘Listen guys, EVERYONE is camping! No uber- ing home’ Tom warned.
Now, I’m not much of a camper but I rose to the occasion with a lovely little blow up tent that does in fact deliver on its promise to ‘self erect’ in 30 seconds…( You can’t say fairer than that ) …yet rather infuriatingly, it takes several Boy Scouts to flatten and roll the little fecker back into it’s bag
Needless to say we had a fabulous time dressed in fabulous #houseofharlow1960 polka dot culottes & gorgeous vintage accessories from #whatgoesaroundnyc
‘See, we can still show these young Grime lovin’ kids how it’s really done’ Tom said the next morning as he popped a sciatica pill and waddled off to wash his face in San pelligrino.
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