The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

Embracing 40……..Las Vegas style

on October 3, 2013

I’ve often said that this blog is not all about me, it’s also about you. So earlier in the week the thought came to me that wouldn’t it be a good idea to share with you how everyone else I know is embracing their 40th Birthday.

Now this can be seen in one of two ways. I know Uncle Monkey (Best Man and Godfather to #1, 2 and 3) will be thinking it’s my way of broadcasting worldwide the fact that you’re 40 before me like some sort of Public Service Announcement. But his judgement is obscured and not to be trusted because he’s just sore that he’ll be 41 whilst I’ll still be in my 30s.

The way I like to see it though is that it’s a jolly good reason for a celebration in any way you like – big or small scale. Giving it some thought now, I think what makes a 40th Birthday celebration so utterly fabulous is that you’re old enough to go sophisticated without seeming too try hard, young enough to go all extreme sports without huge risk of your body caving in and any kids you have are too young to feel mortification at any inappropriate behaviour. May their celebrations inspire you (and me) to make yours a truly Fortabulous affair (the first time I typed this it said Fartabulous, childish I know).

Except I think we may have peaked before I’ve even begun.

Our friend Mr Cupping is currently larging it up in Las Vegas with six of his oldest mates from University. Correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t that what your Stag Do is for? I think Mrs Cupping has outdone herself with this amazing gift. When Husband heard Mr Cupping was off to Vegas, I could hear a thought ping in his mind at having missed a golden opportunity to legitimately relive his Stag Do and was inwardly kicking himself. Ah well, there’s always your 50th but that wouldn’t really work as well because a bunch of 50 year olds living it large in Vegas may just look a little bit wrong.

Husband and I have known Mr Cupping for over 14 years now. Something which I hadn’t given much thought to until now, he’s just sort of been there. If you were to ask me off the cuff to name my oldest friends, I could reel off a list of names from my world of school, University and work. People I found myself so to speak. Then there’s the people you meet through other people and somehow you have a long history with them too. It may not seem obvious at first but you think a little bit more and you see clearly who they are.

So my first encounter with Mr Cupping was back in the summer of 1999, in the heady days of going out ‘clubbing’ at Turnmills, London and randomly shouting ‘Tune’ to songs without lyrics. Except on that occasion he never made it into the club; unceremoniously booted out of the queue because his mate was very, very drunk. I don’t think it would have been a better story if it were he who was the one very, very drunk because this character trait is one that has been consistent throughout the time we have known him. He can be the rather loyal type and that is apparent by the childhood friends he is still close to, his current stint in Showgirls with old University mates and the fact that on our three trips back to the UK he has made sure that he and his family are able to meet up with us. This is no small ask because our schedule is usually hectic and windows of time are small and we all have children to work around. I also want to tell you about my first encounter with Mrs Cupping which was watching a video of her skydiving, clutching on to her helmet and screaming away upon the descent. Needless to say it wasn’t used in the promo ad nor inspired me to give it a go myself.

Husband and I have celebrated many key moments with the Cuppings from other lesser numbered Birthdays, to weddings, to the arrival of small people and countless occasions that are not so momentous such as freezing yourself silly at the fireworks display at Alexandra Palace, Muswell Hill, (although fireworks are a personal favourite for me), being available to pass the time with over a pint when I’ve forgotten house keys and having to wait for Husband to come home and not to mention all the random drunken occasions of our youth just because we could.

I asked Mr Cupping the other day now that he’s 40 what are his aspirations for the future. The strongest point he made was to get the balance right between providing for his family and focussing on work with spending more quality family time together. I imagine this is a thought facing lots of us at this stage. We all have more balls in the air to juggle. Health and general well being is another area he wants to improve upon. It’s a fact that our lithe bodies all require a bit of extra work these days to keep it ticking over. It’s a shock to discover though, having abused it with late nights and debauched activity for so long without much grumble that it’s finally telling us enough is enough and refusing to recover as quickly so we can’t do it all again the next night. Mr Cupping ran the London Marathon not that long ago for a very good cause and for very personal reasons so I’ve no doubt he’ll be able to touch his toes again one day.

I also don’t think he’ll let me finish this without a public apology for roping him into a sponsored bike ride ten years ago up in Hertfordshire when I was working for the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign. An accidental hangover meant I overslept and never made it out of my front door to do the appropriate cheering on but he and his mate took part in the event regardless.

So he’ll probably be too drunk to take notice of this right now. He did say he’ll send a photo from Vegas to accompany this post, I doubt he can remember his own name at this point but I’m sure Mrs Cupping will have sewn it into his t-shirt with a return address. Then when he gets back home he’ll need to take a month to recover and after that I’m sure he’ll have many a story to tell. He’s always got a good story to tell and naive though I may be at times, does he really think I believe the time in Amsterdam that stumbling into that club was sheer accident?

This last decade may have brought about a myriad of changes that separate the carefree years to the ones now filled with responsibility but we’re all in the same boat and we are always there.

Happy 40th Birthday to you Mr Cupping! You may be wondering how I’ve chosen your pseudonym, well I know what goes on tour stays on tour but how could I not know about you, Uncle Monkey and a very comfortable sleeping position.



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