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What a long strange trip it’s been.

Well it’s my birthday today folks. Happy? Not especially. It’s another year gone and closer to the grim reaper. But it’s one of those big number ones, 60.

Yikes how the flipperty flip flops did that happen? A minute ago I was a callow youth of 18 who knew nothing, now I am a callow old git who knows nothing. I was going to run down memory lane with you all, describing my life and times from coal fires to first class air travel, from black and white 2 channel telly to the Internet, from countries far away that we know little, to having been there twice and scarfed the menu. But I’m too bloody depressed to be arsed, given the tomfoolery that has occurred round here today.

“Sometimes the light’s all shining on me, other times I can barely  see” oh yes indeed, wise words written by my old friend  Bob Hunter. An indication of our triumphs and failures, hopes and despairs. If I dropped dead tomorrow I would have deemed myself to have had a very happy and interesting life. Was I a success? In who’s evaluation? I had fun, I earned a good living and have the love of family and friends, and hope to be around another 30 years at least to entertain you all if you will permit me. So I will leave you with something I feel is the best thing in the world, Music.

Yes I will keep on Truckin…


and this, and this .


  1. Lynne says:

    Many more happy returns, RAB. I’m not that far off the big six-oh myself but I’m gonna fight it wrinkle by interminable wrinkle if I have to.

    Have one on me, mate.


  2. Single Acts of Tyranny says:

    Was I a success?

    If I may, wrong tense. Am I a success? will I continue to be a success in the sense of the journey rather than the destination.

    My own two peneth ~ if you have a decent family (and experienced first class air travel!), if you pay for yourself rather than live off others, then yes.

  3. Henry Crun says:

    Many happy returns RAB, keep the faith and keep fighting the good fight.

  4. CountingCats says:

    Happy birthday to you.
    Happy birthday to you.
    Happy birthday dear RA-AB.
    Happy birthday to you.

    Do I have to pay someone royalties now?

  5. john in cheshire says:

    Happy Birthday. I was 60 yesterday and felt quite depressed all day.

  6. HSLD says:

    Happy Birthday Rab.

    One of my favourite songs, Truckin. I do sometimes feel a bit ashamed about liking the Dead because I hate hippies, so I try to remind myself that the Hells Angels liked them as well, and they aren’t hippies. I hope that makes sense, but somehow I doubt it.

    To paraphrase Lynne, beverage of your choice, on me. Virtually ;)

  7. Thornavis says:

    Happy birthday RAB and happy birthday yesterday JiC. There’s a lot of us a achieving our seventh decade this year, that milestone was passed by me in January.

  8. RAB says:

    Thanks for your kind words folks, and I’m sure some of my other fellow Kitty Kounters will be along with their best wishes soon, won’t you lads? ;-)

    No you make perfect sense HSLD. The Dead wern’t hippies, they were Libertarians. They started life as the house band for Ken kesey’s Acid Tests. Read Tom Wolfe’s Electric Cool Aid Acid test for the full story.

    Kesey you will know as the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. But his other major work you might not have Sometimes A Great Notion. He got a hell of a lot of stick for that one from the left, because it is about a small logging family business in Oregon, and is basically an anti union screed.

    The Dead had two main writers, one my friend Bob Hunter and this bloke who I have never met…

    No hippie he, as you can see.

    I had the good fortune to meet a lot of those people as my oldest friend Nigel, who I jocularly refer to as the Luddite Hippie, still lives in La Honda, where Kesey and the Merry Pranksters used to live, and many of the survivors still do, and where the wild parties with the Hells Angels took place.

  9. HSLD says:

    Now that’s fascinating Rab.

    I first read Kool Aid Acid Test when I was a teenager in the 80′s and to be honest it didn’t make much sense to me. Unsurprising really. I was only really interested in the Hells Angels bit anyway.

    Then last year I found a copy in an expat animal charity bookshop, lurking between the Mills and Boon and footballers biographies.
    This time around I understood it a lot better, but I still can’t get a handle on what the Pranksters actually believed in apart from hedonism and a general feeling that the world would be a better place if everyone would just take acid regularly.
    I do note that they made a habit of annoying the po-faced authoritarian left though.

    I’ll try and get a copy of Sometimes A Great Notion.

    Now at least I’ve got some ammunition to use against my wife ( a confirmed metalhead ) who always calls the Dead ‘hippy crap’ ( even though she likes it really )

  10. Sam Duncan says:

    Happy birthday, RAB. Belatedly. Geez, I get waylaid for a bit, and all hell breaks loose while somebody turns sixty. You can’t take your eyes off this site for a second, can you?

    Anyway, age. I’d say it was only a state of mind if it didn’t sound so wet. I may only be 40, but some of my best mates are over 70. Don’t think about it: I find that’s usually the best plan.

  11. Julie near Chicago says:

    Happy Birthday indeed, RAB. :>)

    Let me tell you the One True Secret.

    When you celebrate your Birthdays, you are celebrating precisely the fact that even after all this mathematical mapping of yearly rollovers onto the Natural Numbers, you are *STILL* really 43.

    Going by the Mapping, I myself have seen nearly three-score-and-nine. Look at it like this: If the Mapping holds true, we will never run out of Birthdays.

    (I would recommend Cakes and Ale, but I’m unpersuaded that ale goes all that well with butter layer cake with mocha buttercream frosting.)

  12. RAB says:

    I rather fancied Cider with Rosie myself Julie, but then the wife would have killed me… her name is Vanessa ;-)

  13. Ian B says:

    RAB, sorry for the delay, but happy birthday :)

  14. RAB says:

    Cheers Ian.

    What a long strange week it’s been eh?

    Sorry to see you go, you are a damn fine writer… Keep in touch, you never know when you might need that Monitor! :-)

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