Getting old has it’s advantages

Good Saturday morning.  And another early one as it’s my turn to make breakfast for the four silent ones from Europe that we are hosting until Tuesday.  They say they are enjoying their stay, the weather could be better but otherwise they have no complaints.  And Yazeed our long term student has been spotted next to a local nightspot called the Brass Monkey.  He denies entering this den of iniquity where drinking and dancing goes on into the early hours but the doorman has advised us ‘he’s always here’.  I hope he’s enjoying himself whilst he’s absorbing not just English language but English culture.

Earlier in the week Penny and I spent the day in west London visiting Kenan for his graduation.


I’ve now attended two such occasions, the one at Goldsmith’s was a little more formal.  Guest speaker was Nazir Afzal.  Initially I didn’t realise who he was but a while ago the BBC had a documentary called Three Girls about the child sex abuse in Rochdale.  Nazir Afzal was the Chief Crown Prosecutor in the north west of England who pushed through the prosecution of the perpetrators of these appalling offences.


His speech was brilliant, one of his comments to the new graduates was that you’ve got to have a better reason to do a job than just for the money.  He clearly takes his own advice because he resigned from his position of Chief Executive of the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners so that he could appear on an edition of Question Time following the Manchester Arena atrocity.  Another of his comments was that the only way he could get his children to talk to him was to switch off the wi-fi.

Which brings me back home.  With Jafer visiting last weekend we had a houseful, 8 of us in total.  And with it complaints about the wi-fi not working.  I disagree.  It works perfectly.  Just not when all 8 of us want to be on our phones at the same time.

My second week in my new office and I’m feeling quite cosy.  I had a lovely encounter with a client this week who greeted me with a hug, told me he loved me and told me I was like a father figure.  For a client with traits associated with autism this is a big deal and rather than frown and tell him his behaviour was unacceptable I accepted his gesture with grace.  He later drew a picture of me

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I especially like the fact that he featured the lone worker monitoring device my generous employers provide me to ensure I’m safe.  ‘I look angry’ I said to him, ‘you’re concentrating’ he replied.  Unfortunately it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to assist this young man in the short term but I never say never.

If that wasn’t enough I was called ‘gorgeous’ by the worker taking calls for a taxi company I have been dealing with in my workplace.  One of the privileges of getting older is that you can be more relaxed with your use of language.  I’m sure if T saw me she would be shocked to realise she’s not speaking to a young adult but by someone who describes his blogs as the ‘rantings of a middle aged man’.

Reading a document this week I saw a reference to a Cougar car.  I take a little interest in cars and have never heard of this model.  What the hell is a cougar car I thought.  And then I tried to answer my own query on a search engine.

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Our guys in the ICT are very strict about what they will let us and not let us use our IT equipment for.

Here’s what a real cougar car is,


Nothing naughty about that at all.

Finally I’d like to leave you with a track by Elvis Costello, How to be Dumb.  He’s one of Penny’s favourite artists, and has become one of mine too over the years.  I love the way he can express anger and contempt.

Things I recommend; celebrating success.  Well done to Cem and Metin too, they have also graduated this summer.

Picture of Nazir Afzal by Shaanop – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,


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