Yesterday I turned 24 years old; no longer can I parade around as a young man in my early twenties but as a gentleman in the mid-twenties. Usually I think of the age I turn as just being a number but this time it feels different, it feels like I should be somewhere important by this point in my life but enough of the deep thoughts for now, they are for later on in the blog. First I shall regale you with the Quad-tacular of events that was my 24th Birthday.
Part 1: The Drinks
Friday 11th February came about and due to my astute lack of any real planning we ended up in the Cock Tavern off Oxford Street. It is a wonderful pub complete with humorous name, reasonably priced drinks and is in close proximity to numerous trendy London establishments but it is not ideal as a venue to meet a large number of people as the capacity of the entire bar is about 12. Nevertheless after a good while hovering we grabbed ourselves some seats and slowly began to take over the establishment one chair at a time. We drank there telling stories of past times until eventually we decided to move on to the Roxy bar. Roxy bar was a mere ten minute walk down the road and provided us with much merriment into the wee hours. The music was described on the fliers as pop/disco but in truth it was far more wide ranging incorporating everything from Madonna to toots & the maytals with a bit of pendulum thrown in for good measure. I left the club reasonably early which in hindsight was a great idea as it meant I wouldn't be too hung-over for the next day. So it was to be a night bus home and then to sleep.
Part 2: The Go-Karts
Saturday 12th February I woke up surprisingly chipper considering the number of Jagerbombs amongst other drinks I had had the night before, said bon voyage to my guests and set of to Surbiton Raceway. As a group we had said that we should do GoKarting as we had enjoyed it so whilst stagging it up in the East end of the continent. The prices weren't pretty to say the least but I for one had a great time. 45 minutes of pedal to the metal thrills, well apart from Ross who I can only assume couldn't reach the pedals as he pondered around the track at what seemed like half the speed of everyone else. Saying this he didn't come last, in a race decided by track position slow and steady didn't quite win the race but it did mean that the serial crashers Blondie and Tate finished behind him. I finished comfortably in mid-table despite my fairly meager lap-times but was no where near the leading pack; both Tom and Mike were miles ahead of everyone else with Tom just pipping Mike to win by 6 seconds. A successful outing indeed.
Part 3: The Gig
On the very same evening I went out to a gig in Camden, I knew very well that this was not going to be one for the masses but I did enjoy the company of Ross as well as my little sister. We arrived at the barfly just as the 1st band was starting, perfect timing you might think? You'd be wrong what we thought were the first band were in fact the second but considering I only knew one of the 4 bands on show I wasn't particularly distressed. Hooded Fang took to the stage, a Canadian grunge-rock outfit who apart from the odd computerised noises sounded like they could have been dragged straight out of the early 90s. This isn't to say that they were bad; I enjoyed their first number a lot despite the lead singer forgetting the words half way through. As the set wore on and the clichés carried on I did grow tired of the performance though and wasn't upset when they got off stage. A short interlude ensued before the next bad appeared, first a long, greasy haired man with extremely thick glasses, then a podgy bassist with a permanent grin and nirvana hoody, shortly followed by a very young looking drummer; I was assuming more of the same. Then the lead singer came on, a man with a dirty green puffer jacket and matching beanie came on and started shouting and hollering over some distorted guitars. Usually that is the kind of thing that I would hate but the 'cleverly' named Eagulls had something about them that I quite liked, even if I couldn't put my finger on what it was. I won't lie; my enjoyment of the set definitely wasn't hindered by the overly aggressive dwarf who barged his way through the audience before grabbing the mic and proclaiming that this was the best band ever before starting a mosh pit. Needless to say he was fairly quickly removed by a bouncer who you could see had a wry smile on his face whilst asking him to leave. The final band of the evening and the act that I had wanted to see, The History of Apple Pie; I really enjoyed the performance even if it did take the lead woman a good half a song to get her voice in tune. To my knowledge the band have only released two singles, one of which they didn't play and whether this was through arrogance or just a lack of time I wasn't too disheartened as they did play my favourite song of theirs 'Science for the young' which I do highly recommend checking out. On the way home I bought some Orange and White Chocolate cookies, win!
Part 4: The Football
Tuesday 14th and the day of my actual birthday came and started with a lovely fried breakfast down the local cafe before a short stint at work. Then the excitement came Sutton United vs. Boreham Wood... Again I wasn't surprised that this wasn't a highly attended part of the celebration but I, Ross, Matt and my Uncle enjoyed Sutton playing out a 2-1 victory over the Blue Square South Mid-Tablers. The quality of the football was exactly what you would expect from teams in the 6th tier of the English league, not particularly skillful but passionate. You could see both in the opening goal as Sutton's Simon Downer swung and missed the ball in his own penalty area leading to Boreham Wood's goal which was a beautiful chip over the Sutton keeper, Sutton's number 5 could be seen shortly after with his head in his hands sitting on the pitch. Just before half time though out of nowhere Craig Dundas took a shot from outside the area which skimmed across the pitch into the bottom corner of Boreham Wood's goal, leveling the tie. It stayed like that until about 10 minutes from the end of the match when a mistake from the Boreham Wood keeper put the ball at the feet of Harry Beautyman who took advantage and slotted the ball into the top corner and provided the mighty U's with the victory. Then that was it, the end of the match and near as damn it the end of my birthday for another year. A massive thank you to all who took part in it in some way or another as I enjoyed it all thoroughly.
Now as promised at the start I shall go into the reasons that turning 24 genuinely feels different from the average birthday because lets face it I only write a blog once in a blue moon so I should probably get as much into this one as humanly possible.
The most notable factor of my increasing age at the moment is that sudden decision of just about every couple I know moving in together. In 2011 I was lucky enough to be invited to two of my friend’s weddings which were wonderful and scary events, wonderful in that I had a great time at both, scary in that I was seeing these people that I had grown up with taking a massive leap into REAL adulthood. Now in what seems like the last two or three weeks I have found out about another 3 sets of couples who are moving in together. At this point in time I don't see myself being any closer to moving away from home than I was the day I came home from the hospital screaming in my mother's arms. Maybe if I hadn't been stupid last year I may have been in a similar position to my friends but I was and that is just something that I have had to come to terms with. Nevertheless it does feel a little like I am being left behind in youth whilst everyone around me is turning into these "real", grown-up people.
Saying that this week I have put my application in for the CQF (Formerly GNVQ) level 3 in care. This effectively moves what I am doing at the moment from just a job to a potential career. Due to my intelligence and charm I have been able to avoid doing levels 1 and 2 and have moved straight up to level 3 which potentially will allow me to move up to become a manager or equivalent within the next year or so. I would still like to involve politics in my life at some point as it is still something I am very passionate about although now I think I will probably use that passion to campaign for the rights of people with disabilities rather than just go into the ugly world of party politics.
And finally and less importantly I know too many people my age and younger who are becoming successful in the music business making me realise that the chances are I probably never will be a rock star considering my music career to date is a couple of demos about socks and farm animals written with my sister. Don't get me wrong I am very proud of "Sock Puppets" and "Farmhouse Fury" and if you look for them hard enough, they are there to be heard out there on the interweb but they aren't a patch on the quality on the recordings of people like Clement Marfo & the Frontline or DRAPER. Clement was in my class at school and has now been named in a number of the 'next big thing for 2012' lists and he has been collaborating with the likes of Kano who has been at the top of the game for a good number of years. DRAPER, as the name might suggest is a relative of mine, my little cousin in fact and he has been signed up by Drop Dead (A label owned by Bring me the Horizon front man Oli Sykes). His music falls into dubstep or 'liquidstep' as he has labeled it. His EP just came out and he's been played on radio 1 and all sorts. I am massively jealous.
Anyway I think that really is it. Cheers for reading. END