I met a photographer for the first time today.

‘Nice chap. He’s 55.

We chatted about age because he’d been poorly recently and we contextualised it with how old we both were.

Playing out.

Anyhow, my new friend referenced an old friend. He chatted about how nice a recent reacquaintance had been.

The two guys had known each other all their lives.

So long in fact that, when they were very young – they used to ‘play out’ together.


I like that phrase… ‘playing out’.

It made me feel warm.

(I bet you smile, inside or outside when you say it silently to yourself. Go on. ‘Playing out.’)

I used to play out in the seventies and very early eighties.

Then, in about 1982 when I was 14, ‘playing out’ turned into something else.

Up until then playing really was playing. After 14 there were new agenda.

Girls. Fighting. Muscles. Pubes. Haircuts. Money. Bullying. Cliques. Clothes. Oh, and girls. Did I mention girls?

These Days.

These days, I crave the warmth of ‘playing out’ that had been so spontaneous and wondrous and free-flowing back then.

And, you know what, at 50 I feel more able than ever to get that warmth back.

All I have to do is to think less.

To go out and to be in that moment.

To not worry about what other people think.

To relax.

To forget.

So, if anyone fancies playing out – let me know.

I get my spends at the end of the month.

I’ll buy you a Wagon Wheel.

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