Say what you mean and mean what you say.
Ummm, not always so easy.
But here goes.
A few months ago I was dreading my onrushing fiftieth birthday. Then at some point, I'm not sure when, I had a change of heart. I decided to embrace it.
And now I just want to go on celebrating it for ever.
I have celebrated with my best cycling friend, by proving that even moderate cycling ability and asthmatic lungs, when combined with true comradeship and foul language, and a modicum of persistence and drafting behind better cyclists than me, can conquer three Category 1 and two HC climbs in a single day.
I have celebrated with myself, and demonstrated there really are no pockets in shrouds. Money may be the root of all evil, but I'm sure my parents would delight in my choice of British Racing Green upon which to spend their life's hard work.
I have celebrated with my life's treasure and love, and the apple of my eye, also known as Mrs Mendip Rouleur and Junior, and delighted in the intimacy and fun of balloons and streamers. And they bought me the best birthday cake that anyone in the world has ever had. Fact.
I have celebrated with my work colleagues, who shared a lunch with me and gave me a present of such stunning imagination, creativity and thoughtfulness that it made me tell everyone in Budgens in Langford what a brilliant bunch of people I work with.
I have celebrated with my cycling buddies on the roads of the Somerset levels that I mock so much. With cake, puncture repair and the puff and grunt of my best ascent of the Strava segment closest to home.
I have celebrated with my brothers and sister, their partners and children, with more fantastic and thoughtful presents and much laughter.
Thank you all.
So I feel blessed. Not by the presents (though they are nice) but by the presence of others, which is far, far, more valuable.
I'm aiming to cut down my use of social media for a while, precisely because I feel it is a distraction from the real business of engaging and communicating with people, friends, and in the essential business of living. It can also be a nice substitute (for me at least) for the essential business of thinking and reflection, and for reading books, or just noticing others. I don't want to be the centre of my own world, I want to focus on others.
How many of you have noticed this?
Real life isn't this blog, it isn't the "misguided tweets or the sad facebooking", it's the sky, the road, the music, the love, the people.
As my Dad said to me, "it's all about relationships Guy". Which was quite something for someone born in 1935.
See you soon,