Still lunching after all these years

If it would make me live longer or happier, I would care how many years I’ve been around, but a celebration of the fact that I can count up to 10 and remember to do it 5 times over won’t change my longevity or jollity one bit. Nevertheless, I’m 50 this year and despite my indifference, this is already causing ripples of unease in the usually quiet pond where I live.

The problem is that a number of the people who care about me seem to feel obliged to arrange a celebration. There must be cake, presents and, God forbid, a party. The cake and presents I can deal with, the party is a different beast. OK, colours to the mast – I hate parties. Not just mine, although they would have to be the worst, but almost all parties. I hate the noise, the fact that you can never get a decent conversation going before the next person insists on your attention, I hate the music, (can’t listen to music and converse) the dancing (can’t dance, husband can’t dance) and the bewildering range of foodstuffs, all to be eaten on the hoof like some panic stricken ruminant herd.

But I’m 50 and that apparently means I must mark the event somehow. So here’s the idea: I will celebrate my birthday, but not with a party. Instead I will invite 50 people to have lunch with me. Separately. 50 people, 50 locations, 50 conversations, 50 menus. Some of these meals might be pretty basic – my brother for example makes me think immediately of a beach to the east of Barry where only the locals used to go even in high summer, and the peppery pasties we grew up with and which by some miracle are still made every day in the same bakery. Hopefully some of the lunches will be a little less prosaic, a restaurant overlooking Lake Zurich is a possibility, especially as a visit to those particular friends is long overdue. I will give myself a year, beginning on my 50th birthday on 23 September 2014 and ending on 22nd September 2015.

I will blog as I eat obviously, this is the twenty first century after all. The blog will provide a record and hopefully as it builds will enable me to suggest lunch to single men without alarming them. You never know, I might even use the material and write something fictional.

If you’re reading this it’s because I would like you to be one of my 50 co-consumers and this is by way of a protracted and typically verbose invitation. Will you please have lunch with me at some point in the next 12 months? You can choose the location and the food if you like. If you aren’t local, I am willing to travel. If you aren’t solvent, I am willing to pay.

Please help me to avoid my birthday party. Text me (07816 273483) or email me (

The blog is at


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