Jim McLennan is...older

It was my birthday earlier in the week -- I'd just like to say thank you for all the cards, presents and good wishes that I received. That is I'd *like* to, but I am now at the age where I am more inclined to regard birthdays as another nail in my coffin, rather than any occasion for celebration. This is because there are pretty much no new milestones left to reach: 16, 18 and 21 are all markers, but once you get past those...well, reaching 26 and no longer being regarded as the spawn of Satan by car insurance companies is scarcely worth cracking open a can of Stella.

It is somewhat startling to realise that, by the time he was my age, my father had completed National Service and was married with two kids. I think it's probably a generational thing, with people tending both to get married later, or even not get married at all -- the concept of "living in sin" is now seen less as one step up from being a serial killer, and more as a perfectly sensible idea to discover whether a more permanent arrangement would work. Indeed, the prospect of marrying someone with whom I *hadn't* lived together, seems highly strange. [Though, let's face it, words 7-12 in that sentence are largely superfluous, and as for the prospect of kids, I'm firmly with Amanda Donohoe in 'Lair of the White Worm' on THAT topic]

I do, of course, remain deeply immature, and am proud of it -- especially when I look around at the alternative. I still consider myself as a delayed teenager; the town where I grew up was not what anyone would describe as wild, and so I missed out on all the usual pursuits such as goofing off school. Now, I am making up for lost time, and goofing off work as much as possible. I can't really gripe, as looking back over the past year with its ups and downs, I'm probably in a better state than at the same point last year, in the majority of areas. No new TC out, admittedly, but hey, everybody's life has got static...

And the award for "most misguided attempt to cheer me up" goes to the friend who came out with: "Well, you ARE only half-way to being sixty-four". Those former doyens of Sarf London pop (and thus local heroes) Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine sang about "growing old disgracefully", and it's an approach which I personally intend to take to heart. Though I've certainly crossed a few things off my "to do" list over the past few years, I'm sure there are plenty of places, experiences, and novel sexual practices yet to be tried. You're only as young as you feel -- and the morning after my birthday night out, sixty-four was not far from the truth. I have vague memories of ending the night in a curry house, and me waving my credit card around and saying, "No, I'll pay for everything", but I'm sure this is just a beer-fuelled hallucination...

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