Olly arrived just before midday and the staff at the station invited fans in to watch his live stream being filmed, so we all crammed into the foyer to hear him share how proud he is of his forthcoming album and that there will be a tour next year.
|Meeting Olly, 12.07.2016|
When the interview was over we were all ushered outside and politely reformed the queue to each have our moment with Olly. It really was nothing more than a moment - his schedule for the radio tour is incredibly tight - but everyone got their chance for a selfie and a hug. He's smiley and friendly and looked genuinely thrilled that people had turned up to see him and support the new single. I had fun.
I mentioned in my Take That post about being all or nothing when it comes to being a fan, that's just the way I am. But recently some of the comments I've received for being an avid fan of pop music have taken me by surprise. People have told me I'm too old, that I should grow up, that there must be better things to do with my time than hanging around waiting for snatched selfies with people I admire or spending hours queuing to be at the front of a pit.
|Waiting is part of the fun|
My response is always a firm 'no'. I like to actively support singers/musicians/actors/actresses/authors/whoever else brings me pleasure. This means buying the records they make, the books they write, tickets to the shows they're performing in. If they're making a personal appearance where they invite fans to come for autographs and photos, I'll likely go along if I can make it. I'll wait hopefully at stage doors after performances wanting to tell them how much joy they've brought me and if they can spare a moment of their time for me then wonderful, and if not that's fine too. And I think that's okay, actually. I never shove cameras in anyone's face, or get autographs to sell on ebay or steal underwear off their washing lines. I'm not a total weirdo and I am under no illusions. These are real people doing real (if slightly extraordinary) jobs.
So why do people judge me over it? Why is it reasonably acceptable to do when you're young, but not when you're over a certain age? I genuinely don't understand it.
What baffles me even more is that when I talk about other interests I have, things like bingo and crossstitch, I'm called a granny or a fogey. There are, it seems, very few hobbies that some sections of society feel are appropriate for a thirty-something. Wife/mother/career woman are acceptable options, fangirl/bingo addict/knitter are not. As it happens, I'm all of the above, but even if I wasn't, why should it matter? Life is full of the mundane, seek happiness wherever you can!
I always say I'm not going to let other people's opinions bother me. As an introvert, they invariably do. But I want to tell anyone reading this that if something brings you pleasure, it's never a waste of time, and don't let anyone else tell you that it is. Don't let people belittle what makes you happy either. One Direction. Pokémon Go. Basket weaving. BMXing. Gardening. Line dancing. Age limits do not apply to hobbies, and nor should they.
Life is, sadly, short. Go and do what makes your heart sing.
The title of this blog post comes from Act My Age by One Direction.