Forty-One Is The New... Oh Forget It

“Women like a man with a past, but they prefer a man with a present”

— Mae West

So life is tough here in the tropics. Between eating, sleeping, swimming, drinking cocktails and - well, repeating the above - it's a hard knock life. I do have the small aggravation of the Dread Pirate's ability to tan in the space of a millisecond whilst I turn into the world's largest freckle to put up with, but these things are sent to try us. And I am enormously grateful for the amazing time I am having traversing South East Asia, with the opportunity to catch up with very old friends and really relax for the first time in a long time.

But the whole trip - there has been a certain something lurking. A shadowy spectre of doom. That phantom finger of uneasiness which caused the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up at odd moments, to feel as if the proverbial grave was being tangoed upon.

The clock has been a-ticking on the calendar of life. Specifically, on the days until February 6th. Which of course, came along yesterday...

And I officially got OLDER.

I know that there shouldn't be an emphasis on age, and I was pretty happy with the way I was doing for fuh-fuh-fuh...


But then it had to click over to forty-one. Why? Can't I just stay perennially forty? Because it sounds so much cooler saying 'yep, I'm 40' than 'yep, I'm 41'. I don't know why. There is probably a thesis in there somewhere for some enterprising non-forty-one year old (read: young person) who has an inclination to explore this issue, and can manage it without the subjects of said thesis snarling at them like tigers; but something about the whole year '41' makes me feel all T.S. Eliot's 'J. Alfred Prufrock' and as though I am going to start wearing my trousers rolled and start going around groaning that I grow old, I grow old.

However. There is a solution. And it's a very simple and cost-effective one. In the words of the timeless and magnificent Mae West, you're only as old as the man that you feel.

I never, ever thought I would be grateful for a six month age difference.

As it turns out however, gratitude does come in mildly annoying but ever so slightly more youthful buccaneering packages.

With a light case of sunburn.

And a fair bit of cutlass wielding idiocy to take my mind off the approach of the Angel of Death.

Except of course when he is reminding me how much older I am than him.

Remind me why I am grateful again?