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……..Just blame it on the Special Brew

on December 5, 2013

Yet another person I know hit 40 this week and it seems Las Vegas is the destination to begin your mid life. The thing about beginning your mid life in Vegas is that it all starts off as a bit of a blur. Neither Mr Cupping nor Mr Muffin can elaborate much further about their respective 40th birthday weekends beyond that it was a brilliantly, decadently drunk time.


Hmmm…genuinely can’t remember? Or would rather not go into too much detail to spare one’s blushes? Mr Cupping has genuine memory loss issues beyond his tender years but Mr Muffin? Well he’s been blaming it on the Special Brew for nearly twenty years. Why stop now?

By the way, Mr Muffin is not a monika I’ve come up with. It’s all his own work. Like Paul Ince knows, you can’t give yourself your own nickname. I believe his preferred choice was Raga but by the time I came across him, Muffin was firmly in place and somehow suits him far better. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone call him by his given name you know. I only remember it because it comes up on Facebook.

He’s a friend of my other friend Lank from school. Unbeknownst to us both, we were at the same University and bumped into each other on campus. You know, the University of Salford is set in the surprisingly picturesque Peel Park with the River Irwell running through it which is quite at odds with the image of Salford as a whole, especially if you ignore the pit bulls left to run amok.

We all lived in the same student village for a year at one point and contrary to popular belief, a house full of nine blokes didn’t smell as bad as what you may think. It’s quite good to mix up your social circle. Meet new people and see how you get on. Try out a few bars that you’ve never been to before. All friendships bring something different and it’s good to have those that are not always so serious and known to bring fun and laughs.

Just as well really because Mr Muffin has one of those faces that just makes you laugh! I think that’s what I did the whole evening the first time I ever met him. Not helped by his constant mimicking of the elongated Geordie way Lank says my name but in his own Bradford baritone. I think out of habit he still does that now.

As you know, sometimes I’m not very good at picking up when someone is being genuinely serious. Just the other week at dinner with Mrs Imperturbable and a few other friends, she says ‘I’m trying to think of a happy childhood memory’, I think it’s a test because of the inappropriate laughing at the never ever having had a birthday party ever memory. Failed of course. Laughed again.

Not surprising really when people like Muffin would come up with gems like, ‘I’m smoking Lambert and Butler because it’s the thinking man’s cigarette’. Are you sure? It’s not because it’s far cheaper than a packet of Marlborough? He also came out with something equally profound about Lilt but then admitted he just liked it’s totally tropical taste.

I suppose with such financially astute tendencies, it’s no surprise he’s now a qualified Financial Advisor. In fact, he gave me some brilliant financial advice for my final year at University. Befriend the bouncers at the door of the Student Union bar. Saved a packet, never had to queue at all to get in and was successfully smuggled out a back door with Elbear one time when she needed to escape the unwanted advances of a suitor.

Then after I moved to London and met my first ever London friend of my very own, Mrs Cor Blimey, who should be housemates with her friend? Why, Mr Muffin! Exactly! What a small world and a bit freaky. But then quite fun too actually to be in London in your mid 20s with new friends and old ones.

Sometimes he likes to be Mr T, at others he likes to be Carl Cox. I think he almost got away with it in a club once until someone pointed out, ‘Hang on, isn’t this Carl Cox’s set right now?’. Hmmm. Busted. How can you not laugh?

You don’t have to be in touch all the time to recognise the value of certain friendships. I think it’s how you get on when you do hear from people that matters. He’s still funny, still open and honest, still not that mysterious though tries to be….and probably would still like to blame all his misdemeanours on the Special Brew but can you really at 40? Hmmm.

Happy 40th Birthday Muffin!



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