I am forty now. I was in my thirties the last time I posted anything meaningful to this blog. I remember those carefree days of exuberance and casual joy so well. They were the heyday of my youth, the apex of…
No, wait, things were rubbish last time I was here, piling on top of me. Stress was occurring. Things fell apart. None of that was good.
Thirties are rubbish. Forty is cool.
Am I allowed to say cool now? Am I too old to pull it off? I may be destined to become one of those appalling older people who still think they can identify with the yoof. Are you there, yoof? Can I still say cool?
Perhaps I should chillax about it.
No. No, that doesn’t suit me at all. I am never saying that again.
Anyway, I’ll be trying to get into the swing of writing regularly here again. As I promised at the start of the year, I dropped almost everything except writing itself. No publishing. No submitting. No blogging. I’ve been quieter than ever on Twitbook (though I am never particularly raucous on that there social media you young folks keep going on about). Instead, I did other things. These were some of them.
I became a person who is forty. It was dead easy, achieved mostly by not actually dying.
To celebrate not-death, my lady took me to Amsterdam. We chillaxed*. I had the most extraordinary meal of my life at Restaurant Johannes, because of a pudding that was an egg but wasn’t, and stuff that turned upside down, and a general sense of mystery about what was coming next. It was almost alarmingly unusual and artsy food, served in a really unpretentious environment. We had some Van Gogh too, and a boat ride, and I got to see my friend Alison again after nearly twenty years thanks to Twitbook, and she’s almost exactly the same except apart from the small boy with dinosaurs.
I also have an enormous new computer now. Lady is good to me.
I started watching Breaking Bad. The only thing that could break the nightly Breaking Bad binge would be if they came up with a new series of House of…
I started watching the new series of House of Cards.
Sadie, our Labrador pup, somehow went from being a new and disruptive part of the household to a member of the family. I loves that dog. She’s my best thing. Here is a picture of her by my lady, because gorgeous.
On a wise friend’s recommendation my daughter and I sought out the Sharmanka Kinetic Theatre in Glasgow, tucked away on the first floor at 103 Trongate. It’s full of insane mechanical dioramas made out of junk by Russian artist Eduard Bersudsky, that tell weird stories in very cool ways. It’s small, and if you go you should book a ticket for one of the shows when they turn things on so you can see it all come to life. The experience is deeply odd, very surprising, and lingers with you for days afterwards. I’m not sure enough people know about Sharmanka. If you live in Glasgow you have no excuse not to go and see it. If you’re coming to Glasgow, nudge it to the top of your list of quirky and unusual ways to pass an hour**.
I discovered through brief and random acts of miscellany that the West of Scotland is exactly as dramatic and beautiful as I’d previously heard but never got round to confirming. Familial discussion has been had, and this year’s vacation will involve lochs and islands, and probably a million famished midges. Sadie is coming with us, for her first holiday. I hope it will be happy chaos.
Other things happened too. Try to imagine me having a quite pleasant time doing a thing***, and we will agree that it happened, so that this does not turn into a completely exhaustive list of how I spent my winter.
Throughout it all, I’ve been running and writing. More on those very soon. For now, I’m back. Things are happening. I’m about to pick up some of those dropped things, one at a time, and see which ones I can plug back into my life.
Meantime, tell me a thing you did in January or February in the comments below. A book you got lost in, a film you watched, a TV show you fell in love with, a place you visited and think I should too. January and February have a grey and dreary reputation, but none of you died****. Things must have happened. What were they?
*Sorry, sorry, stopping that now.
**Everybody should have a list like this.
***Not that. That’s just filthy. You should be ashamed.
**** Apologies to any of you reading who actually did die. Even that was a thing though. How did you find it?