The Birthday Month

These days I prefer to celebrate my birthday in November. I don’t remember if I’ve detailed the reasons why on this journal, but I will not repeat them now. But my partner also has his birthday in November too. So it’s something of a double celebration.

Except this year it really wasn’t. It should have been something to celebrate, with my partner achieving the grand old age of 30 years. And me officially celebrating my 32nd birthday. But I hate birthdays now. Ever since in my mid 20s I realised I was starting to get old, I had had enough of them. I basically haven’t celebrated one since, though others have occasionally tried to make me do so.

The sad thing is a) my partner was not well on his birthday, just as was the case two years previous; and b) we have been absolutely hammered by work and other crap this month. Totally, utterly rolled over by shite. If I have to answer one more phone call, or deal with one more whinging e-mail from certain clients about blah blah, Windows 10, printers, “it never used to do this”… in fact, the amount of complaints I’ve had that just seem like utter shite this days seems to be infinite…

Me and J have been thinking this month that we have to get away from it. On at least more than one occasion we have both agreed that it’s over for this line of work. Windows 10 has made it incredibly difficult. One day you think you’ve fixed and then – sorry – Windows is a service now, so as part of that service you will be forcefed an update which changes the system ever so slightly in such a clever way that it breaks. And then the whinging begins. Oh, and don’t tell me the amount of times that customers computers have been broken just because they were simply downloading, processing and installing said updates in the background.

I digress. I was meant to be reflecting on birthdays. But to be fair I’ve done that before. Many times. If only I could just call them all up in one go and link them. When will Alexa or Google or whoever be able to just work like the computers in Star Trek? Search has a long way to go before it actually just knows what you’re looking for before you’ve even said it. It would have been analysing what I was writing, parsing it for meanings, and pre-fetching relevant data. It can’t be many more years before we get there, surely?

I think J wanted to make more of the 30th than I let him, but in truth there was no real way to celebrate. We aren’t sociable people, and in general we like each other’s company best. We like to go out to places together, in fact, we are basically inseparable when it comes to chores. I moan to him that it’s not a very efficient use of time, but he is very clingy in some respects. No, we must go to Tesco together for the shopping. It’s a joint effort. To be fair, it does make it easier. Shopping is the worst thing. Having someone to share the horrible moment with somehow dampens that.

So without proper friends, how does one celebrate a birthday? We just… didn’t. We went to Pizza Hut on one night, and then Toby Carvery at the weekend. Mistake on the latter: seems like everyone else does the same thing. Never again. Oh, and the Pizza Hut was annoying because the whole room was served by one person. He was efficient, but I didn’t get my loyalty points. I’m obsessed with such things…

As for my birthday – it didn’t even happen. It sailed by in the middle of a week, a week that was filled with utter disaster after disaster as a result of us making the stupid decision to get the house converted to a combi boiler, having got totally fed up with the concept of pouring £1000 into fixing the faults in the current system. Let’s just say we got through it, somehow, but it was not fun at all. So many errors, so many things that went wrong, so many unexpected problems. It was a classic Farce, of the type my family are very used to, and cost us £4000. And I’m not really that happy about it. To be fair to the installer, I don’t think anyone else would have made a better job of it, but it does make me wonder: are there actually any good plumbers out there who are also good at all the bits of building work that are an essential part of the job?

So the month wraps up, and the Christmas preparations are already well under way. Another week and I’ll basically have everything…