When I’m 64

Pet Shop Boys Inner Sanctum Royal Opera House July 2018 Neil Tennant Chris Lowe When I'm 64

I turn 48 next Tuesday – three times the age at which we graduate from childhood to adulthood. Statistically, I am most likely closer to the end of my life than the beginning. So now that I’m nearly 16 three times over, what do I want to be when I’m four times 16? Or, as the Beatles put it, When I’m 64.

A few weeks ago I went to see the Pet Shop Boys at the Royal Opera House in London. At the time I turned 16, they were one of my favourite bands, combining high energy synthpop with astute lyrics and Neil Tennant’s world-weary, half-spoken/half-sung vocals.

Tennant turned 64 shortly before the gig. He’s no Pavarotti in the singing stakes. He’ll never be mistaken for Timberlake as a dancer. His banter with the crowd is wry, dry and minimalist. And yet for two hours he held a packed house of over 2,000 fans in the palm of his hand.

I don’t know what it’s like to sing live in front of that many devoted fans. (Singing in front of a few hundred at BritMums isn’t quite the same level.) I can only imagine what it’s like to bask in the energy of an entire audience singing your own songs back at you.

What I do know is that if I’m still doing something I love like that at the age of 64, I’ll have done well. Maybe that thing is blogging. Will I still be blogging in 16 years? Who knows? I’ve been going for a mere 11½ years so far and that already feels like a lifetime. If I make it that far, it will be because that passion still burns as brightly as it has always done. That would be pretty special – my version of the Royal Opera House, I guess.

Check back with me in 16 years’ time, eh?


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