I am old.
I am told that your 40's are no longer considered old, but I am 5 years older than the average life expectancy in the 17th century, three years older than the 19th, aha! But I've still got 9 years to go before I peg it, if I were to be transported to 1901.
In the olden times, I mean really olden, way more than 40 years ago, women survived long enough to take care of their daughters' babies for the first few years whilst their daughters had more of them. Women didn't even reach the menopause, for the most part, partially, I suspect, so that they could still partake in breastfeeding. In those really olden times, Nora would now be around 26, have two or even three surviving children of her own, and I'd be becoming something of an added burden to the family group. Presumably I'd peg it after a festering wound wouldn't heal as quickly as it did when I was young, or losing my teeth meant I could no longer eat properly.
Instead here I am and feeling intensely joyful that I had a lovely four days of celebration featuring a glorious bunch of much needed positive affirmation and also featuring me drunkenly telling my mates how much I wuv them, then admitting later I'd probably do that anyway, albeit in a slightly more awkward and shuffling fashion.
Celebrations: McK, my old friend Riley and I went to see the mighty Richard Herring holding his own for nearly two hours (madness!) at the Leicester Square Theatre doing "Hitler Moustache", at which I got to feel very smug about my anti-BNP leafleting (and also my technique, which was no so much "Fight the fascists" because I am not a member of the SWP, but more "Here, have a leaflet, vote for *anyone*, I don't care just don't vote for the BNP". A remarkably successful, moderate approach. Had a Chinese meal with Riley which was a cut above average and delightfully ran in to Phil and Mary afterwards who knew we were there thanks to Twitter.
Phil was in attendance again on Thursday night for what I thought would be a small gathering but turned out to be a medium one, despite people canceling late because of my chronic inability to organise anything. That was a lovely evening, and completely the best part was introducing two good friends in to my other group of friends for the first time, and everyone getting on perfectly. Some bestest friends were missing, being as how they live in other countries, and I let them know forcefully via email that this excuse simply wasn't good enough. And Phil's Mum was guest of honour, which was a delight.
Saturday (my actual birthday) we went on what was a mammoth journey (when it should have been remarkably easy) to Whipsnade Zoo. Various weird hassles , particularly on the way back, and instead of the promised 7 degrees, it was near freezing with weird pinhead snow swirls constantly. But we saw elephants, rode on a steam train, saw the Siberian tigers (woof, talk about astonishingly beautiful), the Cheetahs (swoon - I felt honoured to have been given the opportunity to see them, which is exactly the right attitude with such amazing creatures, I think), and then had an attack of the willies when a giant sized lioness sat atop a ridge and James ran a little bit too far away from me. Everything in my instinctive body was in Panic mode, despite the thick fencing. I know it's all a bit dubious, but I do really love decent zoos. The opportunities for excitement and amazement are huge. A date movie in the evening, which inevitably became Avatar, which given that my expectations were on the floor, I was pleasantly surprised by. It's not great, or anything, but it's certainly not bad. It's very immersive, it drifted horribly at the beginning of the last third, but if you were looking for a candidate for biggest grossing film of all time, I'd rather that than Titanic. It wore its soppy, money making, manipulative heart on its sleeve. I did feel like I watched nearly three hours of fantastical, airbrushed science-fiction paperback covers, though.
Sunday, my ridiculously lovely Aunt Majella came, as did Shelagh, and a decent afternoon of slightly alcoholically challenged political discussions was had, whilst the kids kindly played with train track and looked at the delights of the CBeebies website. An overcooked home delivery Chinese meal to accidentally celebrate Chinese New Year and that was that.
I am now, officially 40.
My official comment on that comeuppance is: Bloody hell!