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My 30th birthday…

My 30th birthday…

Well, I think it’s safe to say that like my personality and life to date, my 30th birthday was a bumbling success with a couple of minor potholes along the way and the odd story to tell. I can even let myself believe it to be funny, if a tad sad and dark.

We get back from ski-ing into Gatwick Airport late on the night before my birthday – pretty much the designated night for drinking. H corralls some of her (and by proxy my) friends together and I drop them off in Central London before driving the car to a hotel and parking by the side. Then I catch the most expensive taxi in London (£20 for a £1 bus fare ride).

After gulping down some food and multiple red-bulls-and-vodka we’re slightly drunkenly bumbling along a road in Soho – one of my favourite pasttimes from them good-old London days, and end up in a club (which later research proves to be the Buttoned Down Disco Xmas Party).

Maybe I’m drunk and enjoying myself – or told myself for ages that I was going to enjoy this – but it’s one of the best clubs I’ve been to in ages. Playing good eclectic music, no attitude, and it’s relatively roomy. Plus all around me there are people who are dancing, but in such a “I’m having fun just dancing!” as opposed to a “I’m dancing because it’s cool to dance” attitude. And no hard-core ripping beats in sound. It’s a shame none of my London mates were there, but, well, I haven’t really lived in London for two years. Damn. And they’d probably find it far too uncool for the likes of them.

I’m even having such a good relaxed time, I even dare to talk to a total stranger. Of course, she happens to be a beautiful woman who is dancing in a way I’ve never seen before. She then says something about how she dances because the music is in her heart from native Poland. Then she asks if she can borrow £4 from me for cigarettes.

Head back to the hotel slightly the worse for wear, but not too badly. Wake up slightly groggy, head out of the hotel – and find the car missing. For 10 horrible minutes I assume the car’s been stolen, complete with all our holiday luggage – and I even go over to where I parked it, as if someone had hidden it under a stone or something. Eventually, we realise that it’s been towed away by the omnipresent double-yellow-line police.

So that is how I spend my 30th birthday walking through Park Lane Car Park – the perfect place to set your Eastern European spy thriller if ever there was one – to the Westminster Car Pound, where I spend an hour or so negotiating the return of my Dad’s car. And paying £200 for the privilege. Which pretty much kills the £200 I thought I’d saved from retrieving the snowboard I thought I’d lost down a mountain. Which in itself cost me £50 in taxis.

Prior to that, we do get a good Chinese dimsum, and then head to Camden market just before Christmas, where I surprise myself by finding two pieces of clothing I genuinely like. And one of them is a velvet jacket. Which ought to come in handy in the four weddings I need to attend this year.

By the time I’ve driven everyone back to Cardiff, I’m utterly exhausted and ready to collapse. Which is just the way I wanted it.

And then I wearily go through the door. And somehow instantly cheered up, thanks to my flatmate Tyrone and this:

Tyrone's surprise

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