Monday, 7 October 2019

Too old to rock’n’roll?

Richard Hawley on stage playing a guitar.

Last night I went to my first proper gig since I can’t remember when. The first one in a rock venue and not an arts centre or upstairs in a pub. I didn’t know if I’d still like it.

Sunday, 6 October 2019


Bleak North Kent seascape, with breakwaters and a sea wall.

My next door neighbour’s just had another birthday. She’s 102. I worked out she was actually alive before the end of the first World War. That’s a bit mind-boggling.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Dying Matters – funeral costs, and things I wish I'd done differently

Poster with quote from Lemony Snicket: "If we wait until we're ready, we'll be waiting for the rest of our lives."
Coffins are like wine in restaurants. Everyone buys the second-cheapest.

It’s Dying Matters Awareness Week – the idea is to get people talking about the things we don’t usually talk about – and today’s theme is “funeral costs”.

This is something I know about, as I was involved in arranging two funerals last year.

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Books and booze and rock’n’roll

Viv Albertine at Walthamstow Rock'n'Roll Book Club
Photo by Andy Pidge

Last week I went to see Viv Albertine at the Walthamstow Rock’n’Roll Book Club. Everyone should have a rock’n’roll book club. It’s a brilliant idea and I wish there was one where I live. But luckily I have a friend in Walthamstow and she invited me along.

The club is (usually) in an old cinema, which feels like a suitably rock’n’roll venue. A bit vintage, a bit shabby, hanging on to some glamour. (Aren't we all?) The central ticket booth is now a cocktail bar, which I thought was pretty cool.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

2018: the year I became a grownup

2018 was the year I finally started to feel like a grownup.

Early in the year, I turned 60. I grumbled a bit at the lack of state pension and I bought myself a “senior railcard”, which I loved and was strangely proud of: it felt like a rite of passage. That wasn’t what made me feel like a grown-up, though.

I didn’t realise how momentous the year was going to be. How much my life was going to change. How much I was going to change.