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Mr Grumpy : Officially an 'Old Bastard'

By Mr Grumpy - Sun 12th May 2013

“I was thirty, and before me stood a portentous and menacing new decade...”

Ok, so I ruthlessly plagiarised the line from the opening passages of the Great Gatsby, but in my case it was true.

Upon becoming 30 I went through a mini-crisis, and was convinced that my life as I knew it was coming to an end : I chucked in my reasonably good job in the UK, sold my house and upped sticks for a new life in Spain.

I am not quite sure what my 30’s would have been like If I had stayed put in the UK – or even what I initially thought my 30’s would hold for me in Spain.

That decade will be ending next week as I stumble with gippy-knee towards my 41st year.

Despite my certainty that the next decade brings assurances of gum disease, wheelchair ramps and a suggestion of pretending to be deaf at opportune moments, I don’t really have the same sense of fear or foreboding that I had before my 30’s.

So leaving aside the oh-so-many clichés that I expect I will grow to be sick of in the coming days, I don’t really believe any of the old “life begins at 40” crap – probably in an equal quantity to that I did believe that life (as I knew it) ended at 30 – but I certainly couldn’t really care less one way or another.

What I do know is that in the coming days I fully intend to rehearse a carefully selected number of anecdotes as an old-timer, and force any oblivious and random teenager to listen to them – just as I was when I were younger.

Ok, so the traditional “I can remember when all these houses were green fields”, and the old favourite “Powdered egg” laments of the toothless old crones of my youth, are a little dated, but I have been working on some updated versions for the 21st century. Let me know if you think they might catch on :

• I can remember the C90 cassette (and how to rewind it with a pencil)

• I ‘ran the world’

• The ever present threat of the cold war, and the early warning siren (or is my memory playing tricks on me ?)

• Roger Moore was the best Bond.

• Evel Knievel. Enough said.

• Collecting Espana ’82 World cup stickers for 5p per pack.

• Forget ‘Penny Chews’ – I remember 1/2p Mojos.

• Band Aid. The proper one.

• Getting birthdays cards from elderly relatives with a single pound coin selotaped to one corner.

• Forget your Wii - I came from a generation who marvelled over Trivial Pursuit and Donkey kong.

• Frankie says Relax (It was a big deal at the time, though i’m not sure why)

• I remember “Proper Music” before Simon Cowell spoilt it for everyone.

• And yes, I can remember the original Mr Men – with Arthur Lowe.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

Comment on this Blog

If I remember rightly I think I was your age 35 years ago....I what was I going to say about your memory....darn it... I know I didn't get a card with money in fact all my cards were E mails I think.....apart from the one from my wife which was also "cash free" I wish you well Sir......keep Smiling......
Pessimistic - Sat, 27th Jul 2013
Love the blog......never mind a pound coin taped to the card, I used to get. 10 bob note !!!
Jimbo - Mon, 10th Jun 2013
I had to explain what a Phone Box was to my 5 year old daughter at the weekend. When I said it is where people used to make phone calls from in 'Ye Oldene Dayes' before Mobile phones (but largely used today as an impromptu public convenience) she just walked away shaking her head...
Mr Grumpy - Thu, 16th May 2013
Brilliant.! - Remember when you had to get up and walk to the TV to change channel? - Waiting for the Telly to 'warm up'? - Being allowed to play out ALL day and - if lucky - you were given some sarnies to take with you. - 'Shared' telephone lines. - The A & B buttons in a phonebox. ............. and so on.
David - Wed, 15th May 2013
Oh! I best cancel your surprise birthday party then !!
Jo Green - Wed, 15th May 2013

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