Tuesday Bullet Points

1. Yesterday was my birthday – I’m now 45, and wondering where the time went. Yes, I know, I’m not completely out to pasture yet, but this is still the oldest I’ve ever been and it takes a bit of getting used to. I think I’ve moved from ‘young in a good light’ to ‘officially middle-aged.’

2. I seem to be coming down with a cold, which is not great news for…

3. Tomorrow evening I’m going to the Penguin bloggers’ party for the first time, as Annabel’s plus one. I’ve been very excited about this, though I am less excited by the prospect of sniffing and sneezing my way through it.

4. My back is much better, thank you all you kind people who have asked me about it. My shoulder and arm are still troubled by my compressed nerve, which dates all the way back to the end of October last year. Oddly enough, I have two sisters-in-law who have been suffering from the same thing, and it seems to be taking all of us a while to recover, which is at least solidarity, even if I might wish instead for a speedy recovery for the three of us.

5. I’ve been reading 750-1,000 pages a week, though you wouldn’t know it from this blog. I’ll be able to tell you why in two weeks’ time, thank goodness, the restraint is killing me.

6. I only received four books for my birthday this year, but I was very pleased with them: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee, Mr Skeffington by Elizabeth von Arnim, and Her Brilliant Career; Ten Extraordinary Women of the Fifties by Rachel Cooke.

7. I am still loving tai chi class, but I am haunted by guilt. On about the second or third week, one of the other newbies complimented me on picking it up quickly and seeming very at ease with the exercises. It was a lovely compliment, and I did that dreadful fumbling thing, not expecting anyone to say anything so nice. I laughed it off as a good facade, which was completely the wrong thing to say. I should have said that years of ballet training as a child made this sort of thing easier for me, or I should just have said, thank you, how kind. The lady who was so nice to me never came back after that session and I feel like I chased her away. My social skills are really not what they were. This does not bode well for tomorrow night, either.

8. My son is job hunting in London and doing okay, given the circumstances. He’s been getting on well with the reading, though he says he can watch any kind of film at any time, but realises he has to have the ‘right’ book for his mood. He recently finished the Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and very much enjoyed it. Thank you for all your wonderful suggestions – I’m looking forward to seeing him branch out.

9. In my current reading, I’m splitting my time between the Tudor court, riven with potentially lethal intrigue, the story of a newly appointed psychiatrist on an emergency admission ward, and you would not believe the crazy things people do to themselves, and a juvenile detention centre for kids with disabilities. I have to say that, even if things have been a little rocky lately, such reading reinforces my awareness that they are really NOT that bad!



26 thoughts on “Tuesday Bullet Points

  1. Happy Birthday for a second time. You can’t say Happy Birthday too often. In case you’re wondering, we celebrated with cake. You can’t eat cake too often either. I can’t wait to see what you think of ‘The Rosie Project’. I was sure I wouldn’t like it and then found myself laughing and crying my way to the end of it and wishing for more. I am so jealous of you having the chance to read it for the first time.

  2. I love how these bullet points touch on so many parts of your life — I think the ability to see all of them with such elegant clarity is one of the bonuses of being the oldest you’ve ever been.

  3. Happy birthday! From someone who is about to turn 46 in a few weeks, 45 isn’t so bad. Though I did notice I am growing more reluctant to say how old I am and if someone asks my age I have to stop and think about it — why surely I’m 37, wait, no, 40 maybe, hold on 42? Let me count, oh gosh, I’m 45! When did that happen?! Enjoy your birthday books.

    I am glad to hear your back continues to get better and that your son is doing ok too. As for tai chi class, I am sure you didn’t scare the poor person away. If anything you said kept her from coming back she only used it as an excuse for not wanting to be there in the first place.

  4. Belated happy birthday! The books sound lovely – I read “Mr. Skeffington” last year and loved it!

  5. Happy birthday and how can it be that time yet again? I’m sure I only blinked. Perhaps it’s a time warp! Hope you enjoy the meeting. Glad things are improving. Tell the cold to go away. Firmly.

  6. “the oldest I’ve ever been”
    I love it, and it definitely resonates.
    Also I totally identify with your response to the tai chi comrade. I’ve been guilty of being overly self-deprecating, and it really is an important skill to learn to accept compliments with grace and gratitude.
    Your blog is brilliant. Don’t argue… Just be thankful. =*)

  7. Happy Birthday, dear Litlove! I’m turning 44 in a few weeks so I can identify with being middle-aged. It’s quite a shock. Glad to hear your back is on the mend and hope you enjoy the Penguin bash (cold notwithstanding). I’ve also got The Rosie Project on my TBR list. And I’m very intrigued to hear about your new project …

  8. Hi, Happy Birthday and may I say that your last sentence to bullet point one I completely disagree with. “Middle-aged” is an attitude of mind and not one I think with any good connotations. I bet you are still young in all the important ways that really matter.

    See you very soon! DP x

  9. Happy Birthday litlove! I hope you had a lovely day. I agree with Dark Puss above, it’s a state of mind and you are undoubtedly still young in all the important ways. (My daughter is very middle aged at the moment, she’s constantly telling people off for breaking rules, and she’s only four!) 🙂

    Bah humbug for the cold, I hope it holds off for the party. Glad your back is improving. And I wouldn’t worry about the lady at Tai Chi, she probably thought yours a typical British reaction to a compliment, went home, discovered she’d won the Lottery and immediately embarked on a six-month tour of India with her best friend.

  10. Happy Birthday, and remember those of us in our 50s still think of you as young! So pleased to see The Yellow-lighted Bookshop listed as a birthday goodie. I hope you feel better soon and enjoy the Penguin evening.

  11. Happy birthday … and even if you are ‘officially’ middle-aged, it’s all in the mind and in the heart, isn’t it? A wise friend of mine says birthdays always bring on the blues (all those things we wish we’d done and haven’t) so thank goodness for all the other 364 days. And I hope your cold’s gone and so glad your back’s improving and was the Penguin evening virtual? And I doubt – on the evidence of this blog – that it was your lack of social skills that sent the tai chi person away … either she’s desperately competitive (which isn’t what tai chi’s about, is it?) or she was desperately lacking in confidence … but I feel it was her stuff, not yours.

  12. I sometimes feel bad about things I have said or done. But when I read about you feeling guilty, I just think, “But you are lovely! I can’t imagine you doing anything that anyone would consider wrong!” I think we all feel like that sometimes. My head says it is unnecessary. But I still feel it.

  13. Like Susan, I’m older than you are but younger than I hope I’m gonna be. Take heart about the social stuff; sometimes it pays off, especially when you hear a good story like Helen’s about what happened to the Tai Chi lady.

  14. Belated Happy Birthday.
    I have a tendency to react the wrong way when given a compliment. It’s sad. I’m working on it as well.
    I just finished watching The Tudors yesterday. I don’t think you’ve watched it. I had nightmares every day. Stil, it was fascinating.
    I’m interested to see what books you’ve discovered.

  15. I’ll add my best birthday wishes in here too. It’s funny you should talk about ageing – I’ve been feeling like an old man today. Had a bad night’s sleep after getting woken up by a hungry cat at 2:30, and have a bad back from pulling up a few weeds in the garden. Where did the glory days go?

  16. First, a belated birthday wish, lit love! All the best in the coming year. 45 yr. young. I wish I were that age again 😉 Another thing I greatly admire is reading 750 – 1000 pages a week. Eagerly waiting for your ‘surprise post’. 😉

  17. Happy birthday and, of course, many happy returns. You are at the peak of your powers 45 is a wonderful age.

    I loved The Rosie Project and laughed and laughed throughout the book. Because of this, I inflicted it upon an 81 year old friend who is primarily a non fiction reader; my stepson who is critical of most books and a young sporty friend who doesn’t read a lot. They all enjoyed it. It is such a visual book and I long to see it translated to the screen.

    So glad you are still doing tai chi.

  18. dearest fellow piscean 1969 sister – happy birthday!!!

    (we also did well at tai chi due to ballet training and, in fact, on a business trip to hong kong, just as the deepest humidity started to descend in droves of moist droplets, we did tai chi with some 80 year olds in the park before rushing back to the hotel and slipping into our Business Outfit – never forgot it – transporting experience……)

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