So, that's it. I am officially Old. Not because I have reached yet another significant birthday. God no, I only made 40 two years ago thankyou very much, I'm in no hurry to reach - sudden sharp intake of breath - fi.. fiff... .
I can't even bring myself to write it, let alone say it.
Although of course by the time I do get to fi... my half cen... (there's no pretty way to say forty-ten, is there?) it will no doubt be the new 40. Or, if I'm lucky, have won the lottery, and am fortunate enough to live somewhere with continual soft-focus lighting, the new 38...
Anyway... I am suddenly aware of the winds of time because my darling Husband and I went to a concert on Friday night. And not just any old concert, oh no. The ULTIMATE concert. The concert, that if you were a concert, you would just be desperate to be, because this gig was just the coolest kid in school, the Usain Bolt amongst runners, the topmost peak of Everest of concerts.
Me, Husband, and 87,998 others all packed into the new and swanky Wembly Stadium for a night of worship at the feet of one of the ultimate rock and roll bands of the last 20 years. And it was fabulous. Everyone I told we were going to or had been to this gig said something along the lines of 'Oh, and I hear the set and the lighting is/was amazing!' And yes, I suppose that it was. Well, if you're going to entertain close to 90,000 people at a minimum ticket price of £85 per head (you do the maths, it makes my head spin), you better be sure that it's going to look good - and it did. It was - amazing.
But that wasn't what blew me away. I'm not what you call a die-hard U2 fan, by the way. This is the first time I've seen them live (if you discount the time we saw Bono and the Edge sinking a couple of drinks at Pastis in the meatpackers district in New York a couple of years back, that is. I developed a crick in my neck trying to look as if I wasn't looking when I was, in fact, clearly and obviously looking...) No, what blew me away was the fact that listening to Bono and his mates rock the joint, practically every single song they played could form part of a soundtrack of my adult life. I caught myself filling up more than once as the memories flooded back. Add to that the fact that the words of their songs seemed so much clearer and more impactful live, and still relevant even after 20 years (I'm thinking particularly of Sunday, Bloody Sunday here), and it's a pretty powerful cocktail. I'm sure I wasn't the only one blinking back the tears.
There had to be a drawback, of course. I remember that, even around 15 years ago at the tender age of 27 at a Simple Minds gig, I was shocked by how old it made me feel when, at the moment the main event arrived on stage half the audience - myself included - reached into their pockets and put on their specs.
In these days of laser eye surgery and contact lenses of course that didn't happen this time, but the evidence of aging was irrefutable; the audience (at least around us) seemed to be composed mainly of chino-clad middle-aged bankers, accountants and surveyors punching the air whilst doing slightly tipsy dad-dancing as wildly as it was possible to in light of the fact that there was a perilous drop between them and the stage 200 feet below. ('And you can't be too careful' as I heard one say to another...). I tried to ignore the fact that to call the audience 'edgy' would have been as far from true as calling my consumption of chocolate 'minimal' or the summer weather in the UK 'reliable', but when Bono pointed out that the band were way older than the stadium I'm not sure there were many wannabe youngsters there who thanked him for it.
Still, it was outstanding. I wouldn't have missed it for the world. And I might be getting older than I like to accept, but even I have to agree that there are benefits to not being wet behind the ears when you go to a gig nowadays.
At least I was wearing comfortable shoes. And I'd remembered to leave my slippers out ready for when I got home.
Rock and roll, baby. Rock and roll.