Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Heading for the big 3.0......

I find dressing like a bee helps me to feel young at heart.

Sooo... I'm turning 30. Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it? A mere slip of a girl like me? My buddy Jasmine recently took the plunge and tells me it's easier once you've passed the dreaded birthday. "Now that I am thirty, I don’t worry about turning thirty..." she blithely told me, as I covered my ears and squeaked "Stop saying you're thirty! It sounds so old!"

I'm not REALLY that bothered – I know how irritating age paranoia can be, as one young friend of mine told me recently "I'm really worried about turning twenty." I bopped her on the nose at once and told her to shut up, of course.

I think being extremely immature and childish helps. I'm always amazed when I see adults walking along pavements strewn liberally with leaves – without kicking them up. That NEVER stops being fun. The same goes for building snowmen, reading Famous Five books, and buying an ice cream from a van.

However, one thing that makes me wonder if I am a bit old, is that whenever I see Glastonbury on TV I'm always very thankful that I’m not actually there. Experience has taught me that being trapped in a crowd, either in mudslidey drizzle or baking sunshine, and having to use portaloos and buy dubious kebabs, is not my idea of a good time at all. Despite the general consensus that we would all sell our grandmothers to get a ticket, I actually prefer to watch it from the comfort of my own home and go to the toilet / make a cup of tea whenever I like. (At least I did, before the BBC made it the most corporate event ever, but that's another story.)

Milestone birthdays are like New year’s eve; they force you to take stock of where you're at, how far you've come and all the ways in which your life is not exactly where you thought it would be at this point. However, I refuse to get sucked into those "Things you should have done before you're 30," checklists. None of them are actually limited by age (except, obviously, 18-30 holidays, and what kind of braindead moron would want to do that?).

I haven’t read the entire works of Shakespeare (you've got to save something for those long winter nights when you're old, after all). Nor have I swum with dolphins (however, I did swim with seals – I always like to deviate a little from the norm – and they were lovely. So I'll save dolphins for another day.)

I will also be ignoring media advice on what kind of clothes I wear. I sometimes sympathise with fashion columnists who have to come up with a new story every week and will therefore occasionally trot out the old "When must you give up wearing short skirts / thigh boots / wonderbras?" debate, but frankly, if I want to wear hot pants when I'm 70, I will, and you can't stop me. People may laugh at pensioners riding motorbikes and dancing the can can, but if they're enjoying themselves, what's it to anyone else?

Having said all this, I do think there are a couple of things that you should know by the time you have spent 30 years gathering knowledge on this planet:
  • How to make tea properly. Ye gods, why do so many people make tea so badly? What's worse is that their tea-making skills are always inversely proportional to the pride they take in it. Anyone who tells you "I make a really great cup of tea" is bound by law (Sod's) to leave the tea bag stewing for about ten minutes, creating a burnt flavour and little bits of skum floating in the mud coloured liquid that they are so proud of. The odd thing is, many people must really enjoy tea this way because it seems to be the general MO of the nation. The other extreme is those who believe that milk must be poured in first, therefore ensuring that the tea bag never has the slightest contact with water which is at the necessary boiling point. So I will just carry on using boiling water, adding milk almost immediately and then squeezing the tea bag until it reaches the desired hue. You may disagree with me, but I'm not going to argue about this. Because I know I am right.
  • The difference between their, there and they're; between your and you're, that the possessive "its" does not have an apostrophe (counter intuitive as that may seem), and that there is no "a" in definitely. Also, that you "lie" on a bed, you don't "lay" on it. Yep, Lynne Truss and I are kindred spirits. (And I just know that my blog must be littered with humiliating mistakes that I haven't noticed: please forgive me in advance.) And if you really are a greengrocer who likes to add apostrophes to everything, you're exempt from the above rules.
  • And this is where I show my age. It's taboo to admit this, but sometimes it's much more fun to stay in with a box of chocolates and the telly than it is to go out, get manhandled by sweaty, sleazy men on the way to the extortionately expensive bar, and puke in the taxi on the way home. Strange but true.

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