I don’t listen to Radio 4 that often because I’m not that posh, but I was quite excited to find out about a programme called Women of Punk last week. It was part of a series called The Reunion which “reunites a group of people intimately involved in a moment of modern history”.
Some time in the 1990s when I bought my first Windows
computer, it came with a Pingu screensaver and game, which I thought was pretty
cool. Everyone knows about Pingu but I sometimes wonder if I am the only person
who remembers the Pingwings. Sometimes I think I imagined them, but no, they
did exist, and at least one other person remembers them too.
I sometimes find myself having to explain punk rock to women my own age who weren’t part of it. On one occasion, someone said to me: why did you like punk, wasn’t it very male and aggressive?
On the contrary, I said, punk was great for women because lots of women were making music where they had not had the chance before. I’ve always believed in this line and until recently it never crossed my mind that after punk this didn’t really carry on.
The good news. The BBC is advertising for women to join a pool of experts available for interview on their specialist subject. They are putting on a free “media familiarisation day” for women experts interested in appearing on television, radio and online as contributors or presenters.
The bad news. They’ve got a whole list of things they want experts in, but “music” isn’t one. “Women in music” is.
Today the government has announced a new strategy under the title Fuller Working Lives for getting older people back into the workplace. “Calling on employers to boost the number of older workers and ensure they are not writing people off once they reach a certain age,” they say. That’s nice of them because everyone my age knows what it’s like to get knocked back when looking for work.
So what is the government actually going to do to help us?
I used to work in the music business. Now I have a normal job. I used to live in an edgy, arty northern city. Now I live in middle England. I used to be young. Now I'm starting to show my age...
I am actually still the same person.
Some say that middle age is a journey. Sometimes, going through your forties - or turning fifty - feels more like a roller-coaster. But just tell yourself this: I may be old, but I saw all the cool bands.