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40 YO by Mel Small

First Published: 30/11/2009 22:21:08

I turned forty in March. They say life begins at forty.  Not sure who "they" are but I think my mother knows them and consequently I'm pretty sure the Evening Gazette is used to distribute their wisdom.

The event of turning 40 was no big deal really. "They" see it as a significant event, as was turning 16, 17, 18, 21 and maybe 30.  Of these events only the first three actually represent anything. And some of these only apply if you live in the UK.

At sixteen you can smoke and have sex.  Actually perhaps that should be the other way round.  I've sometimes wondered why smoking becomes legal at sixteen rather than eighteen.  Perhaps it's so you can have postcoital tab.  Please note smoking is very dangerous for various reasons, especially so after sex.  For one thing you're likely to be in bed. lf your 16 probably your parent's bed. The fire risk of smoking in bed can't be understates. There's also a strong chance you're going to fall a sleep. So 16 YOs, don't smoke and don't have sex.  Especially don't have sex in your parent's bed.  That can lead to an embarrassing twist on the Goldilocks and the three bears scenario.  "Who's been sleeping in my bed?" "That'll be you Jason."  "Oh and you too Stacy."  "Does your mother know you're here?"

At seventeen (in the UK) you can start learning to drive.  Ahhh! Another thought. Driving equals car equals somewhere to have the sex.  See previous.

Then there's eighteen and you're legally allowed to drink. Obviously by that point you probably already have a local, a usual, and your own tankard behind the bar of said local.  That is of course assuming that the local pub hasn't been forced out of business by a cut throat supermarket.  I do wonder were the youth of today find each other. In my day it was pubs and nightclubs.  These days with the leading purveyors of alcohol being the likes of Asda and Tesco, are sallow spotty teens sideling up to girls, kicking them in the shoes, and asking them for a dance in aisle 6 of the local Tesco Express?

So turning forty isn't really a significant event.  The big four owe is just a number. So whatever!

For me the act of turning forty did however trigger two real significant[ish] events . These being two things I'd never done before.  I went to Rome and I bought a brand new car. Both things are brilliant, lavish I grant you in the "current climate", but brilliant nonetheless.

Sud Est Scirocco paving in the Vatican City, RomeIf you ever find yourself in the situation where you have a few hundred Euro cluttering up your wallet, I would strongly recommend a trip to the eternal city of Roma.  I say that because it's not what you'd call a cheap gig.  Back in March, when I went, the exchange rate with the pound wasn't great and consequently the prices were a little exaggerated, but even without that you need to park any thoughts of thrift for the duration of your stay.

That said chilling out in Piazza Navona knocking back a couple of Peronis was worth every penny.  There's little value in me writing a travel review of Rome and the various sites and sights so I won't.  Suffice to say if you have then cash at any point go.

Just FYI there are some deals out there and we got a great deal from Travel Republic.

Top five cities I've been to:The Colosseum, Rome

  1. Rome
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Boston
  4. San Diego
  5. London 

Significant event#2 occurred shortly after my return from Rome, when I ordered a brand new car.  I'd never done that before.  The car I ordered being a Volkswagen Scirocco 2.0 TSI GT. Oh yes! It's a beauty!

Sumatra Volkswagen Scirocco 2.0 TSI GT

I bought the Scirocco from the Autoebid website and got what I felt was a great deal paying just the wrong side of £20k.  A bargain, but more money than I'd paid for all the cars I'd had to that point.  Like a Piazza Navona Peroni it's worth every penny.

My cars to date:

  • Ford Fiesta 1.1 Ghia (Scrapped)
  • Ford Escort 1.6 XR3 (Stolen)
  • Ford Escort 1.3 L (Sold)
  • Toyota Corolla 1.6 GTI (Given to fire brigade)
  • Nissan Almeria 1.6 SRI (Scrapagged)

I must say that buying a car on the intranet is not the most comfortable thing I’ve ever done, however if you pay your deposit with your credit card then there’s some term or condition or other that protects you for the whole kit and caboodle.  I would however check that if you fancy doing the same.  

Extras-wise, I didn’t spend that much.  I spent a little more than to get the colour I wanted.  I went for Sumatra, which is a dark metallic grey, but I generally kept it quite sensible going for just parking sensors, electric folding mirrors, a DAB radio, flat tire sensors and mats.  I still wonder whether I should have gone for the Sat Nav but at an extra 1500 quid that seemed a bit pricy.  I'm also not sure about the DAB radio. It seems fine to and from work, but on longer journeys it can't always find a signal and cuts out a fair bit.

The wait from the time I ordered to the time of delivery was a little painful, however on 22nd of July I took delivery. New car smell and all.  Later that day I had my first drive.  I hadn’t even had a test drive.

I might be forty but I still retain the recklessness of youth.  Oh yes!

What do you want to do next?

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The TLog of Mel Small the architect and creator of Tenuous Links. My muses, sometimes aimless and mostly irrelevent, cover a variety of subjects, hoping against hope that at least one TLog entry may be of the slightest interest to some poor soul.
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