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6 January 2006

Question: What should a man do on his birthday?
Answer: Put all his poetry books into alphabetical order. Obviously.

Oh, all right, I did do a little more than that. This was yesterday - Ramsey Campbell and I are one hundred and seven - and I did do shopping in the morning, and I did go out in the evening and meet friends and do drinking and eating and drinking and watching a movie and drinking and more drinking afterwards, and then I came home, with all that that implies (and no, you donít actually know all that that implies; a man is entitled to his privacies, even from his weblog).

And as a result I have been a little tired, a little quiet today, when I should have been most busy. I made the curious decision a couple of days ago to declare a party this Saturday. Iím not sure quite why we do these things, but there you go. Here you come, I hope; if I forgot to invite you, I'm sorry, and just turn up anyway. Others will. So I need to spend these few days doing busy household things, cooking and cleaning and moving things around; and I have done very little of any of that, except that I did put a ham to soak and marzipan a cake. Oh, and organise my plays, my short stories, my lit crit. What is this with sorting books? People are not coming to scrutinise the order of my books. Itís just a sudden urgent thing I feel, middle age at last. Next thing you know I'll be cataloguing my recipes, so that I know what to find where. God, that would be so useful. Even better would be my other sneaky plan, which is to type up every recipe I use, before I use it. That way I don't have to get the book all greasy and yuck, I can just refer to a paper print-out; and I never need to lose a recipe again, because they'll all be on the computer. And searchable. So I won't be left in the situation I am tonight, knowing what recipe I want and for once actually knowing what book it's in and being entirely unable to find the bloody book. It's a fabulous plan; I explained it to my mother once, and she just snorted in a deeply cynical and I thought rather unmotherly way. And was quite right, of course, because I almost never do it. Maybe now I'm so elderly, I'll come over all bachelor and prissy, and it'll become just the sort of thing I do do.

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© Chaz Brenchley 2006
Reproduced here by permission of Chaz Brenchley, who asserts his moral right to be identified as the author of this work.