We’re having a friendly and frenzied final week here in the UK before heading back out to Italy. On Friday night we went to see M and G for dinner and had a fine old time. We went down the local pub which does some super food and G and M were generous as ever. Staying over is always an excuse for G and I to stay up very late but we were chatting mostly and G in particular was being quite careful with the wine. He wanted to be fresh for the prospective new gardeners turning up early the next morning for interviews etc. One cancelled and one was running late and G was not impressed despite M’s lovely breakfast. Then last night M and J invited us round for a meal. M called me in the week; his dad gene had kicked in in the last few months and he’s gotten the cooking bug too. He made us a belting italiano-anglo fusion of lasagna followed by traditional trifle. The kids (ha!) J and H joined us for dinner which was lovely – they are all grown up and doing grown up stuff which is surprising and delighting in equal measure. That little lad who came to play 5 a-side footie with us at 10 years of age now dwarfs me physically and socially. Both he and H told tales of their recent experiences which made ours seem positively trappist. Life eh…
We got home late-ish. Carol shot off to bed but I wanted to catch the Carling Cup highlights. To be honest I was struggling – two nights out in one week-end seemed tame at 17, forty years later it seems like we’d spent a month in Baccanalia. Before heading to bed myself I caught this Faith and Music programme with Sir Cliff. I can’t get away from him. It was all about his personal faith in Christianity of course, which is fine. I have a grudging respect for the guy for standing up for his beliefs against a huge amount of contra-opinion. But I just can’t stand his self-adulation, preening, weird standpoints and twatishness. He is so up himself as to be unbelievable. He was having a pop at George Harrison a few days ago for constantly playing out of tune on all the Beatles songs. I’m not sure someone who calls his brand of music Rockspell and who recorded Congratulations, Mistletoe and Wine and the Millenium Prayer should throw musical stones. He’s also talking about himself being the UPS – the ultimate pop star because he’s out-sold everyone from Elvis, via the Beatles to Oasis/Take That and yet no-one gives him credit. Get over your(little)self.
But his wacko comments apart it’s his looks and appearance which continues to absorb me the most. He’s always had probably the most perfect hair in the history of mankind; thick, lustrous and impeccably coiffeured, impossibly better even than Clint Eastwood’s in the original Dirty Harry. And he’s always dressed like a girl in tight spangly stuff, lots of leather, red/electric blue jackets with sleeves rolled up. Take a look at this (for just a few seconds – his words are hard to take):
He’s not blokey is he? Anyway last night I’m watching him and it’s a close-to-head-shot interview with him. We’ve always known that his neck skin looks like some kimono dragon whilst he’s had the hair of a 14 year old, and a whole new set of gleaming white teeth every 3 years. But it’s clear that the years are taking their toll and Cliff is definitely resorting to some reconstruction around the eyes/mouth etc. He just gone a lot Joan Rivers. Plus joy of joy, the hair is receding and thinning. It’s starting to look v Nichloas Cage-like. To be fair he has 35 years on the equally neurotic cagemaister but they are both fighting inevitability and the strain shows on their faces. Have a look at what the stress is causing:
Now you may think he looks great and this is very sour grapes from someone who has less hair than Rab C Nesbitt. But I know those tell tale signs and this guy is struggling to hang onto hair dignity. What do I care? Not a frigging jot. I’m just delighted to be honest to witness Peter Perfect’s slow decline as that hairline slowly recedes back. And I shall be watching with increasing glee as the botox is fed in at an equally fast rate to keep the facial stuff all looking trim. He can’t stop now. He cannot let/allow himself to grow old as nature wants him too because, after all, he is the Peter Pan of Pop. Huh.
You’re a self-absorbed, vain, little mannequin and you seem to lack the ability to love anybody but yourself. Growing old is going to be be very hard on you. I look at my friends and we’ve piled on some pounds, lost some/all hair (what’s left has gone grey), added some lines, seen tummies expand and boobs sag a little, experienced creaking joints and increasing lack of stamina. But you know what? We act our ages and look good on it. The sexiest women I know are all over 45 and the most engaging men about the same if not older. Age is as much about how much life you exude as how much you’re had. Fortunately our good friends are full of life and they all look 30 to me and always will.