I have a birthday coming up. It’s not The Big One, but it’s fair to say I can see that disturbing number looming large.
This one will be relatively painless. A few nice dinners, with no need for reflection. That will come next year.
There was a time when we celebrated our birth date with gusto. My 18th party was one such occasion.
It centred around one of the all-time great games of backyard cricket. We played over an entire weekend, and into Monday morning.
There was a large keg, and little else. Our dog, the tennis ball-chasing border collie, was exhausted by the end of play.
Players came and went, but the game rolled on. The effect of refreshments meant the pace bowlers lost their line, and the batsmen had trouble seeing several feet in front of them.
Someone told me they witnessed a streak as part of the event. Up the road, past the club, and back to the game. Without video proof, I still refuse to believe it.
There were other great parties around that time. A bunch of us were born within a few weeks of each other. Each event was a triumph.
Perhaps the highlight was a mate who ended his 18th night, clinging to the Hills hoist, while playing a harmonica. Naked. There were photos, which I believe have since been destroyed.
Through the years, milestones have been celebrated in various locations. The 30th was in Cairns, during a rain storm of biblical proportions. The pub we were in became a temporary houseboat.
Year 40 was marked at the races. A lovely day at Eagle Farm with some good chums. We then had Chinese, and were almost arrested, because of a dispute over the cake. Good times.
The celebrations since have been a little less spectacular. Hard to get too excited through the mid-forties. Still good fun, but no marathon sporting events or nude musical interludes.
Next year could be different. The old boys are emerging from their slumber, and starting to prepare. Once again, we’ll have a clutch of events within weeks of each other. Medical teams will be put on standby.
I’ll keep you posted through the year as the plans take shape. All ideas will be considered. Just one condition. No harmonicas.