Archive for May, 2015

As I sit down to write this post I reflect on the previous 40 years of my life.  It is the eve of my fourtieth birthday, a moment to celebrate!  Of course it is because it means something to me and to us (as in people in general).  I’ve managed to keep my shit together enough to last 40 years on this planet, an undoubted combination of fortune and coincidence and I’d like to think a fair bit of skill as well.  But it’s also not hard to take half a step back and look at any anniversary celerbation for what it is.  

An utterly arbitrary length of time.  

40 years?  Only on earth.  If I moved to mars the year is different because a year is nothing more than the length of time based on the orbit of a planet around it’s star.  Of course we’ve named our star and our planet and the unit of time – we call it a year.  But it’s not naturally chopped up.  As of today I’ve done 14610 days.  But that still doesn’t get us away from the fact that the day is based on the rotation of the earth, so still completely arbitrary.  Vary the size of the planet and rate of spin and the day becomes a different length.  

So why celebrate birthdays at all?  Is it simply because we have calendars?  Do remote tribes who don’t have calendars celebrate anniversaries of indiviudals like we do?  I realise google can probably find the answer  but I’m choosing not to find out at the moment.  I suspect not and I also suspect that they celebrate time related but not specific events like a hunter going on his first hunt.  That means something.  It marks a change in that persons capacity to particiapte in the tribe.  It marks an independce for the new hunter.  It marks the start of a journey as a learner down the path of aquiring mastery.  That sounds like something worth celebrating.

I suppose one question is who is the celerbration for?  When you take the example of elaborate parties held for infants who will retain no memory of the party it looks uspiciously like it’s for the parents, not the infant.

So am I a killjoy who shuns celebration and steadfastly refuses to participate in this tradition?  No of course not – I’m having  a party because it will be fun!  Surrounded by friends, music, dancing and a couple of nice drinks.

In case you are wondering how old I am take a look (approx)

14610 Days
21,038,400 minutes

350,640 hours

2087 weeks

40 Years

Happy Birthday me.

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Race Day!

We’re very excited about Emily taking part in the regular ‘race day’ at Northern Arena Swim school.  A ton of kids turn up and get to swim against other kids, seeing what times they can turn in under basic competitive conditions.  Although there are no placings as such, you end up in a group of very similar levels of ability.  Emily chose to swim in the 25m Breast stroke and 25m Freestyle…  only then delighting all of us by coming first in both!  I have video of the breast stroke event.  Ignore the shouty parents in the background (no idea who they were… must have been shouting for a different Emily, ahem) the look on her face says it all.  The best bit was until I told her she had no idea she’d come first.  She was more interested in telling us that she was smiling all the way.  the video is a little hard to make out at the start.  She is in lane three, wearing a bright orange swim suit and yellow cap.

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