Esher, Surrey; May 20, 2011 – Another fucking birthday! Will they never end?
Well, of course they will – and all too bloody soon. Not that I’m getting morbid, but I can’t help reflecting that I’m now entering the final approach to that biblical milestone of three score years and ten. Just one more Christmas to go, two more visits to the dental hygienist, and five more Test matches.
But why worry? All I keep reading is that, thanks to advances in medical science, or chemically-enhanced food, or global warming, or the stimulation of virtual reality television, one’s Sixties are now what one’s Forties used to be. Pull the other leg, the one with bells on. Feelings of mortality inevitably intrude but, like Woody Allen, I’m not scared of death; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.
However long or short my remaining span may be, I can’t complain. A lifetime of indolence, punctuated by bouts of debauchery, and not a day’s serious illness, add up to a lucky streak any gambler would kill for. I should add for good measure that after three attempts, I’ve found an absolute gem of a wife whose forbearance goes far beyond the call of marital duty. Bless her.
Meanwhile, today’s celebrations will be muted: a local dinner hosted by dear friends tonight, followed by an obligatory bottle of port to make the first day of my seventieth year a living hell.