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Tim Booth Was Right


Tim Booth put it best in the James song Come Home from the seminal album Gold Mother:

“After 30 years I’ve become my fears, I’ve become the kind of man I’ve always hated”.

Let me also quote this very site, written in March 2003:

“And before you ask, no. I won’t turn this into a John buying his house and going to DIY superstores weblog. I hate that sort of thing.”

Ha! What a liar I am! So I bought a house last year and it’s taken a while but I’ve finally turned into the sad sort of person I used to look down with scorn at. I’d be driving on my way to some adrenaline-packed weekend away biking or something and notice all these 30-something, overweight and out-of-shape guys dressing like teenagers, driving estate cars, maybe a few kids in tow, accompanied by the wife and on their way to a DIY superstore to look at paint, or power tools, or plants, or wallpaper, or garden furniture, or all of the above. I’d shake my head and drive on to continue my exciting life while they got on with their boring, tedious existence including washing their cars on a Sunday morning before walking the dog. I hated them.

And I’m starting to become one of them. I must point out that I’m still in excellent shape however (all washboard, no twin-tub). For example I spent one weekend single-handedly redecorating the lounge and dining room. I just spent the last weekend with my good lady doing gardening! If you’ve known me for years you’ll be particularly surprised to hear that (to be fair, it didn’t involve planting anything, only digging things up). I’ve been in here over six months and I love the place. I really do feel different about actually owning my own house. I’ve become the housewife who nags about keeping the place clean and tidy. So I’ve been asking myself what happened and where did it all go wrong?

But to justify this behaviour I’ve realised that it’s just an extension of what I’ve always been like. It used to be mountain bikes – all the shiny kit, keeping it clean, upgrading to newer, better and lighter components. Then it was cars – faster, noisier, redder, then more refined, more hi-tech and then faster again. Now it’s my [our] house – so what can I (okay, we) do to that? We can customise it by painting it nice colours that we like. We can keep it clean and tidy. We can buy fancy fixtures and fittings, hi-tech electronic equipment and more hi-tech electronic equipment. And we can make the garden a great place to have a barbeque. In a nutshell I haven’t changed. At least I don’t think I have – I’ve just changed scenes.

Oh, did I mention that we got engaged? No? Oh, we got engaged. I proposed when we were in New Zealand but she wouldn’t make it official until I got her a ring – lots of money later and it’s official. Job done.

rachael and john

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

14 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. John,

    we need a close-up on your fiancรฉe(including hand) so that we can see more details. She looks pretty and happy. No more “long suffering girl friend”. Eh!



  2. ๐Ÿ™‚ Ah yes – owning your own home. I could not have imagined the small but powerful effect it would have. It seemed to make life – I don’t know, more comfortable and comforting. Congrats on the engagement – I suspect you might find marriage has the same type of surprising effect than home ownership does.

    Cheers, Doug


  3. Why did you take a picture in a graveyard..?

    And congratulations!

    Get yourself (and YLSG:-)) over to France and we’ll have a belated celebration.


  4. I was going to say that I can’t believe you just happened to tag that bit of news onto the end of your article…. but knowing you, I can believe it !

    Congratulations !!!


  5. Congratulations! I’m really pleased for you.

    BTW, it is possible to pass thirty and to not do gardening, trust me, I know! However, I did buy a toolkit the other month. I couldn’t help it, it was calling out to me to buy it…


  6. And she said yes?

    Seemed such a sensible girl too :-))

    Congrats and that hypnotic suggestion routine you developed must have worked a treat.

    To avoid getting into the 30’s rut, go clubbing every weekend, that way you’ll feel 60 all week, thus avoiding the lure of DIY stores and DIY cause you’re just too knackered!!

    Works for me.

    Anyway – you up for an ale on Thursday? there’s an Erdinger with your name on it


  7. Thanks you lot!

    Stu, the picture was in fact taken at a graveyard – well spotted! For bonus points tell me which one…

    Sam – you know me too well.

    And John, it happened to me that way. I bought a toolbox, then a drill, then another drill, and I couldn’t stop. I’m hooked.


  8. The graveyard could be the one next to the Bronte Parsonage?

    And congrats again! You’ll now have to change the YLSG to be She Who Must Be Obeyed.


  9. conrgats on the engagement, next comes the wedding planning…. which is an interesting time with everyone saying “it’s your day do what you like” followed by a silence which is an unspoken but !



  10. To be honest dave our idea of wedding planning is booking flights to vegas for her parents and my father and brother! We just can’t justify spending over 10 grand on a single day – unless it was to let me play the full 90 minutes in the FA cup final.


  11. Well darn, there’s one more good man off the market! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    John!! Congratulations to you both! That is fantastic! I always wondered if there was more to that New Zealand trip than you were letting on.


  12. Thanks Anne! There’s still more to New Zealand than I was letting on but I’ll save that for another time… ๐Ÿ™‚


  13. Many congratulations on the Real(tm) Engagement. Have you set a date yet?
    Oh, and we’ll have to meet up at Starbucks again soon, I’ll phone you.


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