View Full Version : Getting on a bit...

24-09-2008, 10:13 PM
I'm 50 soon, and I can't believe it.

I'm not frightened, or anything, but it is hard to account for the passing of lots of years.

I guess adult life started at University, and I've spent it in full-time employment in education and with my wife of 25+ years have raised two sons I'm proud of.

I'm proud that they have independent ways of thinking. They're not 'alternative', but they take no conventional bullshit if it doesn't suit them, and that's how I wanted it to be.

My friends are mostly semi-pro and pro musicians - the best that my manor in Kent has produced imho - and they are mostly in their 30's. This causes no problems. We just get on because of our interests.

I know when I look at myself sniffing drawings of high-heeled shoes in my cabin that I look my age. Sometimes I look a lot younger, and then in the next shot I'm a 50 year old.

I think life has been great since my mid 30's. That is the typical time a man discovers cigars, I have read. I think adolescence in a boarding school could have ballsed me up good and proper, but I now find I laugh at it.

And, in fact, laughter is my default. If I get too serious, I suffer the glums, so I try to keep busy and happy.

I see my Dad in that way you think won't happen to you. I see him in my features when I shave. When my 16 year old comes into the living room, I see myself in the boarding school that nearly ballsed me up.

My dreams - unfulfilled - would be to spend time in Australia, and to spend time also in the south of France overlooking the Mediterranean. In a garden in the shade with a supply of beautiful cigars.

It's funny to think that retirement is not that far away now, and teaching gets harder every year. Not because of classroom management issues, but because of the utter crap that is dropped on schools by the government. Everything is made to be harder. I'm driving a party of schoolkids 15 miles to Dover Cruise Terminal for a Work Experience jamboree next month and I have more than 50 Health and Safety forms to fill out. It's ludicrous - but that reflects what the 'accountability' of teaching has become.

I'm in good physical health. I am a bit overweight. I feel no bad effects from smoking cigars. No chest wheezes. I feel the good things, the uplift, that people on here testify to through the Havana leaf.

I'm too old to change profession. I've been promoted within the place I work recently. I have a good salary for a teacher because I have time on the clock and responsibility cash.

I don't want to be overburdened by the day job to the extent that it would stop me having a wonderfully fulfilled musical life with my band. We are seven brothers in the band, really. We look out for each other beyond the gigs. I get excitement and pleasure from music, even at 49. The thing is it has taken a long journey to be in a band where I'm so happy. There has always been at least one waster, one goon, one tone-deaf member, one nutter who thought he/she was a Hollywood starlet, before now in other bands.

That's all gone now. We can all play well and love it. It feels great.

That's some of my DNA.

How do other people feel about their lot at their age?
Are you essentially happy?

24-09-2008, 10:46 PM
Good people, good times, good cigars... anything you can name to fit in with your personalization of that list is what makes it all worthwhile. You are lucky, Bryan, to have found musicians that share the passion. I am an example of a muso who has lost nearly all connection to the music world because everyone that I knew in the industry has grown so distant during the last few years as I have pursued a teaching career, that I could not imagine what they would think if I tried to reconnect in music. I have a few friends who play, but they're not serious. Mostly I record now.

Maybe we can record together sometime using the internet to transmit tracks to one another? Sounds strange, but it could be fun. We could be the first "international" recording duo :D:D:D

24-09-2008, 10:46 PM
Well said bry,it would take me ages to write down all the things i could say about me as i feel just like you,the years starting to creep up fast.im not the best typest the worlds ever known but i seem to get by on this computer ,as sometimes the bloody keys dont seem to work,,,blimmin my youngest with a can of pop which he gladly spilt on here.Ive done so much in the 43yrs of being on this planet,i left school early so i could start working and went straight into engineering,ive had so many different types of jobs as at the time they were just stepping stones to a much more promissing career.i had a brill childhood of which we always seem to muddle through everything life chucked at us,ive been in and out of bands,ive worked in loads of nite clubs,had my own disco/karaoke,bought and sold so many cars that ive lost count of,worked in hospital radio into recording studios on mixing desks,helped my daughter find her feet into music and set her off into the big world of music.Trouble is its all creeping up so fast and i dont wanna get old,it worries me a bit as i feel theres still something out there i havent done yet,we all wanted to make it big and had so many dreams that one day i might get noticed and taken serious,but it hasnt happed yet as i feel i left that part behind,i think it was music.Its in my blood ,i found it gave me such a buzz ,but ive done all the lifting of PA,s up flights of stairs in narrow alley ways and rain and snow and now i have to pay for all that now as the bottom of my back is not like it used to be.its bloody worn out i think,lol.I dont think my misses would let me get back into music now as i had my warning from the doc as if i start doing all that lifting again its going to be a wheel chair for me,i told him as long as i can weld some holders on it so i can stick me cigars in um.

24-09-2008, 10:56 PM
Larry. Smokie.
Two brilliant posts.

I could say lots - but I have to say (in case it gets buried) to Larry that I have fileshared with a guy in Canada before to write some stuff. I'd love to do that sometime.

24-09-2008, 11:13 PM
Well let's do it then. I'll start right away on something and send it your way in a few weeks. If you have anything to send in the meantime by all means send it. How did you and the Canadian fileshare?

24-09-2008, 11:24 PM

25-09-2008, 08:31 AM
A serious post for a change - feel free to skip it:

Well, I share many of the feelings you guys have expressed - except music has not really played a big part in my life, I'm afraid. Interestingly, my eldest daughter is just about to start an access course in York (on Monday) that should end up with a music degree in a few years time. She's following her dream, which is something I never really did...and I'm very proud of her for that alone (and many other things of course).

I'm 51, though that seems to surprise a lot of people...physically and in outlook I'm told - I tell them I'm a late developer :D

I've brought up two daughters to adulthood. I've started a second family with a younger wife (15 years younger than me) and have two under 5 boys, and another boy on the way. Like Bry, I also went to a posh school - I won a county scholarship when I was 11. Brought up on a council housing estate, I suddenly found myself at a posh English Public School about 500 years old, 10 miles away every day on the bus, learning Latin, calling the teachers Domine, everyone wearing school gowns etc etc. LIke bloody Hogwarts! This was in the late 60's/early 70's. Most alienating experience I ever had. Suddenly all my local friends disowned me. Didn't fit in the new school either. I don't trust people easily, so it probably did balls me up. Also a single sex school and I'm pretty hetero - so when I went to Uni at 17, I tended not to concentrate too much on my studies ;)

I drifted into being an academic librarian, and made progress in it because I had to afford to bring up the family. I'd stop tomorrow if I could.

My life seems to have passed in bringing up kids...but I'm very proud of that and I think I've reached a sort of plateau in my life...still a lot to do, but I'm much more relaxed and content than I've ever been. I like to laugh...and if I don't enjoy something, I no longer feel the need to continue doing it (work excepted!). I'm a bit trapped at work - can't afford to stop, yet, though when the new kid is a bit older, I'm expecting to work less, and my wife to work more - in other words swap the earning potential around a bit. I'd still like to write... My younger daughter has started a novel already. They seem to have the oomph that I've obviously lacked.

Life is hectic with the boys...cigars help make me stop and make time for myself, and that has become increasingly important for me. I'm not frightened of growing old, because I really believe you are as old as you feel -but I do want to be around long enough to see my boys grown up, and maybe with kids of their own.

I'll stop there before I have another mid-life crisis! :D


25-09-2008, 10:09 AM
Nicely put wildie.:cowboyic9:

25-09-2008, 10:39 AM
That's quite a heartfelt post, Wild. Quite moving.

Single-sex boarding school was mine, too, though in my case it was a military school so I was taught to march, to shoot, to strip down guns from the age of eleven.

I cannot think of a worse thing than to put groups of twenty adolescent boys together in dormitories! I, too, am heterosexual, but there were close calls and skirmishes all around. This is not surprising. Infinite hours were spent Guardsman's Glossing to jazz mags because you never saw a girl or a woman. Only piano playing made me pause from French polishing. :smoke:

The people I am still in contact with are either hetero and vehemently anti-gay - or they are shining lights in Gay Sweatshop type theatre troupes.

Boarding schools can produce political and sexual nut-cases. I would never entertain putting my kids in a boarding school.

Like you, University became a Massive Attack on the form female to catch up. There was so much to learn at great speed! So little time...

I had a Cockney Dad who talked luvaduck like Mike Read. Educated in an elitist environment, I emerged a toff at 18 when I arrived at University. I took my first teaching job in Sheffield so 'hid' my posh-ish accent behind a South Yorkshire set of vowels to fit in with the kiddies. Then I started working in an impoverished area of Kent so had to assume an estuary / Albert Square accent to bond. After the runaround linguistically, I've ended up sounded closest to my Mike Read Cockney Dad! I think I sound normal, but the singer in our band calls me "the poshest man I ever met".

Must be the cigars! :cowboyic9:

I read your desire to move on, Wild, and I think of myself as a classroom teacher in a decade looking absolutely ancient.

We survive, I guess.

25-09-2008, 11:15 AM
Some deeply-thought stuff here.

I'd usually not drop the barriers for some unknowns on t'internet, but what the heck.

Was brought up on a shitty council estate for first few years, where upon my mother met someone living in a much nicer town and we moved - though I still went to school in my home town. I have the background of both worlds, one a bit better than the other. Not until Uni did I wake up and smell the world, before that, I don't think I really had awareness of much around me.

I'm 29, feeling very old now. Mid-life crisis has kinda kicked in. Don't know whether to stick around here, single, living life for the sake of the next day, or move on and possibly never settle.

I don't have too much faith in humanity as a whole. 99% of people I meet are vapid, vacuous, ego-centric idiots, and that depresses me more than anything else in life.

I've been lucky and I've done well for myself, but I'm never happy with my lot. The grass is always greener, yet the next field seems impossibly out of reach.

Not sure of my next move, but life is boring enough that something needs changing, before I get too old or settled in my ways to bother!

The black eyed doggy barks a lot, I'm afraid.

But I find the odd cigar keeps him at bay :41:

25-09-2008, 11:48 AM
Well said Dean, if your not happy with your life then try & change it, your not tied down with children or wife so whatever you want to do or have thoughts of doing, Just do it, your only have one shot at this world, so go for what you want, as the old saying goes your a long time dead.

I have done alot in my life up to now & have tried different things have done alot of travelling & lived in spain for over 3 years.
I have allways wanted to live abroad & i did, i have been back 2 years & no doubt in a few years will definately go back & live abroad.

Its only by trying & experiencing different things in life that you will know what you want to do.


25-09-2008, 01:23 PM
My Moto Deano if your interested is:-

'I'd rather regret things I have done, than regret things I hav'nt done'



25-09-2008, 05:36 PM
The Black Dog left me washed up about twelve years ago.

Part of the recovery process (yes - psychobabble, I know) was to make a list of things that I value most in life and to hold on to my belief in the good they do me, and others.

I had to identify my sources of stress and diminish their hold. I was being far too conscientious in my day job and it was killing me. I now REFUSE work stress and have realised that paperwork and other folks' work demands have to wait sometimes while I enjoy my life, my family and my music.

The other thing was to exploit three or more primary life-affirming pleasures and put them into frequest practice. I've alluded to this on here before.

Mine are to approach each of the following inventively:
Sex - Get satisfaction daily one way or another
Music - Listen deeply to it, and play it as well as possible as an active performing musician
Cigars - Relish them frequently and learn as much as possible about them

I now practise what I preach. I am still a very conscientious man, but by saying no firmly when there is too much on my plate, I keep the Black Dog off my radar completely.

I believe depression is inherited. My mother was crippled by by it and took to her bed, to prescription drugs and to the bottle to escape - and ruined the lives of others in the process.

I reject all the media pushes about the dangers of smoking, and the occasional concerned moans from friends and family. (I know it's bad for me, but I do it in moderation - and I don't drink much because alcohol disagrees with me).

I know myself very well now, and I know the uplift and pleasure I get from smoking good cigars applies to my make-up and will often be quite alien and incomprehensible to other non-smoking people.

In short, by knowing myself better now, I do exactly what I want to do without harming others - and I do it with a certain passion!

I'm using the avatar you see here on Facebook as a way of saying...

Up Yours! I've Arrived! :biggrin1:
(This is new for me, and partly because a number of you amusing stogie compadres on this site!).

And - incidentally - I spend most of my off-duty hours in a fantastic cowboy hat! :cowboyic9:

25-09-2008, 06:14 PM
Indeed, I agree it can be inherited, a number of my family through both parents suffer from it one way or another.

I'm not sure what loves I have to utilise in the way you subscribe to. Music is inherently a great love of mine, but the music I listen to doesn't necessarily help! Nor can I play any instrument - though I've got 2 guitars lol...

I need someone to teach me tbh. I'm used to picking up things easily, but that defeats me.

I think I'll start wearing a poncho. Noone can be unhappy in a poncho.

25-09-2008, 07:08 PM
It'll suit you, love. :tongue:

When I was down, I couldn't bear to hear any music at all. No CDs. No radio. No TV. The house was effectively silenced for about six months.

It's so ironic because I have perfect pitch and can understand and play standard Western pop/rock/funk tunes back to people immediately on first hearing. If we are requested to play a song out of the blue, we usually run with it if I know it because I can get through it, and transposing isn't a problem in this process.

When we practise and someone has a suggestion for a song, they put the iPod on and I write down the chord sequences etc onto a piece of paper there and then and hand it to the band. Not just Mickey Mouse stuff. Complex arrangements.

Between us, I'm the shittest player in the band, so I help keep my place by doing this transcription service, looking after everything online and ironing all the guys' trousers.

The professionals said this acute understanding of musical form was probably why I had to shut my hearing down and rest.

Whoops! Is this a cigar website or a therapy shack?

Actually I don't mind expressing like this on here at all!

25-09-2008, 08:29 PM
I think you play really good bry mate,ive tried playing acoustic but all the hard work my hands have done over the years my fingers seem too big to run across the frets,im ok on chords but cant get my head around to actualy making a song out of it.Now and again i do dig the guitar out and annoy everyone,:rock:,we do have a keyboard here of which i would like to play also but again never taught to play,think i will just stick to drums and just pee the neighbours off anyway.:eviltongue::41:/PS,i enjoyed chatting with ya mate on the phone,bit of a shock as i wondered who the hell you were and so did the misses,lol.Anyway must have a chat again mate very soon and i had to have a cup of tea mate as i was gaspin and this misses was on the nagg for one too so she could have one with her woodbine.

25-09-2008, 08:36 PM
I think i might look into getting lessons for the sax, i have allways wanted to play the saxaphone since i was in my early teens.:849:

25-09-2008, 08:43 PM
Yeah i agree with you there,such a lovely instrument.all shiny.:41:

25-09-2008, 11:03 PM
Indeed smokie, just love the sound a sax makes. :cool:

26-09-2008, 06:37 AM
Our sax player is a cool blower. He works at a local Yamaha School as a sax/woodwind tutor. He got me a deal last Christmas - as I am a would-be sax fiend, too - and I paid ?90 to hire a good alto sax for three months over Christmas as a gift from my in-laws. I had the option to buy the sax at the end by paying about ?400 more, or to return it. Because I am a mate of several teachers there, and buy stuff for my own school there, they chucked in music books, audio-visual tuition stuff, extrea reeds and good straps.

Needless to say, it was a pig to play, and it's all about the mouth position, or embouchure. I trained myself to play about three simple melody lines, but because I didn't work at it like a dog, I forgot what I'd learnt previously.

I wanted to be The Brecker Brothers in five minutes, and it takes a hell of a lot longer to play the sax than that!

It was great fun, but I didn't persist.
Got some nice snaps tho in a timid way.

<a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h304/elton1984/SAXCROPPED-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

At 4.00pm I have a private gig singing and playing to a birthday party for three 70 year olds. More later.