'The Minutiae of Me', 'The Fascinating Self', 'Me and My Hobbies', 'Who Am I', 'Why is No one Listening to Me'. All books I would avoid like the plague, even if the choice was read one of these books or listen to a fellow passengers tearful account of the difficult birth of neighbours puppies (true and that was one hell of a train journey), I would pick the puppies every time. This need to emote and aggrandise our personal lives, to turn it into public fodder is the gruesome by-product of the Me generation's obsession with themselves. The devil's spawn that is TOWIE, Made in Chelsea or God forbid, The Valley's is the media's awareness that there is a generation that proudly flaunts the twin sins of blind vanity and smug nosiness and they will happily squander hours of their lives indulging themselves because after all they're worth it! Where has this monster of over weening Vanity risen from? These primped and preened young know-it-alls impervious to their ignorance, the teflon sheen of youth, protection from any form of insight, how have we come to this?
Arrogance was always a part of growing up or is it that I've just become older, wizened and mean, jealous of the burnished gleam of youth. That's probably what it is, the problem is mine, not theirs. I find I'm now the embarrassing old man dancing like a robot more from arthritis than fashion whilst the young gods dance their arabesques, bones as supple as string. Sometimes the joints fuse, the blood coagulates, the mind buffers and almost imperceptibly habits form and you're old, dog years old, old before your time because being young is no longer an option and to be honest it's easier being old.
I suppose ironically the life room becomes a metaphor for life itself. We have the babies barely able to walk who need a helping hand, the energetic children bursting with irrepressible energy, the shy awkward teenagers, the confident flashy young adults, the ambitious twenty somethings, the sober, steady, experienced middle agers, the mid life crisis menopausal havoc wreakers, the happy, carefree retirees and finally the bats in the attic, bonkers, what the hell folk. Age doesn't come into it, but attitude does. Which one are you and do you think your friends would agree? What we desire on the inside is rarely what we show on the outside and that's why I find listening to others and especially hearing their aspirations for their work always fascinating.
PS. the book titles are all invented but I daresay versions of them exist.
Paintings and drawings by Chris, Haydn, Ian, Roger, Sandra, Steven, Sue, Tom and Tony.