Area 51

It’s a curious thing writing a blog that practically nobody reads – a bit like a written karaoke performance with WordPress as the autocue machine and you making up the words to the piece as you go along – to an audience of well, nobody. That’s just as well though – I’ve had the misfortune of sitting in on a karaoke session on board a ship to Sweden and with the exception of a few well versed players with a good tune, the rest simply murdered their performances and, I might add, the audience’s ears too.

If you do happen to be listening to my latest rendition though, my inspiration is that today I turned 51 (hence the title) and have entered that ring fenced patch of desert between here and the hinterland of 60. I can recall my 40th as well thinking at the time that it was nothing – after all chronology tells nothing of the spirit of a person but a decade later, I can confess that old age is no longer an alien concept and the ‘shit’s getting real’. Pretty soon I will be able to shuffle up to it and kick the tires with a slipper clad foot.

At this age, you tend to be a combination of introspective and retrospective. You have enough collective experience to view new concepts and ideas against it and reflect and, without recourse to nostalgia (not what it used to be) you can also track back over the events of your life. Following the musical analogy and tuning into nostalgia, I could say that it has the substance of a vinyl pressing – all the tracks in their right order, recorded as was, an A side and a B side with good tracks and bad and maybe some tasty images to dwell upon. In that sense, I feel sorry for the digital generation who have nothing much to hold on to but nebulous clouds (not that I yearn for a return to vinyl by the way).

Over in Japan, the oldest living lady also celebrates her birthday today also – age 117 http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/05/life-short-worlds-oldest-person-misao-okawa-117 and her observation at that advanced age is that ‘life is short’. That’s a pretty concise description of life and its contents but I suppose, at that age, you’ve mostly said your piece and don’t want to waste words.

But if life is short, it is also long enough and here’s the point – without any assurance of an afterlife whether in another dimension or through reincarnation, we owe it to ourselves to revel in our days. At the same time, we should be fulfilling our duty to help others while we are here and hopefully leave this world a better place. I’m not planning on checking out any time soon and I think the key to that is staying curious and using that big brain evolution endowed us with.

Short of a complete global meltdown or the arrival of hostile extra terrestrials en masse, life on the planet goes on. May I wish you all many happy days ahead.

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