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

The party’s done….I’m Officially 40!

on September 10, 2014

Well, this was rather a new experience and one I can’t say I liked very much.

There is something inherently wrong with the Three Day Hangover.

Seriously. What is going on there? Two days sort of acceptable. But THREE DAYS? You have got to be kidding me. Shameful.

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However, I would do it all again. Like you always do after every time you get a hangover. Much like the Common Cold, there seems to be no cure for the Common Hangover, (besides abstaining) and you just have to let your body and mind fight it off. In my twenties it took a day, two days as we progressed through the thirties and now it seems it will take three days. Pah.

We finally reached the end of Official 40th Birthday celebrations last Saturday night, culminating in a Couples themed Fancy Dress Party at the suggestion of my friend Little Red, who looked spectacular as Cleopatra accompanied by Mark Antony (and not Julius Caesar).

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I love Fancy Dress but I think this may well have been the first costume party I’ve hosted for Grown Ups. #1, 2 and 3 are constantly in dress up and #3 loves nothing more than whipping on an outfit just as we leave the door in much the same way some people grab a bag.

I know it was a big ask to have guests come in Fancy Dress because it isn’t for everyone. That thing of thinking up an idea, putting it together and going out in public. It requires attention and effort and as one guest admitted, there’s that moment just before you enter the party when you have a mild panic that you may well be the only one who never received the follow up message that Fancy Dress is not required.

Well, that definitely wasn’t the case! I can honestly say that all who came made a brilliant effort and I’m very touched by that. I had no idea who everyone was coming as and the anticipation of waiting for guests to arrive along with the prospect of having a few drinks and throwing moves on the dance floor was highly exhilarating.

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It’s almost like the excitement of Christmas Day as a child, with your bundle of presents and wondering what’s inside. Except you’re looking at your friends disguised as Thelma and Louise and wondering ‘Who the f are you?’. It’s quite freaky when you recognise the voice but it’s so far from who you recognise them to be. Ah, it was so much fun!

I initially wanted to go as Where’s Wenda from Where’s Wally but Husband suggested I go for something I’m a big fan of. So I said I could go as Yoda but then I thought about having to wear the mask all night and decided against it and so I went as Princess Leia to Husband’s Han Solo. My Leia buns kept muffling all conversations and I had to keep lifting one up to hear better.

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Even I as party host, had a moment of self consciousness, thinking about the journey from home to venue. There were a few shout outs as we got out of the cab at Boat Quay but the best approach was when someone came up to us and asked if we’d just come from the Singapore Toy and Comic Convention. Can you imagine?

The venue was a complete delight with great canapes (I’m a big fan of canapes). Dallas Bar and Restaurant on Boat Quay. With asking everyone to come dressed up, it was the least we could do in going for a private function room which was tastefully decorated and with discreet staff who quietly moved tables out of the way when the drunken throwing of shapes started. It also has a terrace that overlooked the Singapore river and saved the smokers many a trip down the stairs.

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Inevitably as the night goes on, various pieces of accessories are mixed around amongst people. Completely hilarious after a mix of beers, cocktails and something called a Jagerbomb and tequila shots. Do you know, I had never even heard of a Jagerbomb until then. I blame the young people invited. And I can’t even explain the physics of how it works. You have a tumbler of Red Bull, which you then drop a shot of Jagermeister shotglass and all, into the tumbler of Red Bull. And then you down it all. But what happened to the shot glass? How come it didn’t hit me in the face and everything? I just don’t get it. I may have to try it again some day.

Tequila I do know. Still as dirty as ever. Whilst I can’t remember all words of all conversations like what happens on such nights, I can clearly recall Little Red at the bar explaining in great detail to the bartender the exact measurement of tequila to go with the correct ratio of lime and salt. How I miss those days where such conversations were rife.

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You can never really explain what makes a great night that has been primarily fuelled by booze and laughter so great so I won’t even try. Let the photographs speak for themselves.

There are several things I fail to remember about being drunk.

1. I cannot sing but will still belt out ‘Don’t look back in anger’ at high screech.

2. I can’t seem to dance without excessive head wobbling resulting in whiplash type injuries the day after. Husband put together a great playlist of all my favourite songs to shake moves too. Who doesn’t love being in the mood for dancing!

3. I am easily led. Another shot for the road? Ok.

4. I get motion sickness on a regular journey, let alone after several beers.

5. The Two Day Hangovers. Now Three.

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When I spoke about what a great night I had when Turning 30 with all those friends I’d known for years, I wondered how it would be Turning 40 with all these friends I felt like I’d known for less time. But actually when I think about it, I have known some of you for years now and we have gone through some big occasions together and we too have our own shared history. So I am very happy to have had such fabulous 40th Birthday celebrations with you all.

Turning 40 has exceeded any thoughts I had on the matter. It has been only brilliant to have had so many great times with Husband, my family and friends. I feel very lucky and very thankful.

I could see that Singapore Bake Off had put in a lot of care into my very own Birthday cake. It looked and tasted spectacular. Whilst Mrs Cake Pops in all her Rubix Cube glory said some very kind words even though she doesn’t get my love of Star Wars and Dr Who which had she known in the early days would have ended any form of friendship.

The day after the party, it was reassuring to know that nearly all of the guests were somewhere on the Moderate to Severe Hangover spectrum. Like in our household, minimal parenting activity was going on.

But the best thing to hear, in addition to having had a good time, is how many said to me what a great bunch of people were there. That can only be the biggest compliment to receive. It can only be the reason why it was such a good night. It’s the reason why I am so fortunate in so many ways.

As Husband says, ‘Can we now stop celebrating you being 40?’

Yes we can.

But wait.

I’m coming back to the UK next month and there’s a whole bunch of people there who I haven’t had chance to celebrate their 40ths with, let alone my own.

Another Three Day Hangover you say? Let’s do it.

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