small cake with one candle

Happy birthday to me

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birthday cake

Well not quite – but it is my birthday later in the week, its that time when you have to consider parties, visiting friends and trying not to book work for days you know your eyeballs will have difficulty looking at anything other than the back of your eyelids.
Oh and Im 40 this week. I dont subscribe to the ‘having to do a big thing’ rubbish, thats just for people who dont do big things as a matter of course. 😉 Although I have booked a trip to South America for a month in Jan/Feb. Id have went if I was 40, 39, 41 or whatever.This all sounds a bit bah humbug but when I explain that my birthday is a week before christmas some of you out there might sympathise.
When you are 9 having a birthday a week or 10 days before Christmases is like having your birthday and christmas all rolled into one… oh hold on its not like that at all, it _is_ that.
Its far enough away so that you get two sets of presents and you can stretch your birthday cards out long enough so that they are still there with the christmas cards.
Its great.
Then you get to job age, you are invariably working, if you want to go out for dinner or a club or something then its a nightmare, places are either booked up or the service is competing with loads of christmas parties and you may as well sit at home. I have to say though I have only really been out once to dinner on my birthday that I can almost remember, japanese and very nice it was too although I think the sake bill for the two of us came to more than the dinner.

Then as you get a bit older, all your friends have jobs so you have to make your ‘do’ a friday night or a saturday night and if this coincides with the last friday or saturday before christmas then thats just a nightmare, people giving you the ‘oh thats my works christmas do’. So yes youd rather go out with the boring bunch you work with than me, cheers. Having said that it probably explains why I ended up moving jobs with my friends so many times that we all ended up working in the same place. I dumped this lifestyle 10 years ago now though so they just play the same old card.

Back in my twenties I would ring people up and say ‘party at my house’. The answer was usually ‘what time’, the inference being that short notice of an hour or two was all that was required.
Now in the 30s babysitting rotas have to be accommodated, flowcharts produced and people get peed off when you havent finalised details down to the hors d’oeuvres (whatever they are) a month in advance.

Speaking of food, bring your own used to just mean vodka jellies and a plate of cocktail sausages or sausage rolls from wherever, now its marks and spencers party nibbles or tescos finest, it all goes down the same way in a handfull at 3am.
Thats if anyone stays out to 3am any more, babysitters knock off at 11pm and most people are worn out with a half hour on the wii never mind dancing to the wee small hours.
I dont miss the waking up to see what got burnt the night before, who is lying dead on my sofa and having to put wellies on to wade through the pools of sick in the toilet and kitchen.
Speaking of which you know you are getting old when a couple disappears into your bathroom for a half hour and who later emerges looking absolutely shattered, only to find out one has been retching into the big porcelain telephone to God and the other has been holding their hair back. 10 years ago they would have been, well you know…

A couple of years ago I almost lost the will to live at party this time of year, the blokes were as usual standing in the kitchen talking about cars and bikes and various sports injuries whilst the women were in the living room watching the x factor. I mean come on like, sports injuries? I have you all beat.
For my 30th birthday party some kind soul hired me a stripogram. Part of the show was for me to take a rose out of her ample bosom with my teeth. No real spectator sport there but at the time I was on crutches with a leg injury that could go either way so in the days before youtube I had to have 6 guys at the party grab me by the belt and shoulders and lower me down in a horiztonal position as she lay on the floor. I think they had an ambulance on standby.
It was funny though at the end when she had to sit on my knee put my head in her chest and read me some story which for the life of me I cant remember – dunno why. As she went to sit down on my knee over 40 people screaming ‘not that one!’

Maybe birthday parties arent that bad after all, pass me another vol au vent with a whiskey chaser.

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