Inside this week | Football: friends forever

I’ve just sent out my invitations for my 40th birthday, and it was interesting to note I could pretty much split them into three groups: friends and family of my girlfriend, work and sports club.

It would be easy to underestimate the importance of my decision to join a football club a year after arriving in Denmark in 2003. And I haven’t regretted it for a moment. I first formed my own team made up of people I met at language school and then we together joined Copenhagen Celtic en masse. While some of us then went on to widen our footballing horizons by playing for some of the club’s other teams, it’s a fair assumption to make that all of us widened our social net. A bond quickly forms in team sport, not dissimilar to the one that kids manage in a matter of minutes, but which adults so often struggle to make. And the more I play with somebody (ooh err, missus), the stronger it becomes. In a way, the club has become a substitute for the family, albeit a more international one, who I left behind in the UK.

That’s not to say Celtic is like the Manson Family, as it’s true I’ll be on familiar territory if I attend Manson in Fact & Fiction at Husets Bio next Thursday. The night includes Russ Meyer’s Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, a film made shortly after the Sharon Tate murders in 1969 that decided to change its ending to pay a homage to Manson. How sensitive! But then again, Tate’s husband Roman Polanski, just one year later, started shooting the goriest ever Shakespeare adaptation. Asked by crew members whether he wanted to tone Macbeth down, it’s rumoured he said: “I know violence. You should’ve seen my house last summer.”

Here’s hoping I won’t be saying the same after the riot I’ve got planned for my 40th. If it’s too much, I can always go on holiday and hope my apartment cleans itself. And the Travel Fair would be a good place to start, and just to inspire you, we’ve conjured up a list of the locations that are expected to be the coolest places to go to in 2013.

That’s what people tend to do when they turn 40: go on holiday and pretend that it didn’t happen. The cynics would say that I did that when I turned 30 and never, ever went back. 





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