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?

Planes, Trains And Automobiles

Sitting here at Sydney International Airport, where the big jet engines roar (you probably have to be of a certain age bracket and geek level to get the reference to this song), I was of course tempted to title this entry 'Leaving On A Jet Plane'. But then of course I thought about the way Mr J Denver, singer/songwriter, met his end, and had a bit of a re-think.

Besides which, by the end of the day, I will have covered at least two of the above categories of transportation, so all's hopefully well that ends well.

I must admit I have impressed myself. I have managed to restrict my packing to one - count it - one - medium sized bag (not counting carry-on, which doesn't count in the count of counting bags anyway). I actually culled and put the kitchen sink back where it belonged - in the kitchen - and only brought ten tops that look the same instead of twenty.

I may quite possibly have an aneurysm.

Either that, or for once in my life I thought about what I will really wear, versus what I would wear were it 1932 and I had a lady's maid and the Dread and I were going cruising with the Duke of Westminster in the South of France - and changing for every possible social occasion known to man in the course of a 24 hour cycle. 

Quite like that idea. Binky and Bertie and Whoopsie throwing the pink gins back with abandon while I wear Chanel and swan around sneering at Wallis Simpson.

As it is, the pool awaits, the Dread is en route with a bit of luck and a following breeze, and I am massively grateful for both of those things.

Mainly the latter.

Not that I'd tell him that.