On Being 35
Yesterday I turned 35, and it was an odd day.
From the start, it was all a bit off. Jack woke up at 6; by 6:30 it was more than clear he wouldn’t be going back to sleep. I walked into the bathroom and Shamu had crapped on the floor. While I cleaned that up, Jack filled his nappy with great gusto.
I had planned on starting the day with a trip to a local auction. My weekly trips to the general auction have been good for me. They’re a time where I’m not looking after a baby or trying to catch up with work. They’re a time to observe the buyers, enjoy the atmosphere, and snag a few thing here and there. In spite of our early start, I still managed to get to the auction half an hour after it started.
I walked in as the auctioneer began to call the lot I actually wanted to bid on. Frantically digging through my bag for my bidder number, I managed to get in the bidding, but didn’t win the lot. I bid a little beyond what I had set as my limit, pushing the sale price past the real value of the items. The rest of the auction followed suit, with nothing ending at the price I wanted to pay.
From there, Adam picked me up. I had gone outside to call him and say I was ready, only for him to be waiting there. Jack had been in a foul mood, so he had left the house just to calm him down. We’re in the midst of a heat wave, and none of us — none of England — is handling it particularly well.
We went to my favourite farm shop for brunch. I had a savoury tea — cheese scones, cheddar cheese, chutney, and grapes — all of which Jack messily shared. We saw a woman who was pretty much leather on a skeleton. Adam couldn’t look at her while he ate for fear of vomiting.
By this point, I was exhausted. I wanted to sleep, Jack didn’t. I gave up and went to pick up a cookbook. It would give Jack a chance to sleep and I would get to be in air conditioning. Only it was rush hour. And halfway back, the fuel light came on. Because I was driving through a very hilly area, I couldn’t count on the fuel gauge’s mileage estimate. Instead, I got to have a hot, panicked drive where I kept an eye on how many gallons of petrol had been used. In rush hour.
I made it home and we went out for dinner. We had wanted to go to Lyme Regis, like we did last year. I was going to have mussels again. We got to Lyme Regis and it was stupendously crowded. (Lifeboat Week and school holidays combined with hot weather meant everyone was out.) We went to the restaurant, were finally seated in a hot indoor area and told they were out of mussels. After a good 10 minutes of waiting for service, I realised I couldn’t sit there any longer. We left, with the intention of heading to Seaton for another restaurant. (As an aside, we had another look for Adam’s left shoe, which went missing when we were on a family trip to Lyme Regis earlier in the week. Still missing.)
In the car, Jack was tired and grumpy, and I decided I would rather come home. We got a bunch of ready-made tapas stuff from Tesco and came back. Jack finally fell asleep and we watched Big Brother and Orange is the New Black.
So it was an odd birthday, full of overheating and frustration. But I spent it with Adam and Jack, and all things considered, it might have been one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had just for that reason.
And I’m thinking 35 will be a good year. For all the frustrations and poop, I’ve got a good life.