Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Today is my birthday. There is a thing about not celebrating your birthday as you get older. What is the point, after all? Birthdays are about balloons and cake and conjuring tricks, which only really work when you are seven. Isn’t it a bit undignified, running around on a random day of the year yelling, metaphorically or literally: look at me, look at me, I was born?
Actually, I think no. Turns out social networking, that hideous, dry, clunking phrase for Facebook and Twitter and similar, is quite marvellous on your birthday. I started off feeling rather cranky and grumpy and ultimately ordinary; then there was a little Facebook flash from my cousin in West Meath and suddenly we were pinging bad jokes and naughty stories about Rudolph Valentino performing unspeakable acts back and forth and it felt like a party. People only have to write Happy Birthday with a little exclamation mark or kiss and the day starts to glint and gleam with promise.
It’s quite odd. One could see it all as very dry and distant; a few tweets, a sentence on a Facebook page; nothing to get exercised about. In fact, it is all very touching.
I’m doing this quick blog now because I’m being taken out to lunch, and afterwards I may be hors de combat. Also, there is snow, so I might be stuck in a drift. No time for elaborate words, or even pictures, but just did want to salute the Dear Readers and say that forty-five is not bad at all.
I’m starting to wonder why I made such a fuss in my head about the whole middle-aged, mid-life nonsense. Age is just a scratch on a page. If you’ve got love and trees and Pigeon (or equivalent) and readers and friends and hills and family and soup, the years are nothing.
Perhaps the only real difference is that now I make a little oof sound when I get up from a chair. ‘Oof,’ I say, out loud, as I stretch my creaking joints. I do not think I did that when I was twenty-five. Still, nothing a bit of downward facing dog can’t fix.
Some days, a photograph is so glorious that only one is called for. I think this is one of those days. So here are no trees and avenues and hills and lichens. Here is just my Pigeon:
PS. You know that women the other day who told me that blogging was self-indulgent? I should make clear she was a very nice, highly intelligent person; it was just I slightly disagreed with that one statement. But the awful thing is that if she randomly stumbled upon today's post, she would have the shining satisfaction of being proved absolutely right.
Tomorrow, in penance, there shall be nothing but World Affairs. I might even have a little go at Mr Hester's bonus.