Forty-two is supposedly the answer to the ultimate question; the meaning of life, the universe and everything. Certainly when I went to bed last night, at the tender young age of forty-one I didn't have any of the answers, and when I woke up this morning at the ripe old age of forty-two I still didn't have any of the answers. When my programme at NRC was somewhat summarily and peremptorily closed, another Douglas Adams line floated through my head; "so long and thanks for all the fish". Unfortunately, five years later and I'm still no closer to providing you with a more coherent answer to the ultimate question than that.
I guess that means my brain is safe from the mice.
I've long maintained that my birthday should be more a time for introspection than celebration. Partly because as we get older we need to take some time to take stock of who we are, what we have done, what we are doing and where we are going; a bit like a performance-and-planning review for the soul. The older we get, the longer that list gets. At this rate I'll need to book a week's leave-of-absence for my 50th! Also, partly, because I'd die of embarrassment if anyone made a fuss of me in public, and by public I mean any place where there are three or four people other than myself.
The day went was planned, nice and low-key. A little run with the club this morning (5km easy, 6 km not-so-easy, but just to see if these old legs still had it in them you understand), hung out at Chapters this afternoon, spent a little quality time with la belle. This evening we were scheduled to go to a friend of ours from running who was having a pot-luck Christmas party for friends from the local running community. There were going to be two of us there with birthdays this weekend, so at our hostesses' suggestion we bought birthday cakes as our contribution to the evening, Should have been a nice evening. Not a birthday party, but a party with friends and cake. Bam!
Unfortunately I didn't get to stay beyond a plate of finger-food. In fact, our visit was so swift, la belle's allergies to the hostesses' cats didn't even have time to kick in; shit, we beat a degranulating mast-cell. Receptor/ligand reactions take milliseconds. A T-cell can read millions of immunological synapses in a second or two and yet we got out before a positive match. Not often you can say you beat out 380 million years of vertebrate evolution, but we managed it. I mean, who parsed that fucking invite list? How are we defining runner? It's not fucking rocket-surgery you know.
Still, the less you expect, the less upset you are when you don't get it. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. I'm going to miss my cake though. It was a carrot cake too! Oh well, I refer you to my previous statement about expectations!