Thursday, 20 May 2010

How can I be older than a Prime Minister?????

The phrase 'you know you're getting old when....' has been applied at the start of many jokes.
Among them are:

  • Your back goes out more than you do.
    It takes twice as long to look half as good.
    Your asleep but others worry that you may be dead.
Personally my favourite end to that particular line came from Scottish comedian Billy Connolly who said that you really know when you are getting old when you drop something on the floor and you make a noise when you start picking it up again.

Just try it - you'll see.

For me, however, I really, really knew I was getting old last week when I saw David Cameron enter the famous black door of 10, Downing Street.

For this was the first time that a Prime Minister - yes, a Prime Minister - was younger than I am.

How can this be I wondered? (I'm probably wondering it in the pic above actually...)
I still regard myself as a young man (well, mid-40s is still a bit young, isn't it?) so how come while I'm sitting here writing this, a man younger than me literally has his finger on the nuclear button?

Where did all those years go?
The thing about age is that it really does creep up on you unexpectedly and it jolts you when something that seems quite fresh in your mind is now regarded as 'nostalgia'

Take this week. The BBC has been showing a number of dramas about the 1980s and I particularly enjoyed the somewhat shocking but riveting account of the rise and fall of Boy George in the film Worried About The Boy on Sunday night.

To me this all seemed as it if was practically yesterday. The sound track of the early 1980s music sounded pretty contemporary even today, the apparently outlandish New Romantic fashions seemed pretty run-of-the-mill now and I knew many of the characters featured in the film because I had grown up with them. And yet this 'recent event' in my mind all took place nearly 30 years ago.

Yes, it was nearly three decades ago that Boy George first appeared on our screen on Top Of The Pops. I can still picture where I was when I first saw him and silently asked the question millions of us were thinking that night: 'Is that a girl or what?'

Of course, people say that you are only as old as you feel and I think there is something in that. In our paper we often write about people in their 60s, 70s or 80s who do athletic endeavours that would have frightened me ten years ago, and equally I'm sure we are all aware of what I would call 'young fogeys' - people who are worried about adult issues far, far too many years before they should.

So, I do hope that our new Prime Minister (and his fresh-faced deputy who is also depressingly the same tender age) have that vital mixture of youthful energy with a mature edge which should characterise their age to get them through.

I still think it seems incredibly young to be doing a 'proper' job like that though. Or should I just accept that I am older than I think I am?

Pass the Horlicks.


Paul Linford said...

Yes, I've been grappling with this question as well Sam.

ChrisCross said...

Sam, I always think of you as being young and blonde. Don't shatter the illusion, or I may realise how old I really am.