November meanderings

I didn’t mean to leave you for 12 days, but it has been something of a nice rest (for me and, possibly, for you) – and I feel rather refreshed coming back to you all now. Having said that, I’m still not writing a review in this post… but thought I’d meander a little through what I’ve been up to.

Most importantly, to me, I have entered a new decade. That’s right: I turned 30 a week or so ago (and so, of course, did Colin). I don’t have the statistics to hand, but I suspect that most of this blog’s readers are over that, and a substantial number of you might be over double that, but I daresay you can still allow me to feel a tiny bit overwhelmed by it. You know what, guys? I don’t think I’m going to be a child prodigy now.Simon and Colin 30th bday

It does feel a bit strange to be thirty, and I keep forgetting that I’m not in my twenties – perhaps especially because everyone I live with and almost everyone I work with is younger than me. But it certainly helps to have a twin brother to go through it with. “Our first birthday as identical twins!” said I, excitedly. “No, it’s not,” said he, unexcitedly. Did I blog about discovering that we were identical twins after 29.5 years of thinking we were non-identical? It’s one of the most thrilling things that’s ever happened to me, but Colin doesn’t care at all. I mean, seriously: literally everyone I’ve told has been more interested than him. But he wouldn’t be my Colin if he were excited by it, so that’s fine.

(If I haven’t blogged about this discovery… basically, the doctors told Mum and Dad that we were non-identical, and I’d always assumed that was the case because Col can roll his tongue and I can’t. Then I read an article saying that tongue-rolling wasn’t genetic, so I thought we should get tested. One batch of cheek-swabbing and six weeks’ wait later, I got a letter saying that we were identical after all! This is what happens when you look very similar for non-identical twins and quite dissimilar for identical twins.)

For our birthday itself, we stayed in a nice little cabin in Wiltshire with Mum and Dad. We’ve not spent the day itself together all that often since Col and I left home, though we always try to get together somewhere around the beginning of November to celebrate. Let me tell you a thing or two about trying to find a cabin in Wiltshire in the dark and pouring rain: it ain’t easy. Especially if you’re using a SatNav that isn’t super new. Mine can’t cope with postcodes any more, so you have to enter street names – but the street I needed didn’t have a name. So I put in one nearby, and assumed there’d be signs somewhere near the cabins. I assumed wrong. They don’t even have a sign by the road! So I spent about half an hour driving around, knowing I was about a minute away from the cabins, but unable to find them. If it weren’t for a nice dog walking lady, I’d probably still be driving around now.

I think I’ll blog about the books and things I was given another time – I did get the only thing I thought to ask for: a sugar thermometer. Thanks Mum and Dad! Yesterday I held a party in my house for friends. Last year I spent the whole day baking before my party, getting very stressed and cross, and put my thumb in boiling sugar just as the first people arrived (“Welcome! Welcome! I’m just going to run my hand under cold water for a bit…”). This year I decided just to make a couple of things, and ask people to bring supplies if they wanted to – and my lovely friends provided. There were about 25 of us, I think, and it felt like 25 cakes. It’s also testament to the sort of friends I have that I offered tea or wine, and almost everyone chose tea. (I chose… both.)

What else? Well, some reading, but life has been unusually busy of later (I have an unedited ‘Tea or Books?’ podcast that has been waiting about three weeks to be edited!) Some writing (the looming of 30 made me keen to at least try to write a novel), some watching TV, some baking, some theatre (Sunset Boulevard), some cinema (Suffragette), and some socialising. I think that brings us more or less up to date!

 

35 thoughts on “November meanderings

  • November 15, 2015 at 7:40 pm
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    Belated birthday greetings. You might not be in your twenties anymore, but my guess is that, on the page, you’ll still be living in the 1920s for some time to come.

    • November 18, 2015 at 7:23 pm
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      True! The 1920s will always be there :)

  • November 15, 2015 at 8:11 pm
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    Happy birthday to and Colin. I think the identical twin thing is massively exciting. I once nanny to twin girls non identical who looked *so* different to one another you would have been forgiven for thinking them not even related and at least six months apart in age ( they were babies).
    Talking about age. I was reading Lolly Willowes on the bus yesterday (finished last night) and when I discovered she was 47 when she leaves for Great Mop – which is my age- I nearly cheered. As excited as a child is when they meet another child the same age. ?

    • November 18, 2015 at 7:27 pm
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      It is exciting, isn’t it??
      And I was so glad to see you loved Lolly Willowes! I also give a bit of a cheer to characters my age. :)

    • November 18, 2015 at 7:27 pm
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      Thanks Claire!

    • November 18, 2015 at 7:27 pm
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      Thanks Julie :)

  • November 15, 2015 at 11:00 pm
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    Congratulations and many thanks for your most enjoyable blog! Aren’t DNA tests fascinating – I’ve just got Mum & Dad to do them to discover their human genome, but had never thought of them for checking twins’ identity. Please keep blogging and have a great year

    • November 18, 2015 at 7:28 pm
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      Thanks Sally! The DNA test does make me wonder what else we could have found out – but this one just told us identical or non-identical. And wasn’t the cheapest thing in the world! But that was definitely vindicated when we got the result.

  • November 15, 2015 at 11:13 pm
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    Happy Birthday to both of you. I can easily believe the identical aspect. How wonderful to be a twin! (Yes? Most of the time?) And to be turning 30, that’s quite a landmark birthday. I remember having that one. Vaguely, a number of decades ago. ;-) Seriously, though, cheers! and many happy returns. We’ll be waiting for Dr. Thomas’s novel with great anticipation. No pressure. :-)

    • November 18, 2015 at 7:29 pm
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      I love being a twin! Well, I have nothing to compare it with, but I certainly wouldn’t have it any other way.

  • November 16, 2015 at 2:30 am
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    Adding my happy birthday wishes, however belatedly :)
    Is a sugar thermometer different from a candy thermometer? I’ve one of the latter, but it fogs up in the cooking process so it’s pretty useless. (Our family tradition is to make Christmas candy.)

    • November 18, 2015 at 7:30 pm
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      Thanks Lisa! I think they might be the same sort of thing, but I’m not entirely sure…. I’ll experiment with it soon and see if it fogs up :)

  • November 16, 2015 at 3:56 am
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    A belated happy birthday to you both! So neat that you got to spend it together.

    • November 18, 2015 at 7:31 pm
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      Thank you Susan! It was lovely :)

  • November 16, 2015 at 9:17 am
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    Wit until you are 50 plus and start falling apart.

    • November 18, 2015 at 7:31 pm
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      The falling apart may have already started…

  • November 16, 2015 at 10:34 am
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    Happy birthday to both of you! My 30s were my best decade so far, so have a good one. And do write that novel!

    • November 18, 2015 at 7:31 pm
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      I really must make myself at least try to!

  • November 16, 2015 at 11:06 am
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    Belated happy birthday to you both – and nice to see you back here! I think it must be terribly exciting to find out that you’re actually identical! As for being ‘grown-up’ – I’d happily trade with you and be 30 again!!!!!

    • November 18, 2015 at 7:32 pm
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      Thank you Karen! And yes, it was SO exciting – I was rather beside myself.

  • November 16, 2015 at 1:22 pm
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    This is very late but belated birthday wishes.

    • November 18, 2015 at 7:32 pm
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      Thanks Mystica!

  • November 16, 2015 at 2:07 pm
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    It’s no surprise that you were surrounded by friends for birthday celebrations; you are an incredibly warm and wonderful person. How the status of child prodigy has passed you by is beyond me! Here’s to a wonderful year ahead…Happy Birthday, Simon!

    • November 18, 2015 at 7:33 pm
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      Oh, Darlene, what a lovely message! Thank you so much :) x

  • November 16, 2015 at 3:51 pm
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    Happy birthday! (I of course am one of those people who is twice as old as you, actually more than that.) Your post was so much fun, it made me laugh several times. I’m glad you had a nice time.

    • November 18, 2015 at 7:33 pm
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      I’m glad you liked the post, Kay :D And thanks for birthday wishes!

  • November 16, 2015 at 4:09 pm
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    Yes, I’m one of those more than double your age; however, I will never forget my 30th birthday. It is the day you can’t escape the fact that you are actually grown up. When you are in your twenties you can always think “Well, hey, I’m still in my twenties which is hardly more than a teenager. No adulthood for me”. Once you hit the big 3 0 it’s all over. Sounds like you all had a wonderful day with many more to come. Best wishes

    • November 18, 2015 at 7:34 pm
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      It is all over, isn’t it? Well, as I was pointing out to someone, my habits now wouldn’t look out of place in an 80 year old, so perhaps nothing much will change!

  • November 16, 2015 at 4:39 pm
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    I’m only just 33, so not all your readers at different in age from you. And I usually think I’m older than I am because a) i don’t think about it, and b) most of my friends are several years older than me.

    So happy birthday, and your tale of finding a secluded cottage in the dark amused me. Been there, done that.

    My eye just caught the title “Watching the English” which I’m currently slowly making my way through. I’ve had since I met Kate Fox and heard her speak at the Oxford Book Festival back in 05.
    I also loved Piano Shop on the Left Bank.

    I would recommend to you Lady of Letters by Josephone Elder. Greyladies reprinted it a few years ago and it was one of my favourites they’ve reprinted. I think you would like it.

    • November 18, 2015 at 7:35 pm
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      I seem to spend time either with people younger than me (esp at work) or older, but rarely the same age, so I go back and forth from being oldest to youngest!

      Watching the English is such a delight. I have been meaning to re-read it ever since 2007. And thank you for the recommendation – I don’t know anything about Lady of Letters, but the title makes me think I might well like it!

  • November 18, 2015 at 2:15 am
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    Happy birthday to you both! For what it’s worth, I think Colin’s bonkers for not being fascinated by this news. I am fascinated by it! What a crazy thing to discover after all this time!

    • November 18, 2015 at 7:36 pm
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      You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT Jenny!

  • November 19, 2015 at 8:13 am
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    Happy Birthday – and I think nowadays one can remain a child prodigy well into the 40s… *hopeful voice* ;-)

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