21 Mar 2010

Post 193: My 33rd Birthday

Right, so my 33rd birthday. It is strange having mixed emotions about seeing all the people you care about most at the same time, in the same place. To be clear before my stroke, there would have been no mixed emotions, just happiness and elation and a dead cert hangover the next day! Now, any hangover is likely to be trivial as I can only manage a few glasses of red wine despite my (and some other's, best efforts). The other emotion that I had and can't shake is terror, more specifically terror of tiredness, exhaustion so acute that I can no longer speak, open my eyes or move my limbs, sadly most pictures of me yesterday, I look asleep in. When a camera is pointed in my direction I try to open my eyes, look awake and think 'blue steel' but its more like 'blue eel'. Don't misunderstand me, I love these events and it makes me feel that people haven't forgotten me and the pre and post self loathing is worth it because I get to see everyone. The organisation is difficult because for a lunch it is always necessary to have a fairly accurate reflection of numbers beforehand because there is money involved and my dad kissed goodbye to paying for parties after my sister got married over ten years ago. So I had made sure everyone coming had £15 a head cash for lunch. Special thanks to my mum for mugging people of that when they came in and my dad for making up the inevitable shortfall. At the very beginning Mum, Dad and I arrived a bit early to an empty pub. The amount of insecurity that has been created by 'fashionable lateness' over the years which is why 'pandering to fashion' is in my 'top 5 things that make me turn the air blue' – eventually, the place filled up with a respectable 45 adults showing up with no-shows (something that also makes the 'air-blue top 5' being thankfully balanced by people I hadn't expected to see. I will not be putting so much store in the facebook invite and RSVP system again. Why let me invite non facebook members via email through the facebook system if it's going to fall apart and not let them RSVP when they follow the link? And I'm the disabled one? This state of affairs was not helped by my assertion that everyone could bring a partner/friend or ally because there's nothing worse than being a random at a party where everyone else knows each other although I am in bewildered awe of my new friend Rachel who gallantly just shows up to these things.. My solution to being a random in the old days was to get disgracefully drunk and (when single:-)) (obviously) flirt shamelessly with any gorgeous girl within sight. I was one of those rare annoying people that liked being a random (particularly when I was single). Anyway those are 'days gone by' – what struck me yesterday(apart from a metaphorical train) was that my 33rd birthday was a glorified Crèche
(I pointed out at my 32nd how 'fiercely my friends had been breeding'(post 114). Now, I've got nothing against children although I do object to young families who's kneejerk response to everything is 'NO'.You might as well be in a wheelchair. With that out of the way, little kids are sweet and the more interactive ones aren't half funny in a 'haha' way. My mum was in her element, she was happier than a pig in sh*t (I probably overuse this phrase but it hits the nail between the eyes:D) .
It has now come to the difficult part of individually saying thanks to people and mentioning people I haven't seen in ages, which is bloody hard. I can't think of anyone I want to thank more than anyone else except perhaps my parents, who help me put on these things and having been here so constantly that they know everyone almost as well as me. Sadly seeing as dad had the camera there's not a picture of him and mum holding court about some fantastically anachronistic subject (probably), secondly, it'll have to be my cousins who have been great and are great -my uncles Ian and Alistair
have been really supportive and often pop by to see me, Ian's kids (who are similar ages to me are great. Nicky, the eldest has (some 6 months ago had her first daughter (the gorgeous Ava) and her grandfather (Ian) literally reverts into a small child around her! (f*ck it's funny),
3rd is my mate Chris Dugdale (the magician) and his charming wife Alexis. He is awesome – he's the type of mate everyone says 'where did you meet him'. Obviously I'd like to say 'well,he was sitting next to me in 1st class on the way back from Monte Carlo, we got chatting, and we've been friends ever since' but I couldn't convincingly pull that off. He is quite simply the brother of one of my best mates from Uni. Will and his lovely fiancée Liga sadly couldn't be there yesterday. Being a magician is Chris' job and he does this for free out of the kindness of his heart because he's a mate. I feel slightly better because when he did this at my 32nd last year he ended up getting a bona fide booking to do some of his amazing magic and mindreading at her big birthday bash in December. Caroline was there yesterday to sample the goods. She is also the mother of my longest running friend Dom 'Iceman' Icely, so Caroline and her husband John had also come to see their cute bruiser of a grandson Freddie.
As I often say, I'm pleased at the way these events bring together different groups. I think I could probably be accused of being a bit of a posh boy but I've been so lucky to meet and stay friends with so many different groups. I've probably mentioned some misspent time in my 20s DJing having far too much fun and although my core mates are the ones I met at Uni, the ones I met through DJing are pretty awesome,e.g Gaelle and Mike,
Gary and Jo and their more recent addition Sophia, and I couldn't believe the sudden arrival of Paul 'filthmonger' Reeves and his lovely wife Iwona and I could scarcely believe my eyes, oh my god Reeves has been breeding and has aseveral week old son Alec, when I first met Paul(10ish yrs ago) he was a squaddie and DJ of the sort of hard house and Techno that made children cry but he has always had a heart of gold, e.g. him and Iwona have very sweetly got me a special 'for the disabled' tandem paraglide, sadly and they don't know this – I am a stone and a half heavier than the maximum weight.
I wouldn't dare forget Simon and Mernie.
Simon is one of my best mates from those days and looks out for me despite us viciously insulting each other whenever we see each other, I think he might have called me a f***nut yesterday, I think I retaliated with something unrepeatable even with**s. Mernie is a funny one. I was actually at Uni with her in a different college so we only met in London and completing that disgraceful Clique(that most un-cliquey of cliques )were the Buhmans, Markus and Judy. I didn't know Judy back then but Markus and I used to have the odd mix, when DJ's got together donned their anoraks and talked untold bull about music usually followed by the words 'listen to this bit', moving groups again, I was struck dumb (a familiar problem) by the appearance of my former colleague and fellow joker (usually when we shouldn't have been) Dave Brittain (sadly no picture) and his partner Stephen brandishing their wedding invite. I cannot think of a more fabulous occasion. It will certainly open my rather traditional parents eyes. Staying in the John Lewis lot was the arrival of great Mate Simon Dawes and his terrific wife Yvonne (No picture DAD!)sadly without their hilarious kids, Joseph and Isabel which obviously doesn't mean cancel the babysitter in future! Finally the one bit of good news to come out of the BA strike was that my best pal Tony (far right) could make it. 'workers of the world Unite'. I've forgotten people again, my two partners in crime Guy and Alex
who I used to get up to mischief with, god we used to laugh, my how guy (pictured here with his Eldest sonXavier) hasn't changed, I was lamenting yesterday on facebook how 33 was such an insignificant age – this is what he wrote: 'On the contrary. If you take any two non-symmetrical 3-digit numbers, i.e. 567 or 149. Subtract the smaller number from the larger one. Then take the answer and add it to the same number in reverse order. Finally, square root it. Answer = 33. Coincidence? I think not.

It is also the temperature on the Newton scale where water boils. And that chap knew his apples, having been assaulted by one. '
I can just see the grin on his face as he wrote it. Newton 'knowing his apples' lol...Mentioning facebook, I am utterly humbled by those who posted messages on my wall, and those who sent me emails and cards (particularly the pretty one which looked hand drawn ). I was touched.
Actually while I'm here I think this is the best place to mention a couple of Uni mates I've recently been in touch with via e-mail, firstly, Andy Kocen (with the beard) a remarkable chap who is running the marathon des sables' a run that 99.99999999% of us wouldn't even cintemplate 'running, sand and Sahara desert just doesn't compute and the rather stunning lady pictured (2nd from right in the black top Miss Julia Makra) here on the last holiday I went on in 2004 (she is married and in Hong Kong now. During the course of that email conversation she told me how she'd married a guy called Dom who was in the year below at school, wow, small world. I know that's not too 'Outer Limits'
but it doesn't take much to make me look up and take notice, Keeping my attention is more the challenge. Finally (really), I wanted to say a heartfelt thanks to Steve Hitch who wasn't able to make Saturday so he came and cooked me lunch on Friday and I hadn't known he was a fully qualified chef. After my seared tuna steak with homemade red onion marmalade on a bed of Lemon cous cous,I believe my exact words were 'Steve, this is some Gourmet sh*t'' Steve and I used to DJ together – I guess the moral of this story is get to know as many different people while you still can, you never know when they could surprise you with some gourmet sh*t. Right, I think I've earned the right to sleep for a week. This has been the most tiring post ever!

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