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30 Thoughts On Turning 30

Posted on: Monday, 8 July 2013

1) The best advice I’ve ever had on relationships was from my dad. “Better to be upset once than be upset a lot,” he counselled sagely as I sobbed down the phone. I didn’t think he was right at the time, but he was. Dads know best.

2) When you find the right person it should feel like coming home and being hit by a train all at the same time. And then a big Batman-esque POW or perhaps KABOOM pops up on your mental screen. 

3) I’m so very glad I don’t need to date anymore, on the grounds of being far too prissy and awkward. ‘Date’ - pah, even the mention of it demands an eyeroll. I enjoy living vicariously through others, though. 

4) Leos get shit done. Maybe not perfectly but hey, stuff gets finished. If you need attention to detail you’d be better off speaking to my perfectionist Virgo sister. 

5) TK Maxx does my head in. There’s too much crap everywhere. I can’t be bothered with the sifting. 

6) Be nice to the admin staff, the IT geeks, the maintenance team and the cleaners at your workplace. They’re the people you’ll need to turn a crisis into a triumph.

7) On a related note, people who are rude to waiters (or anyone else on the minimum wage, for that matter) are dicks. No exceptions. 

8) Find a religion or a spiritual way of going on that works for you. Quakers is pretty interesting. It’s full of Catholics who need a rest. 

9) Hating your face or your body or your elbow or whatever is an extraordinarily pointless waste of energy.

10) Be confident. It is SO unfathomably sexy. 

11) I know; easier said than done. Fake it till you make it. 

12) Although if you have Celtic skintones and gingery-brown hair, fake tan will not work for you. Embrace your bluey-whiteness.

13) And try some exercise. I speak as a former PE note girl who discovered running and the fact that it meant you could eat what you wanted (within reason). I was sold.

14) I’ve worked in state-run and private schools and the biggest difference between them isn’t the class sizes (exaggerated) or the staff (no discernible gap overall) but rather the confidence private education instills in its young charges. I think top-quality parenting can pull off a similar feat.   

15) Don’t ring in sick if you’re not sick. That makes you a prize-winning knobhead on wheels.

16) Frame things properly. You’re an adult, ergo just take pictures to a pictureframer. Yes, it’s more expensive, but clippy frames from Ikea are an abomination. 

17)  I think that Irish speech - the syntax, vocabulary and pronunciation - is beautiful. “How’s the quare fella?” “It’s hateful, so it is.” “TheLORDsaveusandblessus.” “Vee-hi-cle.” Perfect grammar is overrated (did I just say that?)

It'll all become clear if you click on the link above

18) Listening to Christy Moore’s ‘Missing You’ blows my mind from the viewpoint that people used to leave home and not be able to go back for YEARS. ‘I’ve been missing you/I’d give all for the price of the flight,’ he sings. Even if I was in New Zealand I could slap a credit card down the check-in desk and insist I fly. 

19) There’s definitely a place in my heart for folk music. And dodgy country and western. Praise be for Spotify’s Private Session option. 

20) I’m with Caitlin Moran on the writing-about-feminism front. Treat Samantha Brick like the weird fucking post-modernist joke she is (Moran’s words) - i.e. with disdain and a bit of light-hearted banter. She’s ridiculous, yes. Therefore she doesn’t need your anger. 

21) My mother had a Childhood Of Austerity, which we rib her about occasionally when she’s making sandwiches for a car journey or stalking the yellow sticker aisle in Sainsbury’s. She would express grave doubts that her purchase-related guilt has rubbed off onto me, but it has.  

22) Class is endlessly interesting. ‘We’re all middle class now.’ Hmm. 

23) Another endlessly interesting pop-psychology topic: birth order, and birth order combined with gender. I am SUCH a middle-child-girl. 

23) When we were little (say, about eight) my brother got locked in a toilet in a convent. Several nuns tried to pick the lock and one attempted a shoulder barge. It remains one of the most surreal moments of my life. 

24) My granddad spent eighteen months in a hospice dying of cancer and my mum would bring him bags of boiled sweets. ‘But granddad’s diabetic,’ I remember saying. ‘There comes a point when you take pleasure where you find it,’ was her answer. Fair enough.

25) The power of the pen is remarkable. Not long ago I received a hand-written postcard from Alan Bennett. Write to people.  

That says 'From Alan Bennett'. Wah!

26) If you have a reasonable income, a busy life and you’re uncomfortable with the bathroom being dirty, employ a cleaner. I guarantee you, the 27 euros or sterling equivalent you’ll pay out each week is worth far, far more than the time, the resentment and the arguments you’d otherwise engage in over the situation. 

27) Spend the time you would have spent cleaning the bathroom reading a quality newspaper. Occasionally read the paper first rather than the glossy supplements. Feel cleverer.

28) As you get older, you might not make as many friends as you did in your university years and beginning at work, but when you do make a good adult friend it's bloody brilliant. You do more ‘making do’ when you’re younger. 

29) Facebook is annoying, yes. Do it or don't do it. But please don't get your knickers in a twist about it. 

30) If you’re in your 20s, get on. Whatever it is you’re doing - working, studying, having children, whatever - just push on with it. Do it well.


I had an inordinate amount of fun doing this. Basically, I saw this over on twitter and laughed my back off, and then a likeable someone retweeted this which I thought was just marvellous and I wanted to do my own version. I think everyone should have a go. 

Birthday countdown has BEGUN. 16 days to go :/ 


  1. Really loved this compilation of observations and encouragements! Did the nose trick with a cup of coffee reading about the shoulder barging nun. I am a bit hit and miss with my blog reading but when ever I come here I find words that make me ponder, remember, re-appraise what I thought I was sure about. And do the nose trick. Hope you had a cracking birthday.

    1. What a lovely thing to say. You've made my day :)

      What is this nose trick of which you speak? Coffee in the nose? Or something else? My imagination's running wild. I simply must know.

    2. Haha! The nose trick is when you burst out laughing whilst having a mouth full of liquid, and somehow some gets inhaled up into your nose - in extreme and embarrassing cases emerging from the nostrils!! Please don't tell me I'm the only one this happens too?! No excitingly illicit white powders assisting my blogreading, (which is probably a good thing since I wield a blowtorch for work every day!!) Bx

    3. Urgghh, the amount of exclaimation marks I just used would suggest a major cocaine hit! oops there is another. x

    4. Oh THAT nose trick. Yes, that's a good one.

      Sometimes I like to use exclamation marks excessively in an ironic manner!!!!! hugs lolz innit!!!!


Thoughts/comments/craic? Go for your life, as my father would say.

Soz about the word verification. The spammers are driving me nuts.

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