Getting Older and Definitely Getting Bolder

The Specials’ Terry Hall and BBC 6Music’s May Anne Hobbs

The Specials’ Terry Hall and BBC 6Music’s May Anne Hobbs


I turned 58 yesterday – only two more years to go before the next ‘significant’ birthday and I’m very much looking forward to it as well as enjoying myself in the here and now. In this regard, it’s funny how my attitude to ageing has changed but maybe not so surprising in some respects.

I remember this time 20 years ago as I approached turning 40 how I had a profound sense of ‘so this is it then’? The chances of things changing radically in my life or in Irish society seemed remote and I had a strong sense of regret or remorse about the things I thought I was going to do when I was in my 20s and the realities that had unfolded by then.

Strangely, I don’t have any of that sense of the limitations of life now – maybe because I’m much more at ease with who I am and what I do. I’m definitely not chasing rainbows in the way I would have been in my earlier life. However, I’m still as ambitious for the things I care about and the changes that I think are possible to bring about in the world. And, definitely even more determined to achieve those things or go down fighting in the effort. But maybe I’m more realistic too about what can be achieved and accepting of the fact that change is an ongoing process that we can all play a part in.

And I don’t seem to be alone in getting this renewed boost of life’s creative energies in my Third Age. I listened with great interest to The Specials’ Terry Hall being interviewed by Mary Anne Hobbs after 1:26:00) on BBC 6 Music last week. Terry Hall – whose singing I’ve long admired – talked about the fact that since he had turned 55 he had never been happier and more content in his life. And it’s marvellous to see him and The Specials get their first No 1 album earlier this year with Encore – a cracking listen – when they’re in their late 50s and early 60s.

So, as they say, where there’s life there’s hope. And as The Specials themselves sang:

Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think
Enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink
The years go by, as quickly as you wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it's later than you think

Pat Montague