Life began, apparently, two weeks ago. Maybe the last thirty nine plus one years was incubation or gestation, I don't know. Either way, all my worries that I'd somehow wake up wearing slippers, smoking a pipe and listening to the Glen Miller Band were unfounded. Life is exactly the same as before.
You see, growing old is just that. A gradual decline of faculties, joints and organs. Nothing specific was ever going to change or happen on the 14,610th day after I was born (give or take the odd miscalculated leap year). So why was I, and I know others, so worried?
Turning thirty didn't seem that bad ten years ago. Thirty nine and one more, though, I suppose people associate this one more with middle age. I haven't had the corresponding crisis yet, or maybe I have but I think I haven't. However I do find myself saying 'It's not like when I was [insert age] anymore.'
However, if anyone had told me twenty years ago how I would be spending the two weekends after my 39+1th birthady, I would have thought them mad.
I got a greenhouse for my birthday. If that doesn't say middle aged then what does. However, over the past two weeks erecting it (fnarr fnarr, see I haven't grown up at all) I have come to the following conclusions.
1 If a greenhouse says it's 6 foot x 4 foot, don't be surprised if it's 5'10" x 3'9"
2 If a greenhouse base says it's 6' x 4' don't be surprised if it's 6'3" x 4'2"
3 A greenhouse that is smaller than it's base does not fit on the base. The base needs to be made smaller with lots of wood. Basically, you have to build your own base making the purchase of the original base a waste of time and money.
4 Instructions, however well meant, are useless if converted from Chinese to German then to English.
5 The picture on the box of an eighty year old woman, single handedly erecting said greenhouse, must be some Chinese idea of a joke.
6 My back now officially feels middle aged.
Problems, and a lot of swearing, aside, it's now up and doing a grand job of keeping the tomatoes warm. I got a load of reduced chili and pepper plants from the garden centre too.
Anyway, that's this years moan out of the way. Normal service and a new chapter of Inspector Cliche will resume in a few days. The last batch of submissions for Too big to fail/ Keep Calma and eat cabbage/ The bailout (or whatever it ends up being called) are being sent this week. If I get no bites by the end of september, I will start self publishing. Spies, Lies and Pies will be first.