Fifty

Today is my birthday. And by a minor miracle I’ve made it to fifty!

Those of you that knew me in the late eighties & nineties would probably agree that’s quite an achievement considering my reckless abandonment back in those days.

How that taxi outside the Festival House missed me, when I rather drunkenly slipped off the curb, I’ll never know. The day I survived rolling over the bonnet of a car, having rather stupidly and dangerously decided it would be a great idea skateboard down Gas Hill to see how fast I could go, I’ll never forget the look on the face of the poor woman who was driving as I screamed in horror as my Sims Pure Juice board carried on across Riverside Road and was lost forever to the bottom of the Wensum. It had cost a weeks wages back in 1995 and I had only had it barely a week. I was absolutely fine, apart from the 35 year heartache at the loss of that fabulous board.

Then there was the time I wound up in casualty with cracked vertebrae after losing a piggy back fight outside the Pottergate Tavern. How I survived (along with a few of others) the Potts is another miracle and a story in itself.

There are quite a few other notable incidents to mention as well, Charlie with the Flymo in the kitchen at the notorious house in Honey Close waving it around, blade facing forward chucking bits of dried grass around the room, while I stood with spinning blade inches away from my face while telling him to put it down. Setting fire to my hair in a cupboard at one of the many Honey Close parties. Knocking myself out after falling into sixty or seventy empty Newcastle Brown bottles we were storing on the kitchen table just to keep a record of how much Newcastle Brown we could drink in a month. In hindsight a tally with pen and paper would’ve been a more sensible solution. Just to finish that event off, two of my friends tried to shove me head first into the oven while I was unconscious. How about passing out half in and half out of the front door having barely made it home after a full days session in the Potts. Where did these shenanigans take place you ask? Honey Close of course. I lived there with various housemates for nearly two years between ’94 and ’96, me being the only consistent resident, before buying my first house in 1996, which upon reflection, probably saved me from a demise that would no doubt have made the Darwin Awards.

How about the time I fell off the stage at the arts centre when putting my foot on the monitor in front of me in a classic rock pose, missing it completely and heading head first into the audience, who rather than trying to save me, parted ways as if for Moses, presenting me with a nice open space on the floor on which to land heavily on my knees. They may have swelled to the size of footballs, but I still finished the gig!

There are many, many other stories of this nature, and thanks to my insomnia, I’ve managed to commit these few to my blog space. Unfortunately though, it’s now nearly 6:30am, and it’s time to get up and battle with the kids to get them fed and ready for school. Then I’ve got to fight the traffic on Norwich’s wonderful inner ring road to get to work, a journey of 2 miles that takes longer than the 12 mile journey from home to the school. If it’s anywhere near as traumatic as yesterday morning’s escapades, I’m in for a very stressful treat!

Happy Birthday to me!

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