In the olden days (mid-2010s) I’d make the annual trip down to stay with Cousin Iain & Nicola to attend a Burns Supper and Scottish themed quiz night that Iain hosted. I’ve usually done The Address to the Haggis (once in my kilt) and even Crazy Uncle John attended in the past, bringing his passionate recitals of the bigger numbers into play.
As with many other things, it all fell away during the pandemic and I hadn’t been down for it for years. However, Iain extended the invite well in advance for 2024 and I got flights booked early enough that they weren’t too expensive if I came down a couple of days early.
This week, I’ve been celebrating my 50th birthday with family and friends and it’s been brilliant. I wouldn’t say I’ve been dreading turning 50 but it is a landmark birthday and, if it hadn’t earlier, society does deem you as “old” thereafter.
I’m mostly ambivalent about my age but I’d ticked off my 30th and 40th birthdays with a decent celebration so it seemed appropriate to do the same for this one.
It’s two years since my previous blog post. So much has unfolded during the era of the covid-19 pandemic that it’s hard to know where to start. I suppose it might help if I explained what I thought was going to happen.
At the start of 2020 I have to say I was very happy. I had a great girlfriend and the kids were doing as well as could be expected. Work was hard going but I was on the cusp of starting a new project that I was pretty excited about.
We I had plans for a big holiday; a visit to Orlando, en route to Tampa where we’d attend Wrestlemania. My girlfriend had no idea but on our last night in Orlando, I was going to propose to her by a lake that we’d found ourselves beside when we were there together in 2018. The idea had taken shape in my mind in the time since.
I also had my annual trip to Indianapolis all booked up with no idea how I was going to pay for it once I came back from Tampa. But that was all in the future and, at the time, I had no cause to worry about the future. All I knew was that I’d be engaged to the girl I was in love with and I couldn’t wait for life to unfold.