Friday, 30 March 2012


We’ve had guests for the past two nights and I'm feeling exhausted.  Three nights total is not a long stay, but midweek I think is more of a struggle.  I'm having real difficulty imagining what to cook for tonight's meal; I think perhaps a simple pasta might be the way to go.  Right now, conversation seems like it will be a struggle, but I'm sure I'll get home and get chatting and not regret it for a minute.  See -- already I'm remembering what a privilege it is to spend time with friends and relatives. 

It's this sort of 'I can't be bothered' attitude that makes me snigger at the idea I might be a grown-up.  I'm turning 30 in two and a half months (ferchristssake!) and yet I'm lodged in a perpetual mindframe of adolescence.  Mind you, at least I put out a fresh handtowel before our guests arrived.  Perhaps I'm just not recognising grown-up behaviour in myself yet?

To celebrate the upcoming birthday, I have booked P and I tickets to Vilnius.  When I moved to the States in mid-2009, I was sent on a junket to New Orleans for three weeks.  Three of the best weeks of my life; there were 20 or so of us experiencing US campus life and the live music scene of one of the best cities in the world for the first time.  One of the very first people I met on that trip was V.  V was from Vilnius, Lithuania.  The very first Lithuanian I had ever met; I thought she was quiet at first.  I soon discovered that this was because she takes in her surroundings before speaking - she has a wicked sense of humour and genuine, happy smile. 

V moved to New York to undertake her Masters as well*; she lived in Alphabet city in an apartment P and I spent almost half our time at.  She's one of the loveliest souls I have ever met; people are drawn to her like moths to an open flame.  It helps that she is beautiful, but she just has a calm and open presence that encourages people to come up to her and engage her in discussion, often issuing an invitation to a gig, or a new bar, or a poetry reading.  P and I accompanied her on many of those impromptu outings -- I'm pretty sure our presence as marginal chaperones was a massive disappointment to quite a few lovelorn suitors!  V has visited London twice since we moved here and we've not yet made it to her home town (though I've been dreaming about it; wandering along the river, jazz bars at night, I see Vilnius as all green and grey and lovely).


So today I've spoilt myself on tickets and I am going to a beautiful city to celebrate my birthday with my husband, a very good friend, her lovely boyfriend and their mischevious dog.  Lithuanians are serious about their basketball and it transpires that we will be visiting at the same time as a pre-Olympic friendly match between Lithuania and Macedonia.  I will extend my Lithuanian beyond 'achoo' (thank you) and 'apchi' (the sound of a sneeze!).  I am beyond excited. 


As a side note, I'm not too perturbed about turning 30, so no need to start sending condolence cards, dear invisible readers.  I had a full on freak out when I turned 24 for no apparent reason whatsoever.   It seems that premature breakdown got the bug out of my system.  I was emailing with my hat friend this week, who turns 30 a month after I do.  She told me about having spent a miserable meal with a friend for her 30th, during which her friend was crying into her plate of food.  Hat friend had promised herself that she wouldn't be quite so self-indulgent at her own birthday because she'd want her friends to have a good time at a party -- and then realised that 30 was just not that big a deal.  I kind of agree.  Mind you, ask me again closer to the time and I might not possess such equanimity about the whole thing!

*I'm pretty sure I've told you I studied for a graduate degree while in the States?  No?  Oh well, yeah, I did that (and got the degree, if that required clarification, which it might, given the quality of writing demonstrated on this blog).

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