September 22nd 2016

Today is my 23rd birthday. On your birthday everything is special. Everything is a ‘birthday thing’…

A birthday breakfast. 

A birthday lunch. 

A birthday shopping trip. 

Birthday coffee. 

Birthday Mexican Burrito. 

Birthday visitors. 

Birthday Chicken and Leek pie with suet pastry and sautéed potatoes. 

Birthday pudding. (No birthday cake because my mum knows that I don’t like cake and I don’t like candles, as described perfectly by this super awkward photo I just found from my eighteenth birthday) 

That feels like a long time ago. Perhaps partly because it was a long time ago. I’ve changed a lot since then, but Alice is still right here next to me. So that’s good. 

Today my presents were almost entirely  coffee related. Which is an indication of just how old I’m getting. 

A new coffee machine for our new house, with coffee related literature to go with it. 

But, to curb my Tory midlife crisis slightly, and remind me that there’s still some life in me yet, Alice got me a skateboard. Every opportunity I got today, I’ve been tearing it up and down the path (in strictly straight lines) in a bid to reconnect with my youth slightly on a day where I feel like I’m leaving it be behind. 

23 is well old. Proper old. 22 is like the transition year between adulthood and University age. You’re still a kid when you’re at Uni, and you come out at 21 with a degree and no idea. 22 you get a bit of a free pass, and you’re allowed a year to fuck about and figure stuff out (which incidentally is exactly what I did) but as soon as your age hits that first prime number in the twenties, you’re fucked. You’re old now. 

I literally have a retirement fund. I got a letter through from NEST Pensions confirming my auto-enrolment in my work’s pension scheme. 

And suddenly, birthdays aren’t special any more. Because you’ve had too many of them. When I was a kid, every birthday was literally ‘Top 10 Birthdays Ever’ that I counted down to from the start of the summer. And now, for this whole month I’ve been thinking more about my moving in date for the new house than I have done about my birthday. 

It’s been a really great day, but birthdays are less special when you’re older. And, let me reiterate, 23 is old. It’s literally the oldest I’ve ever been, in fact. 

I introduced Alice to our odd family custom of being woken up in the morning by the rest of the family signing happy birthday. They came into my room singing harmony (and out of tune), and I had to tell Alice to pretend to be asleep because that’s just what we do. 

And every phone call I got started with a various family member breaking into song. 

The traditions are still there, at least. 

I got fewer texts than last year, a couple of late ones, and a bunch of people forgot completely – a consequence of not having a Facebook account, how’s anyone supposed to know when your birthday is? 

Until tomorrow, until next year…



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