Sunday, December 17, 2006

I Grow Old...

I grow old. . . I grow old. . .
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

-- T.S. Eliot, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

Dearest Friends, today was my birthday. And though I am that little bit older, I do like to think that I will not end up as Eliot's Prufrock, embittered by and regretful of an inauthentic life of paralysis. Yes, so much has happened, and there have been many avenues, now closed, that I did not explore. And I wonder what would have happened if I had. But I look ahead, and am convinced there are still adventures as yet unhad, and opportunities to be uncovered and seized.

It was a low-key day; I spent a good deal of it up on the garage roof unblocking drains and sweeping tree litter. But Dearest Wife made for me a most fantastic chocolate-almond cake spiced with cardamom and chili. And Little Man made me a card in which he drew his first ever recognizable representation: a snowman. A low-key day, but a good one.

Do I hear you ask, "How old?" Well, here, let me give you some clues - first one to get it right gets a copy of the cake recipe.

Donovan - Hurdy-Gurdy Man (buy here)
The Beatles - Revolution (buy here)
William Shatner - Mr Tambourine Man (buy here)

I fear that this day in history is actually a bit of a musical desert. The best I can come up with is that I share a birthday with Bananarama co-founder Sara Dallin. But I am pleased to say she's several years my senior. Was that bitchy? Bop-bop-shoobee-doo-aaah...

Bananarama with Fun Boy Three - Really Saying Something (buy here)

But the real question is: do I now qualify as a dirty old man??

Thee Headcoatees - Dirty Old Man (buy here )


uncle_alex said...

happy birthday Fil!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Fil - I'd guess that you're just two months younger than me, a child of '68, and therefore certainly no dirty old man!

Anonymous said...


FiL I don't care how old you are, you are the greatest and I wish you nothing but happiness in the coming year, you deserve so much more.

Cheers to you!

-Rachel xx

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Mr Fil!

You are far too distinguished a gent to be a dirty old man. Both are a way of life not a result of age.

I know it's a day late but I'll raise a glass of something alcoholic in your general direction and toast your years past and years still to come. May they be glorious!!!

Andy said...

Happy Birthday Fil! You are far from a dirty old man. If you start to become really crepy, then all bets are off. :)

Hope your birthday was a good one!

Mentok the Mind-taker said...

Hey, is the cake prize still open? I'm noticing that no one has actually said the words thirty-eight yet. Not to detract from Crash at all...he clearly was the early bird in terms of figuring out the clues.

Happy birthday Fil! Don't believe any of these waffle answers about the 'dirty old man' are old enough, so dammit get out there and enjoy it ;-)

mjrc said...

happy natal day, mr. fil!

i think the clue is 1967, or the year these records came out, but that makes you 39, right? oooh, am i right? do i get the recipe?? ;-)

Natsthename said...

Happy, Happy Birthday
Happy, Happy Birthday
Happy, Happy Birthday
Happy, Happy Birthday
Happy, Happy Birthday
Happy, Happy Birthday
HAPPY HAPPY BIIIIIIRTHDAY! (sing it to the tune of Happy Happy Joy JOY!)

the civil servant said...

Is the year 1968 ? Which give us 38 years old ?
Am i right ?

Well a very happy birthday Fil (coming from France)


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday. Sorry it's a day late. But you can have either Clare Grogan or David Gedge sing it to you...

No cake recipe for me please....I'm already far too fat.

FiL said...

Thanks, Dearest Uncle! Maybe one year I'll get a pair of white socks... ;-)

Hi Crash! Indeed, 1968 it is!! Cake recipe will be forthcoming - and thanks for the wishes.

Dearest Rachel, many thanks! You do an aging man's heart well. But I really don't deserve anything more than the rest of you do!!

Dearest Coxon, please do feel free to use me as an excuse (if you need one) to raise a glass! And thank you for the toast.

Dearest Andy, many thanks for the wishes and vote of confidence!

Dearest Mentok: OK, you'll get the recipe as well on a technicality. It's the least I can do after Shagadelic Salmon. As for becoming a DOM, I'll see if I can't get permission from Dearest Wife - or am I going about it all wrong?? ;-)

Ooh, so close, Dearest Marcy. In fact it was 1968 they all came out. But close enough - you'll get the recipe too!

Dearest Nats, only the kids serenaded me better than that. Thank you! And if you want the recipe to, just let me know!!

FiL said...

Oh my! As I typed, more virtual greetings arrived!

Dearest TCS, t'as raison! 1968. Vivre sans temps mort - jouir sans entraves!! Veux-tu la recette?

Dear JC, can I be greedy and get both in stere-ere-ereo?? Many thanks for your wishes!

T&F@tlh said...

belate happy birthday FiL,

still not caught me up!


happy and blue 2 said...

Happy belated Birthday FiL..

A. B. Chairiet said...

Oh wow...

Happy Birthday, FiL!! :)

I hope you had the most wonderful day!

I'm so sorry this is late, and I missed it...twas right about the time I disappeared (from here and there and everywhere).


[Ash takes a deep breath, and runs behind a curtain...she reappears wearing a strangely-familiar little red dress, most notably worn by red-haired orphans and thirty EIGHT year old cross-dressers (ha!...just joking, of course)...]

"Theee Sun'll come out, tomorrow! Fil had a birthday, now he's older. But still not old!! TOooomorrow! Tomoooroow! You'll read this, tomoorrrooow! IT's only a day a-waaay!!"



If you can’t tell, I'm having a great time getting all caught up.

I hope you're well.

Again, Happy Birthday Fil!

I hope it was a wonderful day.

I hope you have a wonderful year!

You're not old, either. You're at that perfect age where everything suddenly makes a lot more sense, and you know better than to waste a single moment or chance. :)

Happy Birthday.

Your late night singing ala Annie friend...
~ Ash