Back behind the bar for a 40s’ farewell...

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Welcome, dear reader, to a small piece of my own personal history – my last First Person column of my 40s.

Yep, I hit the big 5-0 in a couple of weeks time. Now, that may raise an eyebrow or two if you glance up at my profile picture but that is entirely misleading.

It was taken years ago and I look nothing like that now. I’ve got way less hair for a start.

Follicle misery aside, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest and coincidentally comes at the same time as I return to something that was a big part of my youth.

Bar work.

I was invited along to the opening night of the Kings Live Lounge down on the Esplanade and over the course of the evening foolishly mentioned that in the dim and distant past, many years before I became Kirkcaldy’s most-loved journo, I spent a few years as a bar manager.

A few days later I’m being shown around the place before leaving with a staff t-shirt.

Despite not having served a drink since 1994, I was really looking forward to it but then Mother Nature intervened in the weirdest way possible.

I’d had a bit of a cold, was feeling much better, until I turned over in bed and the entire room started spinning. Like being absolutely guttered but with none of the fun beforehand. It was horrible and turned out to be an inner ear infection called labyrinthitis.

Incidentally, don’t let it’s harmless sounding name fool you. Of all the many, many infections-with-almost-the-same-name-as-a-David-Bowie-film, it’s definitely the worst. Far more unpleasant than The Man Who Fell To Enza (‘fell-to-enza’/‘influenza’ - almost works) or Abso-flu-te Beginners (yeah, it’s the same infection but I couldn’t think of anything else - sue me) to name but two.

So, not only did I have to miss my first shift at the Kings, but also had to give up my ticket for the away end at the Edinburgh derby. What? The Hibs-Hearts match? The one where Hearts came back from a goal down to win 2-1 thanks to a goal from a 17-year-old with the away end going ballistic? That one?

Yeah, that one. Sigh...

So I’ll be behind the bar this Friday, hoping that I don’t have a repeat of my first shift at a now long gone Edinburgh bar called Negotiants where the very first person I served furiously accused me of short-changing them - I hadn’t - and, later on that same night, I had a knife pulled on me. Happy days.

As well as my ham-fisted attempt to be a barman there will also be the second of the Kings acoustic nights, last week’s inaugural evening being a complete sell-out and huge success. If you fancy it, either watching or taking part, get yourself along.

There’ll be two obvious differences for me from back then; I wasn’t fumbling about putting my reading glasses on and off in the mid-90s, which I’m anticipating being a major problem, but, on the other hand I won’t be obliged to pull my collar bone length hair into a ponytail anymore. That’s definitely not an issue anymore.

And thus, this column travels full circle, back to me complaining about my disappearing hair.

“Happy” birthday to me...