A friend and I went to a gig in London last week. Something strange happened in the few hours leading up to it. Something that wouldn't have happened in quite the same way five years ago.
I finished work at lunch, came home and had a bit of time to clean the house, do some odds and sods and get ready to meet my friend Al at the train station by just after 5. At about 330, I realised I had no idea what to wear. I don't mean what could I wear that would bring out my eyes or what the cool kids wear at gigs. I mean weather-wise and layer-wise. The sun was shining; the temperature had gone up easily five or six degrees since the morning, but that didn't really help me. Getting into London about an hour before sunset and not getting back home until pushing one in the morning meant clothing was an issue. Did I wear too much to start with so I'd be comfortable on the way home, or keep cool for the couple of hours of sun left in the day? If we'd been off to the gig two months back or two months from now, there'd be no issue. Either a big coat and dig out a woolly hat or put on a t-shirt and a long sleeve shirt. Job done. But in the middle of an April that's not quite sure if it wants to be nice or not, it was a tough one.
In the end, I went for a t-shirt, long sleeve shirt and a fleece. Not ideal for one in the morning, but probably the best plan. Finally ready to leave the house, I realised what had been niggling me for an hour. Five years ago, I would have thought about the clothing deal for a couple of minutes, then put on a couple of t-shirts. Ten years ago, I would have thought about it for even less time. A few years before that, what to wear wouldn't have crossed my mind at all. It would have been clean pair of jeans, boots, t-shirt and maybe something over it, but probably not. So there it was. The difference between going to a gig at the age of eighteen, twenty-six and thirty-six can be summed up by spending an hour looking in the wardrobe, saying no...no...no...no...
Anyway, I met Al at the station and the first thing he said to me was:
"I had no idea what to wear tonight."