Friday, 28 October 2011

Mea culpa! Mea culpa! Mea maxima culpa!

"Wossat mean, Pete?" Weeeeeell, it's Latin, innit? "Yeah, but wossit mean?" Well, loosely translated, it means I haven't blogged so much this month as I meant to. A few things have got in the way. I've still done stuff. I did make a pretty big mistake - doing a load of prep work. "Yeah, it's all very well getting your company of WWI Germans, Pete, and gluing 'em to bases, and painting their trews blue, jackets Feldgrau and so on, if you don't finish any of the beggars. 'Cause we and you both know you dislike photographing unfinished models." Yeah, you're right. I still haven't bought any PVA glue, so can't finish basing them either. Or that trench. "You muppet!" Yeah.

However, I have also been distracted as I'll be celebrating another milestone. I had rather fallen out of the habit of celebrating birthdays. I don't recall what I did in 2003, but I expect it was painful (last birthday with the ex). I remember 2005 vaguely, because I was living in London, and no friends were free - or didn't I bother inviting them? - and I spent the day in, waiting for a plumber, who never showed. Genius. So it's a bit like Scrooge in Muppet Christmas Carol. The ghost of Christmas Present booms: "Haven't you ever noticed how everything seems wonderful at Christmas?" Michael Caine: "Er, not really, Spirit, no." I've also been spending years depressed, and good cheer doesn't penetrate that well. Come to think of it, I remember my birthday of 1999, which saw my then-girlfriend break up with me and start dating the guy in the room next to mine at uni. I'm sure I have plenty of reasons to like birthdays, but I have always remembered the reasons to dislike 'em! :-D

Last year, though, was nice. My friend, Martyn, and I are within a few days of one another, so I visited him in Wales, as did several of our mutual friends, and we had a grand time. This year, of course, everyone's poor, so it's a bit harder to organise. Nonetheless, seven specially selected contestants weill be competing for the Grand Prize of . . . well, seven friends are coming up, and I'll compel 'em to do stuff I like, 'cause one gets to be selfish on one's birthday. ;-) I was at a friend's party the other month, and she had us playing Twister. I almost dislocated everything, I think! Anyway, Cranium and Trivial Pursuit will make an appearance. I'm going to suggest Scrabble, but I won't push my luck if people scream and fling themselves out the window upon that suggestion.

The best thing about birthdays, as far as I am concerned, is seeing friends. Presents, cards, decorations: all are secondary or even irrelevant. Indeed, I tend to forget that they aren't irrelevant to my friends, too - apologies, everyone! I just like seeing people. Heck, petrol costing what it does, I'm all too aware that even the price of a journey is about the cost of a very nice present these days!

Anyway, alcohol has been purchased - and even more of it's coming (my friends are too kind!), the room will be purified with fire tomorrow. Well, Dad'll tidy his papers away. Then I'm going to finish putting up decorations. I bought a few today and will get some more tomorrow. We used to have loads of them, my birthday being so close to Halloween. But when I was still a wee lad one of our priests had a serious dislike of Halloween, and everything was got rid of. I think it was around the period that Trick or Treating reached these shores. We're right on the edge of town, so I think there may have been one accompanied small child fishing for sweets at our door in my lifetime, but that's it. Anyway, tomorrow I'm going to get some more decorations, buy some ingredients, and do a little preparatory cookery. It would not be Halloween without pumpkins. Not that it is Halloween, mind, since that's on Monday. Moving on! With fewer distractions and a lot of the basic work done on a whole company of German infantry, the blog should be a lot more active next month. Auf Wiedersehen!

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