Readers, I'm approaching 35 and while I do not think of getting older as a bad thing (I'm only 35, fully aware that is still YOUNG and not something to MOAN about) - it did strike me that I'm a different gal than I was in my twenties.
Take this weekend just gone. I went off to a festival, full of hopes and dreams, excitement with my wife, tent and rucksacks upon our backs, like ooh look! We're going camping at a music festival! Like when we first met! Newsflash: it was fun then because we were in our 20s, sleep didn't matter, neither of us had done our backs in yet and we had not experienced any form of luxury.
Now, it's a different story. Carrying heavy bags up hills and muddy woods in the rain has lost its sheen. The 'sod it' attitude of a decade ago has ebbed away. Being kept up until 5am by the thud of dance music in the distance and howling wind just isn't my jam anymore. It's not to say we didn't have fun: we danced in a cabaret bar sloshing espresso martinis. We watched Gogol Bordello doing a blistering set in the dark, in a pure hour where the rain stopped and fire blazed from the sides of the stage. We stayed up til midnight in a rainy field to watch Four Tet do a DJ set, doing cider-fuelled star jumps to keep warm.
We did our best, but when you've stayed in actual hotels that have enormous beds with cloudlike pillows and that have beautiful, sexy bathrooms with steamy hot showers and delicious shower gels, a wet tent, sodden yoga mats and £9 appalling veggie breakfasts on paper plates just don't cut it.
We watched little baby grads stumble into the woods wearing those neon mesh trousers showing off thongs that everyone aged 22 seems to be wearing. Jo and I said things like "They must be freezing!" like we were actual old people. We saw a very young girl, off her head on disco biscuits, trip over a muddy tree root and smash her face into a fence. She rose up, nose bloodied, claiming "I'm fine!" before staggering off towards a woodland rave. The 35 year old me was stood there like: is she ok? Should we follow her? What if she has a concussion? In short, we were too old to be there, really.
We got home, after a Tolkien-level epic quest to fight our way back to Southend despite a tree falling on the tracks - it involved being told patronisingly by a member of c2c staff in Fenchurch Street station to "Come back in a couple of hours", crying in a branch of Leon, and sleeping in an Uber. We got home and fell immediately into bed, lovely soft dreamy bed! With our very expensive but highly satisfying Eve mattress! We woke and had cartoon-like bubble baths! We ordered pizza and watched the entire second season of Big Little Lies in our dressing gowns!
This, dear readers, is in fact my jam. As boring as it sounds, eating pizza out of the box while watching some exceptional TV with my lovely wife in our cosy home is what I absolutely live for. You can take your mesh trousers - really. Please take them away. They're terribly unflattering, and just think of the tan lines?To read all of Ray's previous blogs please click here