Saturday, March 31, 2007

Twenty-one

My little brother has just celebrated his 21st birthday. He is much taller - and certainly more grown-up than I was at that age.

I hit the magic number in the middle of a heatwave. It was the summer of Nessum Dorma and Gazza’s tears; Madonna was Vogueing and I had a holiday job picking strawberries. The majority of my big day was spent in bed feeling sorry for myself – I had lain in the sun too long the previous day and had burnt my back. I was tempted out with cards and parcels that had arrived in the post from my far-away family and friends, and a proffered glass of gin mixed with champagne. It made me maudlin and melodramatic.

It was a summer of transitions: I was a month out of university and a month out of the relationship with my first great love. I spent a lot of time navel-gazing as I hovered on the cusp between two different worlds. It was a time of freedom and opportunity, but I felt the rug had been pulled from under my feet.

If Dr Who offered to whiz me back there in the Tardis, it would be interesting to visit my 21-year-old self. I’d like to tell her that everything would work out OK; but I wouldn’t want to swap places with her.

16 comments:

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I know what you mean about not wanting to swap places. I feel much happier now. Much more content with my life and more thick-skinned than I was at 21. Youth is fresh and beautiful but it is also naive and anxious. In youth there is far too much self-obsession and uncertainty. Now I don't give a damn!

Anonymous said...

I did a parachute jump on my twenty first birthday - I wanted something memorable to happen ! I had done a few before at college, but flunked my exams a couple of years previously.

Maybe I was trying to recapture those halcyon days of freedom...

Not sure I totally agree with YP - I was never particularly uncertain and self-obsessed as a youth. I wore Farah trousers and a tantop top to university so I cannot have been !!!!! Mind you I was uncertain about my career. Always a hazard when as an eight year old I wanted to be an astronaut...

I wish I could say I have passed the anxiety phase of my life, and I think I'm getting there, but the past couple of years have been a nightmare. We are turning into the 'American dream' of working all the hours god sends and getting only 2 weeks holidays a year. Dreadful.

If only we could be more like the French. Or the Italians - if W.C. Limoncello is anything to go by.

By the way EMINEM - I think you may want to have a quick word / girlie chat with Winchester Whisperer re. the concept of 'emergency husband'.

Sounds like she may need one, or she may be very foolish and get hitched when that would put the kybosh on all the interesting and amusing things she seems to find to do.

Cheerio, xx

ziggi said...

Hello, I have been back-reading your blog to catch up so to speak! I think your mare is quite beautiful but perhaps not quite the most beautiful in the whole world because I think she (the most beautiful) lives here - but let's not argue. I can't watch Meerkat Manor anymore and can't bring myself to like Flower. I could make lots of comments on all your passed wit and wisdom but probably bore the pants off all and sundry, will try and keep up from now on.

ziggi said...

hmmm - I meant your mare is quite beautiful as in 'very very' not as in just a 'little bit' - it might not have read like that though!

Gill said...

Oh God I'm glad I'm not 21! I know who I really am now and I'm not trying to be what I 'should' be. Sometimes I wish I still had the figure I had then or the unwrinkled skin or the lack of bloody aches and pains though. You never appreciate these things properly when you are younger.

Anonymous said...

Never mind Dr Who - Jim'll Fix It is back on the telly !!!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

I've heard of people writing letters to themselves, to be opened when they hit 60...there's tempting fate, but quite a novel idea. But what would you write? I guess a chronicle of your hopes and aspirations at the current age, to see if they had been fulfilled by 60?

But what if they hadn't? Hmmm, all this tardis stuff is a little alarming, enjoy each moment and not wish to go back or forwards? Think that's what i'm up for. Sorry for sharing that monologue with you. Going back to my baking now...... :-)

Pig in the Kitchen said...

P.S. who baked the cake in the photo? very nice, was it you?!

IsobelMagsBuchan said...

Blogs are the letters to your future selves or they will be. Be very interesting in a few years time to look back and see the changes in black and white rather than just those we perceive.

I don't really remember my 21st. Unfortunately a rather predictably I got rather drunk. Either that or it was so long ago......

Happy Birthday M&M's little brother.

Sarnia said...

Unlike Mags (who is always drunk) I do remember my 21st and it seems like - oooo - two years ago? I remember it clearly because we were (as a family) meant to go to Lingfield (races) but it was called off because of inclement weather (birthday is in December).

Think must have gone to the pub instead (as usual).

mutterings and meanderings said...

YP - I, too, don't give nearly as much of a damn about what people think of me as I used. AS I have grown older, I have come to realise that I am right.

Anon, I would love to do a parachute jump. I went up in a balloon once which was amazing.

Welcome Ziggi - We will have to agree to disagree on the mare issue!

Gill - I've not reached aches and pains yet!

Anon - I had a run-in with Jimmy Saville once and still shudder at the memory..;

Pig - again I must confess it is a stolen picture.

IMB - I wonder if I will re-read my blog - I very rately re-read my old diaries.

Sarnia - I would've loved to go to the races for my 21st... but the pub runs a close second!

rilly super said...

oh my daring M&M, what are we going to do with you my dear? given the chance to be alone in outer space with David Tennant you would go and watch yourself being drunk at your birthday party. At the very least you should go back in time another few months and give yourself the university exam questions in advance. Some people just don't know an opportunity when it presents itself, sigh...

Brom said...

I could have sworn I left a comment here this morning about my 18th and 21st, or was it another cheese induced dream??? or maybe a syptom of the constantly increasing year count. Baffled!

mutterings and meanderings said...

Rilly, I got a 2:1, so I did OK (for a Northumrbian lass) without a look at the papers!

Brom, perhaps Blogger was playing April fools - there was nothing on my email to suggest you'd commented.

Karen said...

I didn't enjoy my 21st birthday. I had a joint party with my best friend at uni as she was 10 days younger than me. I don't really like big parties.

Vince and I had only been going out for just over a week when we had the party (between my birthday and my friend's) and was there for my party. He was leaving the next day so I especially wasn't in the mood for a party - I just wanted to spend time with Vince because we wouldn't see each other until mid June when I had finished university for the summer.

However he was drunk [i]and[/i] stoned and decided to go for a lie down early on as he was "tired". I got pissed off as while I didn't want to be out amongst everyone and didn't mind being in my room I wanted to be able to spend my birthday party with a Vince was capable of holding a conversation.

I would much rather have spent my 21st in the TARDIS with David Tenant!! YUMMY!

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