September saw my seventy seventh birthday come and go. The day itself was just a normal working day ending with an executive committee meeting of Staffordshire Buddies when everyone sang happy birthday. There were a very few real cards…but more digital greetings via social media than I have ever received. Lovely presents from Scott and a surprise delivery of beautiful flowers from Steven made the day special as did a fine lunch at the Seven Stars Brocton on the following Sunday.
Do I feel any older?
Has my sense of identity altered?
I can’t honestly say that it has.
By contrast, over the year, I have had to acknowledge that other people see me in different ways. Perhaps the most surprising was the perception of me as a Gay Icon. It was brought to my attention that I was featured on page 27 in the September issue of Midland Zone as a gay hero. Unbelievable!
Some people identify me as a church organist and a playing member of the North Staffs and District Organ Society. That fits comfortably with my own self image as a musician…without doubt, music is and always has been an essential part of who I am. Piano and organ playing are fundamental activities in my daily routine…and have proved more than inanimate objects…I view them rather as solid, dependable companions when times have been difficult or distressing.