Wednesday, 10 June 2009

The big one

OK so I admit it. I'm 40 today.

I woke up with backache. My first thought: "Oh bloody hell. I never hung up that pile of damp washing last night. It's left in a heap." Then: "Oh. It's my birthday today. Fortieth!" I went back to sleep.

After the kids had jumped on me 10 minutes later, came the first surprise. My husband usually doesn't do birthdays, or anniversaries. Not purposely, but it's a character trait. He forgets them - or to buy anything, if he does remember. Or simply is so rushed off his feet, he hasn't got time. But, today, I was presented (still in bed) with the confectionary equivalent of winning the lottery. A 750g half-a-metre-diameter heart-shaped box of none other than Charbonnell and Walker's (by appointment to HM the queen) finest truffles. Those who know me will know that presents (unless they sparkle) don't get much better than this. (I have hidden the lot away. No arguing, I am notoriously possessive of my chocs).

Secondly, a card from Hubby with poems to the effect of: "Even if I don't show it I think you're amazing all the same." Jeepers! He's learning!

Thirdly, said card also had a spidery paragraph (his handwriting's not the best): "We may not be able to afford to jet off to a tropical beach, but pack your bags for a relaxing break in Lake District for several days: we leave tommorow!" First I realised he'd missed out "the". Then the meaning sunk in. Jeepers again and double Jeepers!!! Bloody hell! Maybe all birthdays should be 40th ones! Now, that has never happened in 6 years of marriage. Perhaps predictability is being flung out of the window with impending middle age (I hope). Brownie points: at least a year's worth for my husband. As far as the kids are concerned, they're jumping up and down at the prospect of Grandma and Eccentric Grandad looking after them (with attendant treats and forbidden delights), and all this mid-week too! No Mummy nagging on the school run! No Mummy shouting to finish off dinner!

"We'll have to pack our waterproofs, I'm afraid", says Hubby sadly. I'm thinking more my Pucci print wellies and jeans and cute tweed baker-boy cap (I'm not that side of 40 yet, so hunting jackets'll have to wait!) I mentally pencil in the need to 'phone the beautician at 9.30 when they open to get various important things sorted out today, if I'm going on a romantic weekend. Girls must be girls.

My son rushes up for major kisses. Once he's got his fill, he gets serious. "Mummy. Why did you tell me you were 30? You fibbed to me as I heard you tell someone it's actually your fortieth birthday! So, I'm going to tell everyone you're 40!!" (This after last week: "Mummy, I'm not going to tell anyone you're going to be 30, promise!") Damn. Wrong way round. Kids! But, hey, he can go tell the world. I won't be around: I'll be drinking real ale in front of a raging fire in some pretty country pub in the Lake District (if it's raining) or losing my cares across the expanses of gorgeous sun-kissed countryside (if it's not). Being 40 isn't that bad after all. And Links of London awaits me on my return (thanks, girlfriends...sparkly stuff!!)

Oh. PS. Do read the last post "A fitting tribute" in my absence. I promised my little boy...


  1. Happy Birthday HR! Hope you're enjoying the oh so english weather and sinking a few ales...MH

  2. Happy Birthday - sounds like you have an amazing husband. Hope you had a wonderful weekend and it didn't rain too much.