I’ve been thinking a lot about ageing lately and what the next move will be. If I’ve got 15-20 years of working life left what and where do I want that to be?
I think what spurred this was recent pictures of Madonna – not normally one for gossip mags and celebrity privacy invasion I was shocked by how old she looked at the Venice Film Festival – she is still beautiful, but she looked like an older woman.
If she’s that old, and looks that old – what does that mean for me!
And then suddenly I caught recent pics of Robert Smith, Morrisey and Annie Lennox – all looking wrinkled and post middle aged. Doing the math on seminal albums – Ziggy is 39, The Smiths, ‘The Smiths’ is 27, The Stone Roses self titled album is 22 and Madonna’s Holiday is 28! I’m starting to feel my 44 years.
I’ve had a hard couple of weeks stressing about what next. The promise of a full-time contract seems illusive and I certainly can’t bank on it so Pete’s having a big think. What next? The options are broad – to stay or go, to teach or not to teach. No decision has to made yet and for the first time I have the luxury of having the time to carefully consider the next move – so I’m sending out feelers, making lists, meditating and reminding myself that I have many many skills that are not currently being utilised. I will have a contract until mid Jan and three weeks in Perth in November – plenty of time to ponder. One option is winning as I sift through the possibilities but the jury is not out.
Here is okay – the weather has turned and it’s getting cooler – days of 40, nights of high 20’s. The other day I actually saw fluffy clouds! I spent last night sitting outside by the water and it was lovely – there is talk of camping trips and swimming is even starting to be refreshing – my skin prickled with cold for the first time in months when I got out of the water yesterday. As I left the house last night to go for a drink I felt like I was missing something – then I realised that I didn’t have to take a cardigan, or coat, or hats, scarves and gloves – this I like. I am listening to UK broadcasts of autumn chills and being slightly smug – but then you have world class culture – I have sunshine and sand so it’s possible a fair exchange.
Had a great morning in the souks – bartering for gold and knick knacks for the trip home – I can spend hours there, I especially like it of a late morning as it’s almost empty and the stalls gradually close for midday leaving you wandering the labyrinth of lanes on your own in the lovely coolness.
Doha is full again and the roads are pandemonium with impatient Arabs and new expats – I have seen carnage each time I have been on the roads for the past week – I had a small prang when a tosser in a Land Cruiser decided to tailgate at a stupid speed – I’m onto my third hire car in four months (I was fine, it was a tiny dent and a broken brake light). I’m very nervous about driving at night – see I am middle aged – but it is very dangerous out there – many people don’t indicate (I don’t think all cars have them – it’s an optional extra) and they will cut across three lanes or weave in and out of traffic like they are in a play station game – it’s scary shit!
Lovely Carla has been up to tricks. A young Qatari woman came to look at her, wanting a cuddly cat, and Carla – being self assured put up with four or five timid pats before sinking her teeth in – the girl screamed and then wouldn’t go near her – I found out later that she was the Emir’s grand-daughter – oops! Carla bit the princess!