Now We Are Fifty

Here are some of the things I have done in the past 50 years.

I was born. I learned to walk. I learned to talk. I learned to read.

I went to school. I grazed my knee. I scored a goal. I caught a ball.

I got an orange bicycle for my birthday and I cried because it wasn’t the one I wanted.

I changed schools and wore a blazer and wore a cap and wore a tie. We read James and the Giant Peach and Charlotte’s Web. I cried.

Another time I got a blue bicycle for my birthday and I rode to the shops to buy sweets. When I came out it was gone and I walked all the way home, and I cried. My mummy bought me a silver bicycle the very next day, and a bicycle lock.

At school, I starred as Toad in Toad of Toad Hall. After school, I auditioned for the National Theatre. I didn’t get the part.

Another boy bought me a teddy for my birthday. I slept with it for 40 years.


I went to town on the tube with some friends and on the way back everyone changed train, and I wasn’t quick enough, and the doors closed, and I cried.

We played spin the bottle and I was supposed to kiss a girl, but I didn’t want to.

Later on, I went to see Blade Runner at the cinema and I kissed a girl and I liked it.

Then, in the 80s, I dated a six-foot tall supermodel. She had long legs, all the way up to here. We broke up because our lives were going in different directions.

Later on, we got back together, got married, had kids and were happy.

I’ve read a book by myself. I’ve watched TV by myself. I’ve been to the movies by myself. I’ve been to the theatre by myself. I’ve been to a concert by myself. It was George Michael.

Other people I’ve seen in concert include, Simon & Garfunkel, Oasis, Paul McCartney, Morrissey, Crowded House, twice, Bjork, Barbra Streisand, Stone Roses, 10,000 Maniacs, Suzanne Vega, Elton John, Sting and Madonna, twice.

I took a year off after school. Then I took another.

I was a contestant on Jeopardy.

I won the jackpot on the fruit machine in the university bar, twice. I graduated.

I made a speech at my wedding and everyone laughed. I had a son. I moved to Israel. I had another son. I had a daughter. They learned to walk. They learned to talk. They learned to read. I read to them. I sang to them.

My dad got sick and I held his hand before an operation. I held my mum’s hand during the operation. He was very sick for a while after that, but then he got better.

He met my kids and they loved him and he loved all of us.

I’ve cried reading a book. I’ve cried watching a TV show. I’ve cried during the ads between TV shows. I’ve cried watching a movie. I’ve cried watching a trailer for a movie. I’ve cried on a plane. I’ve cried in the car. I’ve cried listening to a song.

I used to think I was different to everyone. Turns out, I wasn’t.

I used to think I was cleverer than everyone. Turns out, I wasn’t.

I used to think I was better than everyone. Turns out, I wasn’t.

I learned to be OK with that. Turns out, it wasn’t so difficult.

I became friends with my sister and with my brother. Turns out they were there all the time.

Because my wife and I had the same size feet, I sometimes wore her shoes. I always gave them back.

Because my dad and I had the same size feet, I sometimes wore his shoes. There’s no one to give them back to anymore.

I laughed. A lot. My friends made me laugh. My sister and my brother made me laugh. My wife made me laugh. My kids made me laugh. My mum made me laugh. My dad made me laugh.

Later on, my dad got sick again. I sat with him during one of his chemo sessions. He told the nurses they were angels. I spoke with him about dying. He was upset about how sad we all would be. I sat with him when he died. I covered his eyes with dirt. I sealed the lid on his plain pine box. I gave a eulogy. I said kaddish.

Later on, my first son got married, I turned 50, everyone was very kind. I was happy.

In the past 50 years, I have never:

Eaten salad

Broken a bone

Eaten lasagne


Read 1984

Had a beer

Had an operation

Been to Japan

Run a marathon

Eaten sushi

Written a hit record

Been to space

Not been proud of my children

Drunk a cocktail

Been to a Baseball game

Taken drugs

Been arrested

Jumped off a roof

Crashed a car

Put milk on my cereal

Stopped missing my dad

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5 Responses to Now We Are Fifty

  1. That’s so beautiful. I feel like crying – and I don’t cry any more.

  2. Alison Jacobs says:

    Daniel, i knew most of this, i still wept like a baby. Love you x

  3. Natasha says:

    Part warm fuzzy feeling and part all welled up.
    Happy 50 th and here’s to the next 50!
    Happy happy birthday x

  4. Jehuda says:

    You were a contestant on jeopardy ???

    But seriously, lovely to read you again.

  5. midlifesinglemum says:

    I didn’t even know you had this blog. Now I know, I’m going back to read all of it. I loved this post. I cried about your dad – you know I loved him too. All in all, what I can say about your fifty years is that you seem to be an extremely picky eater. Lots of love Daniel, this is wonderful. Until 120!

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