Saturday, 4 September 2010

Commuting Gems...The Midlife Manual...

Each weekend I buy the Saturday Times newspaper and each Monday I pack The Times Magazine into my handbag to while away my trip to work.  Reading is one of the true joys of commuting (vs driving) for me and I tend to move from magazines to books and back again (alongside my daily topup of free news and views in the Metro) as the week progresses.  Anyway, sometimes I find some gems...and it wasn't until last night's journey home that I dug out last weekend's magazine and read an extract from the book billed to be 'the funniest of the year', The Midlife Manual.

Having only just turned 41, I have not really considered myself to be mid-life (although in a purely literal and slightly morbid sense, 82 is not a bad innings).  And admittedly I didn't say 'Yes' to many of the statements in the opening questionnaire although 14. (Tired. Just really, really tired.) and 16. (And angry. Christ, where does that anger come from? Why did no one prepare you for it.) struck a bit of a chord.  But it was turning the page and reading the following list that had me nodding in vigorous agreement:

Things that pass for excitement these days

A double espresso
Amen to that - the ONLY way to end a great meal!

A new organic cafe opening on your high street
Is there really? I didn't hear about it. Oh no there's not? Well we definitely need one!

The arrival of the new Boden catalogue
And the discount vouchers contained therein.

Finishing Wolf Hall
I read the back cover of someone else's copy at work and I'm REALLY interested in reading this. Does this mean I am on the threshold rather than in the thick of mid-life?

A bountiful tomato harvest from your grow bag
Remember my 'news from the patch' exploits last year? Those tomatoes were so beautifully  sweet.

Ordering dessert
Another amen to that most holy of trios - cheesecake, pecan pie and tiramisu.

Successful erection of flat-pack furniture
Given that I have been doing this since my 20s, does this mean I was old before my time? Erk!

Being out in town after 11.30pm
...in the middle of winter and marvelling at the hordes of 'young people' wandering around wearing 'not very much'...it makes me feel colder/older just looking at them.

Finding out someone famous has moved in across the street from you
Rick Astley lives in the next street - does he still count as famous?

The fact there's an Argos iPhone app
I hate Argos.  Hate them, hate them, hate them (see earlier reference to anger). It's a long story from more than 5 years ago.  And I'm still hanging on to it.

Losing 2lb
The only upside in morning after hangovers (when did these get so hard?) and illness.  Water retention is such a curse!

Cupcakes
So sweet and pretty at first, like a 6 year old girl's birthday party. 
The cleanup afterwards though?  Not so great...lifetime on the hips and all that.

Beating a younger colleague at squash
I haven't done this - does that mean I am not yet mid-life (aka desparately clutching at straws)?

A racy storyline in the Archers
What is Archers please?

The first of the season's asparagus in your vegbox
Bless them - so tender and just perfect in a spring risotto.

Buggar me (in the Australian sense please!).  When did this happen?  And given I've ticked off most of these exciting things, I am now starting to wonder what's left...so I'm off before stocks run out - you can buy The Midlife Manual on Amazon too if you want...but stand in line, ok?  I got here first!

Note to JF:  I think this will be the best use of birthday Amazon voucher!  Thanks mate x
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