There comes a time in every woman’s life when she recognises she is of a certain age. An age where certain activities are no longer deemed appropriate. Having reached such an age in recent weeks, I was keen to mark it with an event of sorts, a modern twist on the traditional birthday celebration, if you will.
It was this decision that led me to agree to the suggestion presented to me by my sister, also in her late thirties, to enjoy a few days away. A nice city break perhaps? We weighed up our options.
Istanbul for it’s culture and fascinating spice markets or Paris, perhaps, a chance to spend time in the Louvre or enjoying a small glass of Bordeaux and some fine cheese on the Champs Elysee … Or Ibiza. Where ( I am told) one can shamelessly spend 4 days drinking Mojitos, flirt non-stop with waiters from Barcelona, readily consuming small white tablets with absolutely no concern or question of their origin and content, dance for 8 hours non-stop after taking said miscellaneous offerings and get approximately 1 hours sleep a night… or so I’m told.
Being mature adults, I’m sure I don’t need to ask you to guess which one we went for.
You see, here’s the thing. Despite age as it is on paper, there are certain things in life I will never grow out of, things that, regardless of being closer to 40 than 20, and taking a week, as in literally 7 days, to get over a heavy night let alone 4 days non stop partying, I will just refuse to give up.
Those things include -
- Inappropriate weekends away. Despite being mildly concerned that I may well be the oldest person in Ibiza itself, I was pleasantly surprised to find that, actually, should one want an inebriated weekend away in their middle age, this is a surprisingly good choice of destination. The beauty of the Isle Balearic is that it has shaped itself into a place, to coin a middle aged phrase, where ‘anything goes.’ Meaning that there will always be someone there, older, less appropriate and probably more pissed than you. It should be noted that, when a man can walk down a beach completely starkers on MDMA talking about purple rainbows and naked angels in his mid sixties and not raise an eyebrow, there is hope for us all.
- Thinking that health and safely warning don’t apply to me. This includes year on year, totally ignoring any advice offered regarding safe tanning, non- smoking and limiting alcohol consumption. We live in a country which has 10 months of winter, I would no sooner sit in the shade on holiday than spend my 2 free weeks a year at a Travelodge on the outskirts of Birmingham. Nothing pleases me more than smelling of 0 factor oil on the beach while smoking a red Marlboro light and cracking open the rose and 11.30am, yes, so I may well be dead before I hit 40, but, my friends, I will be a beautiful chestnut colour and pissed out my head on a fantastic 2010 grape when I go.
- Getting drunk and flirting with inappropriate men. I would like to say this particular age inappropriate activity applies only to holidays, that the sun does strange things to a woman’s mind and all is regretted on return home. But this is not the case. I find that the older I get, the more fun can be had from flirting wildly with waiters, bartenders and general seasonal staff half one’s age. A habit simply enhanced by high temperatures and locally sourced spirits. Nothing, after all screams ‘Middle age I’m a comin’ at ya’, like a cocktail named after a sexual position in your hand and a 22 year old Waiter called Lothario muttering prayers to Saint Maria under his breath while pouring a B52. (and trying to guess, amongst your friends whether his prayers be of thanks or fear simply adds to the fun).
- Waking up with ‘the fear’ and swearing I’ll go sightseeing next year. This seems to be a common theme amongst my friends, and one which we have worked on since our early 20′s. Waking up, totally unaware of ones surroundings, with absolutely no recollection of the previous nights events is simply a must for every women entering their 4th decade. I mean, quite honestly, you haven’t lived until you’ve woken up in a pile of your own sick in a backpackers hostel 80 miles from your own hotel with no money or personal identification on you, it’s an absolute ball.
It is common belief that the English, as a race, are rather skilled at said activity and discussed at great length by other nationalities with a mix of bewilderment and admiration. And, as the French are famed, worldwide, for their fantastic knowledge and production of fine wines, the Italians their bountiful supply of delicious food and Holland, fields of beautiful crafted flowers, we, as a nation, are becoming quite synonymous with our ability to dance naked on a table in a full bar to a Chaz and Dave tribute act, then skinny dip with nothing but a sombrero on, manage to eat a kebab and get home and have absolutely no recollection of the nights events the following morning. It’s harder than it looks, I don’t mind telling you.
The inevitable pattern of events following a weekend away, mostly include cutting out all alcohol on return, throwing away full packets of cigarettes, returning to gym, beating self up, and swearing that weeks antics will never be repeated again … until someone suggests Vegas in September.
Did someone say discounts with Virgin when you book 2 months in advance?