It’s a sign of the times when we cry

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

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You know you are getting old when you make strange noises whilst hauling your body off of the sofa or when you start to moan about people leaving lights on around the house (guilty on both counts).

Age creeps up on you like a thief in the night and before you know it, you hear your voice, but recognise your father’s words coming out of your mouth.

Little things start to annoy you; toast in the margarine tub, the youth of today and anything to do with the local council; after all, “That’s what we pay our council tax for!”

You start driving all over the Peterborough area in an effort to save a penny on a litre of petrol and begin watching TV shows that just a few years ago you would have dismissed as drivel; Antiques Roadshow, Countryfile and anything to do with baking.

Collecting becomes a habit; for some it’s train numbers, wives or magazines, for others it’s screws or other small items that you will pop in your tool box and never ever use, despite your protestations to the contrary.

For me it was the names of all of Darragh MacAnthony’s managers, but it’s just getting silly now.

I rally against old age as much as I can. I try to stay up to date with music and film although I do now have a wider appreciation of “the racket” that my parents all too often mentioned whilst I was trying to watch Top of The Pops!

Nothing makes you feel your age more though than the loss of a cultural icon; someone you connected to in your youth whilst you were still fumbling around in the dark with the opposite sex.

The death of Prince stopped me in my tracks. It was like a punch to the solar plexus, a sick joke; it couldn’t be true could 
it?

I am sure many people felt the same way when Bowie died and 2016 has certainly not been kind to the idols of our youth 
but this was different for me.

Purple Rain was an album I wore out on vinyl and cassette; I could recite the lyrics to Darling Nikki verbatim, right now, although I may not be required to write a column next week if I do!

The title track was my “Go to” jukebox song as a spotty seventeen year-old version of me; I couldn’t dance but I, like everyone else, could play air guitar and mime to Purple Rain, badly!

It might seem ridiculous to some to mourn the loss of these iconic performers; we didn’t know them, but we feel like we did through their music; music which helped us through the the good times and the bad.

We don’t cry because we knew them, we cry because they helped us know ourselves.

The purple one was an integral part of my youth; a piece of my life’s jigsaw that has just been lost forever.

His passing inevitably makes you question your own mortality and that is enough to make us all feel very old.