But spring hasn't sprung...

It seems to be that time of year again, when the frost is crisp on the ground (unless you live somewhere warm, in which case it probably isn't, but you can recreate the same kind of idea by dusting your garden with talcum powder and keeping your socks in the freezer*) and the first green shoots of the early season memes poke through the hoary earth. A time of rebirth, or in John's case getting older and smellier.

I feel his pain**, for this year I too become another year older. Well, I suppose we all do, unless we have a prior appointment with a thin chap in a big black robe wielding a variety of gardening tools. But I have a particular birthday coming up. A birthday of DOOM! DOOM I TELLS YA! *ahem*

Now when I started out as a fresh-faced debut novelist way back in the misty days of nostalgic 2005, I was advised to start lying about my age. No one wants a fusty old debut novelist, they said, people want their debut novelists to be young and sexy and not fusty*** and old. You must pretend to be thirty one.

That's right, dear reader, I was told to lie, like a middle-aged lady forever celebrating her thirty sixth birthday.

Now, I'm not much of a one for lying -- OK, so I sort of do it for a living: making up lies about people who don't exist, but in general life I frown upon it -- so I became increasingly vague about the whole thing. Which caused a certain journalist to forever be stricken from my Christmas Card list.

But this year... This year I hit the big Four Zero. The transition point from 'Not A Kid Any More' to 'Old Enough To Know Better' and a stone's throw from 'Well, He Had A Good Innings'


I can't decide if I want to do something to mark the occasion. Do I want a party? The last one ended up with jelly going everywhere. Do I want to do some sort of extreme sport thing, like bungee jumping (nope - that way lies detached retinas), mountain biking (I'm proud to say that the bike I bought twelve years ago has lain unused in various sheds for ten of them), naked alligator wrestling (high risk of genitalia being bitten****), or even paint balling (all that running around in the woods smacks too much of effort ... and puts me in mind of Deliverance for some reason)

Maybe I should just settle for hiding under the duvet that day, hoping that nothing important falls off?

But, I hear you cry, what's this got to do with the seasonal burst of memes? Well, I've been tagged to do a 'Reveal 16 Random Things About Yourself' by Sandra, but I can't. This is because I have to save up my random secrety things for a panel at this year's Harrogate festival, and if I give away all my secrets now, it's going to cost me a sodding fortune on the night. So instead of sixteen little secrets, I've just let you in on the one BIG one.

Don't say I'm never good to you.

* When you're not wearing them, obviously.
** It's lumpy, if you're interested.
*** I don't like the word 'fusty'. I always want to spell it 'foosty' which has more of a ring about it, and if you're typo-tastic (which we all know I am) it's less likely you'll end up accidentally typing the word 'fisty', which would have altogether less wholesome implications.
**** And alligators don't like it if you bite off their genitalia.

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