Here we are again. The end of one lap, the beginning of another. I started thinking about it last night – this is my 49th lap now, isn’t it. I’m 48. Ancient. Old. Falling to bits. I wonder why humans began marking time in terms of our rotation around the sun? It’s easy to think of the seasons as a contributor, but that only really applies since modern farming appeared (which is very, very recent in terms of the history of “us” as a species). Maybe people didn’t celebrate birthdays in the distant past.
Celebrating the day of your birth is a bit odd really, isn’t it. You’re neither celebrating that you made it into the world in one piece, or celebrating that you’re still here (unless you’re a hundred years old maybe).
Anyway. I’m officially 48.
When I woke up this morning, my sixteen year old daughter was standing over me brandishing a birthday card. I was then expected to drag myself out of bed immediately – to join the rest of the family (minus our eldest, who seems to be the living embodiment of the older sister in “Zathura”) and open presents.
I’ve been sitting here for a few moments debating if I should share the things I got for my birthday, because I’m always aware that some people don’t get anything, and the last thing they want to read is some idiot saying “look at all this stuff I got!”. Except it’s not really a lot, and it’s not anything expensive – because we’re not like that.
I got books, socks, underwear, a nerdy t-shirt, an Amazon voucher, and a gadget to attach a mobile phone to a telescope eyepiece. Oh, and I got several bottles of cider.
The books are really quite marvellous – mostly from my Amazon wishlist:
The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig
Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari
Homo Deus, by Yuval Noah Harari
Life 3.0, by Max Tegmark
I still have to decide what to spend the Amazon voucher on. The immediate thought is another book, just to make the tower of unread books really quite dangerous.
(and hour passes, while I dip back into work, and then a flag is waved in the back of my mind, reminding me that Amazon often has deals on Kindle books. Guess who just had about ten more books land in his Kindle? Perhaps the most famous – that’s been on my wish-list forever – is “The Bell Jar”)
At least the kindle can’t fall on me, and kill me.
I requested pizza for my “birthday dinner” this evening. I’m not entirely sure where the pizza is going to be procured from yet. Let’s hope I don’t have to walk to the supermarket in the rain (yes, it’s raining – again).
This post first appeared at jonbeckett.substack.com, where you can read and subscribe to more of Jonathan’s idiocy.