In previous years I’ve said what my thoughts on having another birthday are, but this year I’d like to reminisce. I’d like to remember the birthdays with tales of what was done, and maybe offer mirth or woe (© Scaryduck) at the same time.
October 11th 1980 (9 years old): I seem to remember getting a daytrip to Brighton. I’d had a big "Adventurer’s" pack, which incorporated a black and white camera and a compass. I was walking along the pier, watching my compass, and in true Rowan Atkinson stylee, walked into a lamppost.
October 11th 1985 (14 years old): Went to the pub. Or more specifically, a hotel called the Menai Bridge hotel, in Menai Bridge, next to the Menai Bridge, in North Wales. Ate too much.
October 11th 1987 (16 years old): There had been a spate of parties at my household. My mum had had her 40th birthday the year before, then my sister had had her 18th twelve days previously, and so it had to follow we were having a 16th for me. A few friends from school came along, my best mate from down the road, and my sister’s boyfriend and all her other mates from college, who were very cool. I do remember having a couple of cans of Ruddles. Was this a vision into the future?
October 11th 1988 (17 years old): Went to the pub. My local at the time was my parent’s old hang out, and one of my neighbours was a regular there. We sat quietly in the corner, on this weeknight, and left without incident. Within the year, the pub became my first regular haunt, and it would fill up each and every evening with me and my mates, most of which were underage.
October 11th 1989 (18 years old): Went to the pub. My first legal pint was had in a pub called the Packhorse, my Dad’s favourite haunt on the outskirts of Reading. We moved onto a nice restaurant called the Red Fox, further north where a pleasant evening was had. I made up for it the following weekend, drinking some 14 litres of Merrydown cider and speaking to God on the big white phone for the whole night.
October 11th 1990 (19 years old): Went to the pub, on a boat. My local, Piper’s Island, did tours up the Thames. The bosses had an open night, and for £20 you could get tickets for a trip. A whole gang of us did, and I remember serenely sitting on the bow of the boat, pint in hand, as we went upstream. I don’t remember getting home.
October 11th 1992 (21 years old): Went to the pub, twice. Had a pleasant lunch in a pub called the Carpenter’s Arms just outside Wickford in Essex, with my Dad’s ex-girlfriend. In the evening I was given a pub. It was exclusively mine, and some 150 people turned up for my party. I drank much too much. Towards the end of the night, I was downing one pint after another. I do remember leaving to walk home. I don’t remember getting home. I don’t remember the following day either.
October 11th 1996 (25 years old): Went to the pub, all day. I’d booked the day off, met the missus from the train in Telford, and got a taxi up to the local work haunt in Telford, a delightful pub called "Prior’s lodge." My best mate from work, Andy Brettle, decided to skive for the afternoon, and much alcohol and food was consumed. He then decided to come back to my home in Manchester for the weekend, so the evening was spent being driven home.
October 11th 2001 (30 years old): Went to the pub. I went for a quiet pint with my best mate Adrian, and as the evening progressed, more and more mates turned up. Left the pub, a good mate of mine’s, after drinking way too much, at about midnight. Found a kebab shop, got taxi home (some half a mile) because I couldn’t walk. Got woken up the next morning by John screaming as our dog ("Cerberus") had John’s head in his mouth.
October 11th 2006 (35 years old): Going shopping. I’m going to buy a nice bottle of wine, nice food, and maybe a film. How times have changed.
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