There is a splinter of the metaverse in which a few hundred of you are thinking about what you’ll wear this evening as you head over to Newspeak House in Shoreditch to help me celebrate my sixtieth birthday (next Tue, October 6, according to Wikpedia).
It will be similar to the night we enjoyed two years ago, but bigger, taking over the whole building apart from the Fellows’ rooms with music and film and dancing and conversation and cuddles and shared spaces and a sense of being connected to the world.
It will resemble the party we had in June 1982 after graduation when we left 15 Brookside, organised by Daryl, with Chris and Mark and Judith and Julia and Katherine and about 200 other people, a disco in the basement, a barbecue in the garden and the house alive with the promise of our youthful enthusiasm. What little I recall indicates it was a night to remember…
That would have been tonight at Newspeak as my wonderful friends came together and I fell into their arms like a diva diving off a stage, hoping to be caught, that the fall will be broken.
Newspeak is a special place – I’m lucky to have visited a few times recently thanks to Ed’s consideration and care and Covid precautions – and I look forward to seeing it flourish again after these hard times like a tardigrade finding atmosphere after time in vacuum.
But here in what we laughingly call reality there’s no party.
A glass of wine with Katie on our narrowboat on the Cam.
A time to reflect as the earth heads inexorably towards the place in its orbit that marks the anniversary of my being untimely ripped from my mother’s womb at 11am on Thursday October 6 1960 in a maternity hospital in Newcastle. And while I’m at least 440bn km from where I was born, as the solar system moves 7.26 billion km a year around the galactic centre, and of course the whole galaxy is moving too, I acknowledge sidereal year as a unit of measurement and will henceforth tick the ’60 or over’ box on those forms I feel need a truthful answer.
So yes, I’m sixty. Make of it what you will because if I close my eyes then it’s this boy I see in the mirror
or maybe this one…