I was recently reading an interview with Norman Cook (it seems very weird to call a 51-year-old “Fatboy”) where he was talking about, inter alia, time spent in rehab and giving up drinking. The face is that of a man who has partied hard and long. Which raises the question: when should a man stop partying? We have tabloid tales of grannies in Magaluf and Benidorm. And that’s before I consider the sheer and utter boredom of living with my sober self for another 40 years.In the accompanying picture he was wearing his usual Britpop uniform – and he’s still pretty slim. Is there an acceptable level of partying a man should be doing as he approaches his sixth decade? This is actually one of the great questions of our times. We have our ageing celebrities locked in an endless cycle of drying out and loving it until they realise how dull other people are when you’re sober. A few rock stars I know still do tons of drugs (OK, so it’s to keep awake until 2am, not for three days, but still) and hoof Viagra by the bucket because, let’s face it, those 23-year-old groupies aren’t going to shag themselves. I’m not suggesting we live like Keith Richards or Jack Nicholson, but then you think a few beers, the odd spliff, a few glasses of wine and, oh, you just remembered that wrap of coke in your wallet ... It doesn’t sound entirely incompatible with that 50th birthday which is lurking just over the horizon. I mean, I know drug stories can sometimes be boring. I never, ever, ever want to hear about your marathon. As for the indignity of it, well, most things look better on the young.The force said signs to watch for include rigid muscles, shallow breathing, a fast racing pulse, hyper-aggression, seizure, foaming at the mouth and unconsciousness.Detective Inspector Jim Faulkner of GMP's Oldham Borough said the increasing number of people affected is causing the force “no end of concern”. Unlike him, I really am a fatboy, but I don’t yet have the face – and the fat is, in theory at least, reversible. And, most startlingly, you have STDs spreading like wildfire in nursing homes as the originators of the sexual revolution move into assisted living complexes, presumably with pampas grass planting. From debs to plebs, we all want to party on – and on and on. And then there’s the endless anec-data, all those stories about granddads who drank like fishes and lived to 100, while joggers drop dead in their 50s. You have the likes of Mick Jagger bouncing around on stage like a hyperactive teenager and Madonna mixing gym-toned arms and carefully choreographed falls. You have 50-somethings who still want to be sorted for Es and whizz.
The most surprising thing about this is what a mess about it makes of your putative life mileposts. Also, age gives you the wisdom to know that you shouldn’t stay up much beyond 3am, drink your weekly unit allowance in a single night or batter the gak until your only desire in the world is to find more gak, even though you know full well that its only effect will be to keep you unpleasantly, irritably awake until noon the next day. I’m not sure that seeing a 54-year old on ecstasy is any worse than seeing a 54-year old on a £3000 bike or in a swimming pool.In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier.We selected the timezone 'UTC' for now, but please set date.timezone to select your timezone.An urgent warning has been issued after seven people became seriously ill after taking what is thought to be a type of MDMA.Believed to be known locally as “pink champagne” or “magic”, which comes in a crystal form, Greater Manchester Police said the drug is highly potent.