Just over a week ago, I turned 50. I would’ve posted this on or nearer my birthday, but I suffer from such an acute case of time poverty, Sting is thinking of organising a benefit concert for me (‘Make Some Time For Steve K’ is the provisional title) – you see, once my special day had passed, the 50th Party Army assembled to create my birthday bash. Once that was over and the medics had treated the wounded (or hungover as you civilians say) I had one more mission to complete. Yes, Mrs K’s birthday. Being five days after mine, I had to make sure her birthday was special and not too overshadowed by my birthday extravaganza. Unfortunately, everything went a bit fubar, and it wasn’t quite the celebration for my lovely wife that I had planned. However, I am now nailed to the wall in the garage, wearing a hairshirt, occasionally thrashing myself with a thorn bush, which has given her some comfort. And that’s why I havn’t posted this until now – phew!
So, what did I get for my birthday? Everything, dahlinks, everything!! (*chink of Champagne glasses*) My brother-in-law bought me a mountain of comics/graphic novels, my mother-in-law bought me Beatles Rock Band and my boss Mat bought me the most bonkers Batman dressing gown that has to be seen to be believed. My other friends and relatives showered me with a whole slew of amazing presents and vouchers (including some extra special ones from the Apple Store – thank you, you know who you are) and nobody bought me any socks, hooray!! And of course, Mrs K landed a helicopter on the lawn groaning with golden goodies, of which I will still be thanking her for when I’m sixty.
My birthday itself was lovely, although I should’ve taken the day off, but it was great to spend it with my colleagues in the Virgin Money Studio. And in the afternoon everyone in Marketing gathered around me and presented me with a bottle of Champagne, a new Apple Magic Mouse and a brilliant birthday card created by Big Paul. At night, back at Kirkendall Towers, we ate Toad-In-The-Hole accompanied by industrial quantities of Rioja with Dave and Gill, my Vancouver-based Aunt and Uncle who had come all the way over to Blighty for my 50th birthday party.
Ah yes, the party! It was one of the most raviest of rave ups I have ever been to – I was so touched because people had made the effort to come from far and wide to be there and it was great to see them all. Especially some of the Boston, Lincolnshire contingent, who had driven west to Telford, Shropshire for a funeral that afternoon, before heading all the way back east to Norwich for my party in the evening – amazing! And what an evening – everyone feasted on the fab food from Clive, danced to Barry T on the decks and got sloshed at the bring-your-own-booze bar. I think though, it’s fair to say that the highlight of the evening was the short set played by the best band in Virgin Money’s Marketing department, The Marketing-Tings (or Marketing-Ting-Tings, depending on who you were talking to) of whom I am the bass player. And the highlight for me was when my ten-year-old Number One Son joined us on stage for a rip-roaring verson of ‘500 Miles’ – he played beautifully, singing away, lost in the music. Andy, his guitar teacher was there and he said he’d played a blinder. Magic.
So how does it feel to finally leave any pretence of youth behind? OK, actually. I’m busier now than I have ever been (hence the time poverty) with lots of plans for the future. There are musical instruments to be mastered, programming languages to be learnt, drawings to be drawn, comics to be read and lots of fun to be had. And I’ll let you know how I get on with all of that right here, dear reader.