57 plus 12: More odds, more sods

Posted: 29 August 2021 in 57 plus, life, don't talk to me about life, personal
Tags: , ,

I’ve done a couple of these already, the

‘nothing much to write about today; yes, there is stuff I want to write about about but I haven’t got my thoughts in order yet, so here’s something about several things…’

posts, and since I’m in that frame of mind today, some thoughts on three things that are in my head right now.

By the way, the things I want to write about? Here’s just a smattering, if nothing else to put them down, so I know I’ve got to write the posts sooner or later

    a review of David Baddiel’s book Jews Don’t Count. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that I thought it was excellent and almost perfect. I’ve a couple of issues with it, which I’ll discuss in the review, which will come at some point
    a look back at two years of Boris Johnson’s two years as Prime Minister. While a huge chunk of that period has covered Brexit and the covid response, he’s fucked up other things as well.
    something about comedy
    something about the comics I’ve been reading
    Something about the comics I’ve been rereading
    …and something about the mouth organ

Anyway, now that those are out of the way… Ah, if only making a to do list was the same as completing the items on a to do list. Something for a future iteration of iOS to fix.


I’m not good looking. Let’s get that out of the way straight away. And no, this isn’t fishing for compliments, ok? I’m well resigned to looking… ok.

I mean, I’m not horrible looking; I don’t look like something the love child of Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso and Bill Sienkiewicz would have come up with, but — checks in the mirror — yeah, it’s not great. By which I mean, like the difference between ‘not liking something’ on the one hand, and ‘disliking something’ on the other, I don’t think I’m actively bad looking; I’m just not good looking.

I look… ok. There’s not much I actively like about my appearance. But I’ll openly acknowledge that, the past few decades, with the exception of the colour changing, I’ve quite liked my hair.

Three months’ back, the following tweet went a bit viral.

Lots of people proffered their replies. Now my dad was a hairdresser and I was half way through writing my own response when something hit me about what I was writing.

Because what I was about to write was:

Free haircuts.

But what occurred to me was that the biggest advantage I gained from my dad being a hairdresser wasn’t free haircuts but the absence of something. I gained a far more important perk that was the big one:

I never thought of haircuts as anything to be scared of, or worried about.

And it wasn’t until I was an adult that I realised how many are scared or worried by them.

And, I guess, because of how I grew up, getting a haircut is just something I do… and – notwithstanding some of the more embarrassing photos from the annual A Life In Pictures – I kind of like how the hair looks.

Of course, drop half a centimetre below the hair – both inside and outside the skull – and it all goes to hell. But there’s not a lot I can do about that, or at least, not a lot I’m prepared to do about that.

(A decade ago, while on holiday I went to a spa, and had massages, a manicure, a pedicure, the works. While you couldn’t pay me to have another massage – I really disliked the experience – I glance down at the mess that is my feet and think I could do with another pedicure…)

As with so many things, I was introduced to St Custards and its most notorious denizen, one Nigel Molesworth, by my brother. It was very much a ‘here, read this, you’ll love it’, and as was so often the case when Michael said that, he was right.

I can’t honestly say that I was first aware of Searle from Moelsworth, though. I had some collections of cartoons as a kid, and I remember seeing his drawings of St Trinians and kids on ponies… but when Mike gave me How To Be Topp, I fell in love with the world created by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle. I’ve probably in the intervening years read everything I could about Molesworth, and featuring Molesworth and anything that even barely mentions Molesworth.

Or so I thought.

Until yesterday… when I discovered that Molesworth’s diaries, originally published in Punch, from 1939 – 1942, have been collected and republished as The Lost Diaries. And, writer friends of mine, my heartfelt apologies, but I genuinely can’t remember the last time I was so looking forward to reading anything.

And now I’m going to get the chance.

Oh, and while looking for other Molesworth stuff, I came across this. Hmm. I’m not convinced, but I’m certainly willing to be.

Back to normal…?
Things don’t feel ”back to normal’ yet, not even close, and I wish I knew why. I mean, yes, obviously, covid is still around – yesterday the UK reported over 30,000 new cases, and 133 deaths – but most of the restrictions have lifted, there’s not much I can’t do if I a) want to, and b) can afford to.

But the idea of doing many of them… well, it’s not exactly enthusiasm I’m feeling.

I can now go to the cinema if I want to. I even found myself the other day in a cinema foyer looking at the movies showing, and there were two or three I did in fact want to see. And yet, I turned around and walked out. Something stopped me buying a ticket, and it wasn’t the cost.

I miss live comedy like so many of my friends miss going to see live music. And yet, with one exception when it returns, I’m finding myself reluctant to actually buy a ticket to go and see live comedy. And again, it’s not because I can’t afford the ticket, nor that I hugely enjoy watching comedy on a screen. I want to see live comedy and yet… something stops me going to see it.

I miss seeing friends for coffee and yet I haven’t invited anyone out for coffee since the pandemic hit.

I miss seeing my friends… and yet with the exception of seeing my ex-wife and our son (when he’s home) and visiting my closest friends who were my social bubble when such things existed… I haven’t.

Things aren’t back to normal, not even close. ‘Back to normal’ isn’t even viewable through the Hubble Space Telescope.

And the longer it goes on, the stronger the feeling hits me, and hurts me, that it really, really should be.

See you tomorrow, with… something else.



Fifty-seven more days. Fifty-seven more posts. One fifty-seventh birthday just had.

I’m trying something new with this run. I’ve signed up to ko-fi.com, so if you fancy throwing me a couple of dollars every so often, to keep me in a caffeine-fuelled typing mood, feel free. I’m on https://ko-fi.com/budgiehypoth

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting up from my fifty-seventh birthday on 17th August 2021. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here. (And you can see the posts in the run counting down to the birthday here.)

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