I’ve just had the perfect birthday party. I say party but there was no one there except for me, my husband, the grizzled landlord and one other ancient old man and his dog. The venue, our local pub, hasn’t been done up since the late 40s (I’m not even exaggerating), there was no music, the food was pretty rubbish, and the fog was so thick and the windscreen so fogged up on the way home that we drove the mile back at a crawl, with my husband trying to spot the turnings between hoots of mildly inebriated laughter. We very nearly ended up freezing to death in a ditch. It was perfection.
One of the best things about moving to Nowhere has been the absence of other humans. If, like me, you essentially don’t like people very much, it’s heaven here. There just aren’t that many of them about – at least, not at this time of year, when it’s so bloody cold you have to wear gloves inside and your birthday present to yourself is a pair of thermal leggings.
I suppose there must have been a time when I’d have wanted my birthday to be spent with friends, me having spent half a weekend getting my eye make-up just so, in a crowded bar filled with clammy strangers but I can’t for the life of me think why. Right now, I feel like I’ve never wanted anything more than a bowl of watery chilli with a side of sliced white in a silent pub in the middle of Nowhere. Next year it’ll be a big birthday – I’m hoping to get the pub all to ourselves.