Life on Tapp: Still a few years until it’s pipe and velcro slippers time
Blaise Tapp writes: It’s not uncommon for the youngest Tapp to refer to my childhood in the 1980s as the olden days and it’s been made abundantly clear by the eldest that me describing anything as ‘cool’ immediately renders that particular thing uncool.
It’s not just at home where my advancing years are beginning to mark me out as a codger in training: younger colleagues, although consistently brilliant and kind in equal measure, will often greet my cultural references with blank looks - I mean who doesn’t know Hyacinth Bucket and Swiss Tony?
I don’t do myself any favours as I’m doing what particularly tedious folk from every older generation do by telling people who don’t remember Ceefax that our lot had much more fun in our youth than they did.
The fact that Radio 2 now considers the back catalogue of acts such as Faithless as classics to be played alongside Duran Duran and The Proclaimers merely confirms that the coolest decade - the ‘90s - is fast becoming another piece of 20th Century history.
I’ve also officially retired from even attempting to be trendy - something I consistently failed to achieve in four consecutive decades.
I now think nothing of putting the bins out in my slippers - velcro numbers that the family refer to as care home footwear - and don’t give two hoots because they are the comfiest thing that I own.
Although I’ve never been the healthiest specimen, I now look at fellow tubsters with a backside cleavage issue and ask myself ‘do I look as bad as they do?’ The answer is nearly always yes. Probably.
While I’m far from finished - for no other reason that it’s likely that I’ll be working into my seventies - I’ve begun to reflect on my achievements so far. Although I’ve probably done enough interesting stuff to fill a slim memoir - self published of course - I’ve realised that there’s lots left for me to do before I can say with a straight face that I have a legacy to leave when I eventually roll up my tent.
Whatever I decide to do, it’s unlikely that I’ll trouble the Guiness Book of Records and I’m nowhere near motivated enough to do anything that might be considered worthwhile or radical. Run a year of back to back marathons in nothing but my undies for charity? Don’t worry, that’ll never happen.It’s likely that my ambitions in the future will be firmly in the mundane category - I would like those who love me to remember me as someone who could turn his hand to basic household tasks. That’s unlikely as there are at least a dozen tasteful prints and paintings languishing behind sideboards and underneath beds which would look great on a wall if I had the gumption to put some picture hooks up.I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’ve never attempted to change a plug but last month saw my domestic credentials reach a new low watermark when I nearly ended up in A&E when attempting to change a lightbulb while it was still switched on. We can laugh about it now.I try my best not to be envious of those pals who can wallpaper the spare room in an afternoon before grouting the open plan kitchen but it is a source of great personal embarrassment that I’m not remotely handy.I’ve started baking, which although a potential disaster for our collective waistlines, could result in me becoming the darling of the summer fair circuit but, again, unlikely.What is highly likely, however, is that the angst about what I'll leave behind is the onset of my midlife crisis which, if that is the case, will be a relief because I can’t afford a Ferrari and a ponytail really wouldn’t suit me.