It's all downhill from here

Hi public holiday people.

Here’s yesterday’s column. I’m not telling you what to do, but I do hope you enjoy it.




Earlier this year I literally found myself doing El Camino, a century’s-old pilgrimage from France to Spain that spans some 700 kilometres. I only did the last hundred kilometres of it, as I couldn’t afford to get away for more than a week, and because 700 kilometres sounded like an awfully long way to walk.

When I got back, I got a bit of flack, complete with excessive exclamation marks, from a perfect stranger who somehow found me on Facebook, and seemed disappointed with the way I’d chosen to undertake my own personal pilgrimage.

You see there are levels of comfort you can afford yourself while on this journey, and I went for all of them. I had my luggage collected every morning and delivered to my destination six to eight hours walk away, as opposed to carrying it all on my back every step of the way. And I made similar choices with my accommodation too. You can choose to camp out under the stars, or stay in Albergues (communal-living backpackers) if you want to, or like me, you could stay in an Albergue one night to see what it’s all about and then make your way quickly to a series of comfortable hotels for the rest of the journey. All of which seemed to offend this woman greatly. Granted, it’s hardly how the pilgrims did it in the 1600’s but I suspect that’s because they didn’t have the luxury of choice back then, mini-bars in hotel rooms, or emergency Mastercards.

You see, lady with all the exclamation marks to spare, I’m pleased that you enjoyed your adventure, living communally and schlepping all your stuff, but I have this theory about life – there are certain things one should not do after the age of say around 35.

Things like wearing scrunchies, underpaying the bill at a restaurant and saying ‘amazeballs’, ‘totes’ or ‘cray cray’.

There are other things too. Like drinking either Stroh Rum or the water in India, sleeping in your car, or getting drunk and flashing your tits. (To be clear, just getting drunk is fine, it’s the tit-flashing combo that’s a no-no after a certain age.)

Popped collars should also strictly be for the under 35s, as well as backwards baseball cap wearing, and whale tail showing (when your g-string sticks out the back of your jeans).

After doing some research amongst my friends and on Twitter, I’ve been able to add a few more things to this list. Things like doing the splits, eating too much salt and butter, and taking and sending nude pictures of yourself to anyone via sms.

At this age you can also no longer sleep with your best friend’s boyfriend. Well you shouldn’t do that before the age of 35, but at least then you can excuse your sub-par behaviour with the fact that your brain hasn’t fully finished growing yet.

At the top half of thirty, you also can’t go out clubbing all night, and then go straight to work via KFC. Rather take yourself straight from the club to the emergency room to save yourself the trouble later.

And now I can comfortably add sharing a room with between thirty to fifty other filthy pilgrims to the top of this list, together with trying to pick up a Spaniard in a bar, carrying a backpack for a hundred kilometers through the driving rain, and sleeping on the floor, unless you have a great chiropractor on speed dial.

But of course, probably the most important thing one should never, ever do after the age of 35, is pay any attention to anyone who tells you what to do, when you’re over the age of 35.


4 responses to “It's all downhill from here”

  1. .. and no, I wasn’t marking your work like some musty teacher fawning over her pet; the word ‘perfect’ just flew out of my head/finger combo because you so ‘got’ how I feel. Yes, I’ll go camping with you, as long as you supply the chalet with a real bed and real walls. The thought of sleeping bags with or without camping beds or slowly, sadly deflating deflatable matresses make me shudder nowadays.
    Thank you. 🙂

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