I spent my 38th birthday drinking with my friend Tasha. Well, I say she's a friend but why would she send me this photograph today where I look like a rollicking old drunk and she looks immaculate? Ho hum. I'll just put it up because I think there are some of you who believe that I only put good photos of myself up and this is to prove that I really can look like an old dog.
Tasha is the adventurous sort and we were actually planning this big European trip in the summer but now I'm not so sure. She's all about "let's share a bunk bed in a youth hostel. It'll be fun." Now she is forty and I am thirty eight and my first thought was, no to the bunk beds. I need a bit of luxury in my old age.
I really prefer to do my travelling these days while drinking a beer and watching the Travel Channel. I love watching those shows about people who buy International Properties - where you can get these huge villas in, say, Buenos Aires with a pool and full time gardener for something ridiculous like $250,000. As soon as I have the cash, I'm off. All I'll require is a full time 'pool boy' to service the, er, pool.
So all we did was get sozzled while I embraced getting old and the thought that I would probably never again stay in a youth hostel which has run out of toilet paper the moment you get the shits. I do have vague recollections of the youth hostel bunk bed days when you'd be awoken by some smelly German trying to get into your bunk in the middle of the night just because he was drunk and didn't know your bosom wasn't actually a pillow. And trying to sleep against the permeating stench of foot cheese. No. I can't do it. Sorry Tasha you are too much for me.
Or, never say never? Do you consider that although you are an 'old person' you still have the iron stomach and ability to shower once a week, not to mention stamina to enjoy one of those devil may care backpacking holidays?
The tributes are coming in thick and fast and I'm knee deep in bouquets here. It's my birthday on Saturday and some of my legions of fans have been sleeping outside my front door for days now - no doubt vying to be the first to play 'happy birthday' on a set of saucepans while tooting a tin whistle on Saturday morning when I officially turn 38.
The current view from my house. "Thanks for your enthusiasm lads but could you piss off now!"
I've even emptied my chamber pot over them a couple of times, but what can I say, they will not be moved. So now I'm paying the high price of fame and have been locked in my house for days, subsisting on Pot Noodle and listening to my old vinyls.
Now, I'm trying not to get too sad about turning thirty eight because my husband, bless him, says that "you get better looking every year," and I'm going to choose to believe him.
So, let's go back to the night of my birth for a moment, to that wintry night thirty eight years ago when my mother was barefoot and pregnant and my father was under a bed somewhere trying to pretend it all wasn't happening. Now, mum is a very slim woman and claims that no one (save my father) knew she was pregnant. She had a job in a pub and didn't want to be sacked for being pregnant apparently and often wore a big coat to cover up the bump. Well, she had a French flatmate called Aimee (who mum thinks might have known she was preggers but wasn't sure), who was out at work when my mum went into labour with me. And before walking round to the hospital, mum wrote a note to Aimee saying: 'I have gone to hospital because of the baby,' and a few days later when mum got back from the hospital Aimee got the shock of her life when she saw me because apparently she'd thought the note meant mum was off to have an abortion!
Amazing isn't it, that from such inauspicious beginnings I have now become one of the brightest flames in the blogosphere? So please dear ones, please send me gifts. And if you want to write a tribute, do go ahead, it can be as sentimental or mental as you like. Tell me how and in what way I have touched you (!) And serenade me if you like. Video tributes are also welcome from those with a lot of time on their hands, like this tribute to my famous namesake:
Who am I? Displaced Londoner now living in the States with my two little girlies and long suffering husband. Co-author of hilarious parenting book Cocktails at Naptime www.cocktailsatnaptime.com
My mom's an Austrian, my dad's a Brit, which makes me a Britaustrian, or possibly an Austrish?