Some of you may know I recently had a birthday. Recently being yesterday. Despite the fact that I do not particularly relish the aging process, I still have the mind of a six-year-old child and want to celebrate birthdays (and Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, Pancake Day, Solstice…basically any day with a ‘Day’ at the end of it) with the energy of a thousand burning suns. Because life is short so why wouldn’t we take any opportunity to celebrate and bring a little extra colour to our world?!
Since my posts vary wildly between heart-on-sleeve divulging and going-to-challenge-social-limits frankness, I thought I’d let us all off the hook (not at all because I’m in any way hungover), and keep it light. You’re welcome.
As adulting can be a sombre affair, for my birthday I choose to embrace the carefree whimsy of my former six-year-old self. So here are some (subjectively) fun facts about my inner child to mark day one of being 36. Or rather 3.6.
1. One of my favourite daytime activities is feeding the ducks. I have a partner in crime for this (you know who you are). To the outside world we may seem all street and gangsta but don’t be fooled. A trip to the park to bask amid local canal life, followed by the occasional go on the swings, has been a regular occurrence.
2. My first celebrity crush was Boy George. Don’t judge me. At eight-years-old (me, not him) I thought he was colourful and wonderful. And pretty. Oh hindsight.
3. Sometimes when I’m alone in an open space, I still do cartwheels. Just because. See earlier point about six-year-old mind.
4. I once brought out a toy Thomas the Tank Engine as part of bedroom play. (You also know who you are). Needless to say this was not arousing. But it was very, very funny.
5. I am an actor partly because I love to spend time deconstructing the inner narrative and motivations of ego and identity. And partly because dress up.
6. Sometimes during my work lunch breaks, I go to look at dead stuff at museums. Dinosaurs, mummies, woolly mammoth replicas, my street cred…
7. I went to see Hannah Montana in the cinema. On my own. And got annoyed that a group of Brownies were making too much noise and distracting me from the film.
8. To this day, the literary series to which I have devoted the most time to reading is The Babysitters Club. I didn’t read Harry fuck face Potter, or Song of Ice and Thrones, or even Lord of the Rings. Because nothing, NOTHING, will ever recapture the wave of joy induced by a new Ann M. Martin offering. Sorry Harry, you’ve got nothing on Claudia or Mary Anne.
9. The Porcelain Doll story traumatised me for a fair chunk of my childhood. If you are not familiar with the concept – it is one of those kid’s ghost stories (the spoken kind, not a book or film) about a doll who creeps up the stairs (two stairs per night) in a long, drawn-out effort to murder you in your sleep. It’s all about creepiness and delivery, but man that shit got under my skin. It was even scarier than the one about the dog under the bed who licked its owner’s hand every night. Except the owner found out the dog was actually dead. I slept with the light on for more than a year. Actually. Thank God for the dimmer switch.
10. I lived Dawson’s Creek in real life. Moved to the countryside, fell for the boy next door (who happened to have a rowing boat on a lake), was too shy to ever tell him about said pining, occasionally snuck in (through a door not a window) and did nothing but awkwardly watch TV together. Probably still my longest running and most unrequited crush to date. After Boy George obvs.
So happy birthday me. I hope I never get old, will continue to be able to stomach rides at theme parks, and have ample opportunity to cartwheel like a lunatic. Because life should be fun.