Aug 13, 2023


I'm 50 years old today. The full Five Oh. In da club with 50 Cent. 50 wheels on my wagon.

I don't really know how I got here. I started this blog when I was 31. And now here I am, on a diet of coal dust and zimmer frames. I remember when this was all fields.

I'm super grateful to reach this landmark. It is, of course, completely arbitrary. I might as well measure my life in shapes or whisks or Aphex Twin Soundcloud tracks. Still. It's a sense of achievement, like getting your steps in or putting the bins out.

My original plans for this landmark birthday were grand. Go clubbing. Ride on a pleasure cruise. Launch a rocket and punch Jupiter in the face. But I scaled down my ambitions. I've had to make do with drinks with friends, which has been a whole bucket of lovely. Friends are great, aren't they.

Can I derive any special meaning from having my 50th today? Probably not. Barbie Girl by Aqua is currently number 50 in the singles chart, an unwelcome revival prompted by the (very good) Barbie movie. At number 50 in the current albums chart is Legend, the greatest hits compilation by Bob Marley and the Wailers. This all seems suitably old school for an old guy.

How about the number 50 in terms of Warp Records catalogue numbers? WAP50 is the woozy space jam Wilmot by Sabres of Paradise. That'll do nicely. The track is drunken and lazy and atmospheric and giddy, and I shall wish for no better a metaphor.

Orbital's fiftieth album track, if you line up their studio albums on Discogs then do a rough count that might be wrong, is the Ian Drury-sampling bovver boy techno stomp Oi! Maybe that should set my attitude for the next ten years. Lots of stomping. Shouting "hit me!" a lot. Kick up a bit of trouble.

Earlier this year, Fifty Fifty became the first female K-pop band to score a top ten single in the UK. Cupid is a sickly-sweet slice of Spice Girls-lite pop that, I think, I've heard knocking about TikTok somewhere. I like this much less than the Orbital and Sabres thing. Forget I ever mentioned this.

I feel optimistic about my fifties. Partly because I came through a lot to get here, and I'm grateful for being on planet Earth. And also partly because I have an empty brain and I am easily amused, like a puppy or a jellyfish or Ken from the Barbie film.

Enough waffle about being 50. I've got a pub to go to. I'm going to have 50 pints and them I'm going to have 50 cakes and then I'm going to go to 50 more pubs, because I will double down on this 50 theme until I'm 50 feet under.

Further Fats: Because / a melon / only slightly: birthday thoughts (2012)

Further Fats: Five starring roles in the video for Aphex Twin's On (2018)

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