This week I've had to under take the daunting task of designing invitations for my friend Paul's 40th birthday.

Paul is a really nice guy. He's intelligent, Witty, good looking, somewhat suave and even a little debonair at times. He's also known in certain circles for his 'taste' in shirts. With that in mind and with a brief from the man himself, I came up with these:

More than a little homagé to Mr Paul Smith had to be paid considering the subject of the invites. A bit of doctoring to the aforemantioned's signature was also in order. Mr Joyce himself plumped for the second design, which I think was the right choice.

Being 40+ myself I feel that it's only fair to give Paul a 'heads up' on the pitfalls of reaching that magic age. There is a list of things that I have come to realise are vital to achieving a balanced outlook on what is, lets face it, probably the last half of your life.

These are (in no particular order):

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Let's face it, our skin has seen better days. Those wrinkles are here to stay. Remember, they are not laughter lines. NOTHING is that funny.

Your hypochondria will get the better of you. Fact. The slightest cough, the smallest rash, will have you running, not to the Doctors, but to the medical dictionary. You will then convince yourself that you have SARS, Typhoid or worse. Back away from the self diagnosis. And don't even mention Piles!

Things just wont work like they used to. I'm not just talking about the obvious either. Your knees will be fucked, your back will creek, your eyes will refuse to focus and your teeth will file for separation on the grounds that your breath smells. Get used to it.

Everyone is younger than you, at least that's how it will appear. Remember when your folks would say that the police men were getting younger? Well, guess what? They are.

And I could go on all day but I wont. Why? Because non of that matters. Yes, we are getting older. Not old, just older. I'd like to think wiser too (although the jury is still out on that one in my case). And I think that's great. In my 44 years I might not have set the world on fire (well, there was that one time with the box of matches, some dry scrub land and a mate, but we won't go into that) but I've done the best I could with what I had. And that's all you can ever really ask of yourself.

My profile on this blog says "I'm 44 years old but 24 at heart". That's the trick, I reckon. Think young to stay young.

I'm off out now to buy a hoodie and some trainers.

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