I barely play my guitars now. In fact I can't bring myself to look at them. After 34 years I've finally chucked it in, I think. Each new scale, technique or bit of theory was to herald that breakthrough that would lead to local fame. Of course it never happens. If it is to happen it comes pretty early in a person's musical career. I s'pose I could be happy playing quietly to myself at home but this was never my ambition, so I am frustrated and resentful playing guitar. I think the problem is that I actually find learning difficult, and so my playing is too serious and I cannot convey any sense of fun or coolness when I'm doing it. I am one of those who I'd rather wasn't making music (most 'musicians' in my uncharitable view.) It's nice that people have a hobby (and I'd say encouraging things) but at an open mic there are only ever one or two who blow the room away and I haven't done thirty odd years of hard graft just to make up numbers. Performing at open mic sessions only makes me depressed so I don't do it. And at home there is absolutely no context in which me playing guitar works. There is a collective groan when I get one out and lots of ribbing while I'm playing and the people I want to impress most are the ones who are least impressed. This last happened at Christmas after dinner and I think that's what triggered my epiphany - I haven't practised since. The good news: - I have a lovely dawgie and spend most of the time out walking or sitting with him. - I have taken on a new role at work which took a year of extra training and which I find a challenge and interesting. - The twins have had their university offers and they couldn't be better. My retirement is going to have to be put back because they are both five year courses, which makes it all the more important that I'm doing a job I enjoy.- Some of my political commenting appears to have made an impact, not particularly left or right wing - just me. One of my latest ideas is on the steel industry and the Tories' reluctance to nationalise it, "Even if the industry goes, you'll still end up nationalising the region - as happened with the coal industries. You may as well subsidise them making steel rather than not making steel." I hope this helps to save jobs. I'm stimulated in other ways but I do regret learning guitar, the amount of time and money I invested in it and the amount of time I wasted dreaming and sitting in the classical posture - which in itself, I think, puts the mind in a depressed posture too. My advice to anyone starting out ? Seek out that which delivers maximum return for the least of your efforts and then become the best at it that you can. That way you find out what you excel at and then you can work towards brilliance. What did I excel at ?Sex, if I'm honest !I had lots of cracking girlfriends before I got married and never got chucked once - the guy in the room next to me at the Section House complained that I never stopped and asked to be moved.Wifey and I are on our 22nd year of marriage. So not all bad then. Stupid really. I didn't even need a guitar nor need to aspire to be a pop star to get my end away.