Big Spiders and Birthdays

Autumn is here, trumpeting its arrival with the mass migration of huge sultana-bodied and hairy-legged spiders from places strictly external to our property, to within every nook and cranny of the house, and with the return of X Factor. Other traditional features of the third season of the year are the arrival of thousands of students to our fine Sheffield streets, the sudden imposition of severe limitations on daylight dog-walking hours (resulting in the necessity to cram daily tasks in to even less time), and ongoing battles between myself and my other half regarding the heating – ten degrees, and he’s still in shorts and a T-shirt whilst I’m cocooned in at least three jumpers, thermal tights and a vest, excogitating the pros and cons of wearing a woolly hat (pros = warm, cons = itchy, makes head look daft, flattens hair).

Autumn also means my birthday is approaching (in two weeks, October 14th, same as Winnie the Pooh’s). Since I was in my mid teens, I have mostly got plastered on my birthday. This means that I now struggle to remember pretty much any of them, and the memories that I can pull together from those drink-fuelled days just blur in to one, creating a hazy montage of shot glasses, rowdy pubs, throwing up and bad hangovers.

Now that I don’t drink, this whole ‘let’s get drunk, it’s my birthday’ idea strikes me as curious – get dressed up, meet some friends, and then get so smashed that you make yourself ill and proceed to forget everything that you did to celebrate your latest coming of age. For my thirtieth, I had a party; a fancy dress bash with the following theme – 1970’s yacht party off the coast of Biarritz. The whole purpose behind this night was to get shitfaced; decorating the house, getting dressed up in silly clothes and a pink wig, fairy lights, carefully chosen music – the entire evening was an excuse for me to get off my head. I succeeded, and was so drunk by 10.30 pm that I was carried upstairs, threw up in to a bucket next to my bed, and then drifted off in to an alcohol-induced coma. Meanwhile, my guests had a lovely time downstairs until the early hours of the following morning, when they let themselves out quietly, leaving their oh-so-attentive hostess passed out in her boudoir.

However, I am not bitter. I have plenty more birthdays to come and I intend to remember each and every one from now on. I also plan to do something cool to celebrate each year that I grow in age and (I hope) wisdom. Sitting in a pub is of no interest to me. Eating a meal in a restaurant is nice, but I do that on many other non-birthday days too. What I’m looking for is an experience – a daytime activity preferably (baby restrictions still in place), something that will really stick in my mind. And something different.

On that note, there are a few followers of this blog now, and so if any of you have a good idea for my fast-approaching 37th birthday, would you send it me on a comment? I promise to do my favourite of any suggestions, blog about it and include photos. Nothing rude, inappropriate, alcohol-related or boring please…thanks all. 🙂