Recently, I’ve noticed I’m trotting out the phrase “I’m getting old” during many a conversation. I’m approaching my 37th birthday which my kids think is hilarious. To them, I’m as old as Arlo the Dinosaur.
They can only count to 29 and so refer to me “soooo many” or “lots and lots of years.” Which I suppose is an accurate take on what the kids call ‘my number’ if not my outlook. I mean, in many ways I’m still pretty immature. I still think farting is funny. I have been known to use the word ‘cockwomble’ in a meeting – a highly laughed inappropriate contribution (but accurate, the guy in question is a cockwomble).
Sadly there is no denying it. I am getting older. It’s no longer socially acceptable to wear my hair in two plaits (I have very unruly hair and sometimes it just needs to STOP). I’m also not sure I can carry off a jumpsuit or those trendy overall things everyone is wearing, but then I’m not a Ghostbuster nor do I live in Hackney and so that might not be an age thing. More of a hipster thing.
This weekend Glastonbury goers will be donning their wellies, packing copious amounts of warm lager and gleefully heading to Worthy Farm to have the time of their bloody lives. I, on the other hand, am planning on nailing some more episodes of House of Cards and a bag of Doritos.
How things have changed. 6 years ago – BC (before children), I was that festival goer. Tent primed, ten packs of wet wipes packed and nothing more to do than drink for 18 hours a day and try to master using a She Wee (spoiler alert – I didn’t. Covered in piss).
This weekend I will wistfully watch Glastonbury on telly and see friends’
happy smug Facebook posts – featuring pictures of idyllic fields, masses of flags and giant straw statues. They will rave about festival food (Glastonbury has the best burrito I’ve ever eaten) and no doubt will raise many a cup of Brothers Bar ‘shit I can’t feel my legs’ cider. Lucky beggars.
But aside from being Jelly Clarkson of those glamping gadabouts one of my saddest realisations is that I no longer know who 30% of the performers are. Whole genres of artists. Hands up, I DONT REALLY KNOW WHAT GRIME IS. To me, grime is the weird dirt my kids always seem to have under their nails. Not a genre of music. I’ve only just got my head around British rap – which is more than I can say for my husband who still refers to Tinchy Stryder as Trudie Styler.
To secure the best camping spot, we used to leave London at 2.30am (yes that’s “am”). Which in hindsight is pretty horrendous, I’m not sure I could do it now. As my age increases so does my ability to calmly leave to go anywhere. I’ve always had a mild amount of travel panic, but these days I get pretty panicky if I don’t get to the train station at least ten minutes before, or get the kids to their ballet or swimming lessons super early.
It’s an unreasonable amount of panic. You know that feeling when you get stuck in an item of clothing in a changing room? And realise if you can’t shuffle out, you’re going to have to ask the 15 yr old attendant to help you – whilst your arms are above your head and you have your full boobs/ midriff on show? Yeah, that. That’s how panicky I get about stupid things like getting to places on time.
I cycle to and from the train station and everyday do the mad dash to collect my kids from the nursery we pay £7000 an hour for (slight exaggeration but it’s daylight robbery). So I feel this travel panic every day, and my journey home is always made worse by the constant need to pee. I blame pregnancy for this. I feel like my kids did some mission impossible shit when they were hanging out in my uterus and fitted a band around my bladder making it impossible to hold anything more than a shot of water. I also am now unable to jump on a bouncy castle without clenching and have recently discovered there is no graceful way to exit one of those inflated colourful bastards.
With pregnancy and general ageing, my body has gone through the mill. My boobs are no longer supported by my bra, they’re constrained. When I take off my lady scaffolding at night, it’s like letting down a tray table on a plane. I have more stretch marks on my tummy than Mick Jagger’s ballbag. But I grew two humans in there so I win. Suck it Jagger.
Hmmm. I’m in danger of becoming a cliche here aren’t I. Joking aside, I’m proud of every single one of those stretch marks. They remind me that I have grown two wonderful little beauties. Hopefully, they will go to Glastonbury in the future – when it’s held on a series of clouds in Galaxy Sixty-Twix, ran by Michael Eavis’s cryogenically frozen head and headlined by Beyonce’s twins. Maybe I’ll even go with them, give that She Wee another crack.