I recently celebrated a significant birthday.
Passing such a milestone seems to be something I should acknowledge, albeit belatedly, by blog.
Almost a month ago I turned 50. Or 30 with 20 years experience as I prefer to think of it.
A big birthday provides a good excuse for a big celebration. In fact, as it was such a big birthday, I planned two.
One went well, the other one not so much.
Some people get very upset, worked up or depressed about birthdays in general and milestone birthdays in particular, but I wasn’t really bothered.
All things considered, getting old beats the alternative.
Anyone who knew me in my younger days, with the severe mismatch between my reckless enthusiasm for riding small Japanese motorcycles and my ability for doing so, certainly wouldn’t have bet on me getting this far.
I didn’t really give much thought to plans for celebrations initially – a visit to some of Gloucester’s finest pubs with a bunch of friends was all I needed, and that doesn’t take a lot of planning.
My lovely wife, however, persuaded me that we should do more. After some consideration I decided we should go to Edinburgh, a city I had long wanted to visit, so plans were made for us to head north for a long weekend with four friends.
My Plan A for a night out in Gloucester became Celebration #2 for the following weekend.
Edinburgh was brilliant.
The weather was dry, it was relatively mild considering it was early October, and the sun even shone occasionally.
We had a great time sightseeing: visiting Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, the underground vaults, Royal Yacht Britannia and Edinburgh Museum. I may eventually get around to blogging about it if I ever get the pictures sorted out.
The friends that we went with don’t really share my passion for pubs and beer, but they humoured me as best they could and we visited some excellent bars. It wasn’t an occasion of heavy drinking, but that didn’t matter because next weekend would sort that out.
And so we returned home – via a stop off to pick up a superb Blues Brothers inspired birthday cake arranged by my wife and created by a friend. Chocolate, my favourite!
And then it was back to work, but with an evening drinking in Gloucester still to look forward to for the coming weekend.
But as the week progressed I started to feel ill.
A cold descended, and it landed hard. One of those nasty debilitating colds which bung up your sinuses, make your head swim and your limbs ache.
By the time the weekend arrived I felt like shit.
And so I contacted my friends to say I wouldn’t be attending my own birthday celebrations.
This was the sensible choice. I wouldn’t have enjoyed it and, if I felt that bad anyway, how much worse would I have felt with a hangover. Yes, it was definitely the sensible choice.
But that worries me.
I’m fairly sure that at any previous milestone birthday I would have gone out regardless: pushed through the pain and worried about the consequences later.
When did I start making sensible choices?
Does this mean that I’m now at a sensible old age?
I hope not.
If you see me looking admiringly at cardigans in M&S, or pondering whether the pale yellow or pastel blue trousers look the best, please put me out of my misery.