May 22nd - a life in a day
35 years ago, today, I was born, at around 9.45pm, at St. Georges Hospital, Tooting, London., to a secretary. It was a Saturday night. I was never told where I was conceived or whether the birth was easy. Not really my problem, was it? My father, a taxi driver, was, at the time off somewhere else. The story of most of my childhood, if truth be told.
30 years ago, today, aged 5, I was coming to the end of my first year at Junior school. I had a grey school uniform that was very cute, lived with my mother, father having long since left the scene, in a council flat in Luton, Bedfordshire. I was probably doing ballet lessons at the time (this 'phase' didn't last long as I had the grace of something with no grace), and had a ladybird or two as pets. They lived on the leaves of the Busy Lizzie plants we kept in the flat until the disappeared. I then went and rescued some more. We had a balcony with tomato plants. Pigeons laid their eggs in the plants. I have never liked pigeons.
25 years ago, today, aged 10, I was living with my mother, her nasty boyfriend, and his beautiful Golden Retriever, in a big house in a nice area of Wimbledon, London. I learned how to cycle - for the first time and used to ride up and down our cul-de-sac a lot. I was best friends with a French girl that moved a couple of doors down and we'd have huge arguments and borrow each others Barbies.
20 years ago, today, aged 15, I was living with my mother in a smaller place, near Wimbledon. Life wasn't particularly great and I didn't take anything seriously. I'd also been sacked from a few part-time jobs by this point.
15 years ago, today, aged 20, I was living in Stafford, Staffordshire, studying Psychology and American Studies at university and doing too many drugs. I should have taken some time out before going to study. I still wasn't really taking anything seriously.
10 years ago, today, aged 25, I was living in Bath, Avon, and having an affair with an utter twat. I was signing on at the time and doing a lot of writing for the local paper. Having spent two years in Paris, I'd come back and decided to do a French A'level, for the hell of it. I was doing that at this time too.
5 years ago, today, aged 30, I was living back up in London, having gone to Cornwall and done a Post-Grad journalism course, and lived in Brighton, in the interim. I was working at the BBC. It had it's good points.
And today, aged 35, I feel old. I've been in Tokyo for nearly two years teaching English, and I cannot, for the life of me, imagine where I'll be or what I'll be doing five years from now.
I was going to post all this earlier but, due to downloading most of season two of Lost, my computer was refusing me any further access to the internet.
On Saturday I was in a stropingly bad mood, suffering major pre-birthday blues and was about to cancel any form of celebration of my birthday. I didn't though.
In an abbreviated nutshell then: 15 friends joined me for lunch at Barbacoa, a Brazilian restaurant, where the drinking started for some of us. The weather was on my side, after being really crap recently, and so afterwards a few people drifted off, but most of us went and sat in the sun in Yoyogi Park for a bit, with another quick drink, before we went on to Arty Farties, a gay club with an awesome nomihodai (1000 yen 5pm to 9pm), cheesy music and not too many people. Later on, a couple of Japanese friends and I went to karaoke. Two of us sang. One just tried very hard to stay upright. I was among the singers!
I've had emails from two of my lightweight friends today saying they cannot remember most of the evening.
I always take that as a good sign.
As for me; I had a bit of a hangover this morning, but it wasn't too bad and kind of dissipated as the day went on. Or it did until I got onto a train anyway.
In the evening, after having done nothing all day, I went into Shinjuku and met up with some more friends. We spent a giggly evening in an izakaya (good old hair of the dog, eh?!) before more karaoke. Naturally!
And two of my VERY cheeky, or maybe sensible (?) friends, gave me a compass as a present as I never have a clue where I am.... It's cute and fun, but I donno if it'll stop me getting lost!!!