It’s been a long time coming and the build up has been almost unbearable, but the waiting is finally over!
Yes, it’s National Public Sleeping Day! At last, we can all indulge our long supressed desire for a nap on a park bench, pew or bus. Though, if any of my UK-based readers fancy the first option I suggest they wrap up warmly: today’s title does not refer to the ambient temperature outside Fish Towers.
OK, I’ll stop toying with you. As the title makes clear, my forties are now consigned to history and I have made it to the age of fifty (50). This feat of derring-do (or don’t) would have been more impressive if achieved further back in history (if only because of the temporal engineering on my part that would imply). It would also have had a lower probability had I spent those years living in other parts of the planet, those regions oft referred to as the ‘global south’ (which, in terms of life expectancy, seems to include parts of Glasgow). If Jeremy Hunt continues on his current path, turning the UK into an improbable exporter of doctors whilst offering succour to big sucrose (and not only in the form of magic pills), my half century may once again come to seem worthy of note: still, his commitment to defusing the pensions time-bomb is undeniable.
Given my long history of insomnia, I do feel it rather tactless of the powers-that-be to designate my natal day as a celebration of sleeping of any form, let alone in public. Then again, given that I largely ignore the personal significance of the day myself, perhaps they felt I’d left the field open for them. My only concession to the day so far has been to open my birthday cards: so many had poured through my letter-box that I had to move to a second hand to count them all! I suspect this is another sign of my antiquity, I’m sure the younger generation would just exchange photos of portions of their anatomy via Snapchat or write on each other’s Facebook walls to mark the arrival of a culturally significant milestone.
Otherwise, so far today, I’ve done the laundry and visited the gym and supermarket. Errands still need doing, even if the earth has returned, after some fifty round trips of the sun, to roughly the same relative position it held when I burst forth (to the sound of trumpets – or so I fondly like to imagine) from the temporary accommodation kindly provided by my mother. However, I am not a total curmudgeon, and will be going out later today as there is something I want to see taking place in a cavern buried deep beneath Waterloo Station – the fact that this happens to coincide with my birthday is (I assume) a happy accident.
Whilst I am now so old that I can remember the days when caramel was unsalted (a state of affairs which younger readers will find hard to believe), I comfort myself with the knowledge that I remain much younger than my brother-in-law (and most of the hills).