Since my last blog post I have had a ‘significant’ birthday. This would in part explain why I’ve not posted for a while, you see the old grey matter is not what it used to be and well, since passing this particular milestone a few things seemed to have changed. This is what I have found out about myself since turning *whisper* forty…..
1. I can’t see
Nothing like treating yourself to a new pair of glasses for your birthday. Turns out my old pair were woefully underpowered for my ageing eyes. Agonised over whether to splash out on the snakeskin-patterned Jimmy Choo numbers, but balked and opted for something a little more demure (read: age appropriate). Only trouble is now I keep forgetting to go and collect them from the shop. Turns out my memory is shot to shit too…
2. I can’t hear
Or rather I can’t stand background noise all of a sudden. Which is somewhat unfortunate as my husband’s mid-life crisis is currently manifesting itself through the playing of 1990s Acid House music at a million decibels throughout the place, which sends the kids loopy and makes my ears bleed.
3. My teeth are falling out
How the hell can this be happening? I’m over the hill and my erupting wisdom teeth are making the others all wobbly. The dentist says it’s nothing to worry about. I think he’s given up on me to focus his time and attention on younger patients who may actually still need their teeth (as clearly I’ll be on the dentures before long).
4. I have grey hair
As my kids delight in pointing out to me. “Mummy, mummy, why are your hairs all white?” I tried to mask the greys by enthusiastically painting our garden wall white on the day of my 40th birthday so as to have a valid reason for all the white in my hair. Think the excuse is now starting to wear off…
|You're my wonderwall|
5. I can’t do early flights anymore
Forgetting that we were no longer young carefree globetrotters who think nothing of taking flights at 3, 4, 5 in the morning (and embracing my husband’s Scottish careful/tight-arsed approach to budgeting) we bought two 6am Ryanair flights for our recent trip to Spain. Hand on heart probably the worst decision of our lives, with two kids under five. It took us all of the holiday and the week after to recover. By which point we needed another holiday.
|Lost and barely awake...check out those wrinkles|
But it’s not all bad. Looking on the bright side…
6. I’m apparently immune to chicken pox
As we emerged from the deep collective fog of no sleep and the horror of budget airlines, what we assumed to be mosquito bites rapidly descended into chicken pox for our eldest daughter. On Day One. Of our first (and perhaps only – given the logistical nightmare of leaving a smallholding in the height of summer) family holiday abroad. And so began a month of poxed up children and minimal sleep. But somehow I escaped it all, despite the fact my mother tells me I’ve never had it. Bionic woman?
7. I can run all day
No mid-life crisis would be complete without some lycra-clad mad exercise regime. My days of running fast it would appear are over, but I now inexplicably seem to be able to plod along for much longer, albeit at a much more pedestrian pace. I spent my birthday morning trotting happily for 3 hours up a local mountain and got myself nicely lost for a couple of hours each morning in Spain (anything to escape the pox!).
|Slow and steady - on the 825m summit of Cadair Berwyn|
8. I can drink like a fish
Does someone flick a switch when you cross the threshold into fortydom? Having been such a hopeless lightweight since having kids, I suddenly find myself able to drink (almost) like the good old days*. I think having lots of wonderful friends to stay over the summer has definitely helped my rediscover my vino mojo. And lose my self-control. Sometimes it feels like the weather is conspiring against me on my days to ‘be good’ and abstain. How can I resist a nice cold beer after a day working hard in the garden on a glorious warm sunny evening? Especially as my slugs get to enjoy a Becks every night as I set their traps. Why should they enjoy and not me? Is this the slippery slope into alcoholism….?
*the one exception to this rule is Leffe Belgian beer, which, being my tipple of choice in my 20s, I opted to drink on my birthday. I promptly fell fast asleep after only half a bottle.
9. I love junk food
And it’s not just the booze. I seem to be finding a million and one ways to de-healthify (oh yes, that is a word) all the bloody kale and chard and other nutritious, antioxidant-rich rabbit food which we have been growing all year. Thanks to a steady stream of visitors bringing their inspired recipes to what effectively has been a two-month long party we now feast on deep fried kale, broccoli fritters and chard cooked up with hash browns. Greens have never tasted so good. Or been so bad for you. And I love it. I wonder if this is what they call ‘letting yourself go’?
10. I have a hidden talent for flower arranging
I’m not competitive (much) but the highpoint of the summer for me just might be winning a trophy for flower arranging at the village show, plus a ‘Best Exhibit’ rosette and a staggering £2.50 prize money to boot. If it all goes tits up, perhaps I have found my true calling…
|The winner of Class 253a Vase of Mixed Garden Flowers (Novice)|
So there you have it. Not so much a crisis as a confirmation that I’ve been pretty much living in middle-age for a good while already. I think I could probably give most 60 year olds a run/brisk walk for their money on the veggie growing, chicken fancying and jam making front. If anything it’s a constant source of surprise to me how I can only be 40…!!