Brian’s 30th

It’s Brian’s 30th. I was meant to be at The Factory but beautifully they found people to replace me. That’s the joy of that company. So many people ready and willing to play. A community company. I love how nurturing and challenging my Factory community is. And my home life is the same. Nurturing and challenging. Everything is possible and everything is welcomed.

We live very well together, Brian and I. There’s almost always someone sleeping on the sofa. Food and clothes are shared as much as space. We both suck at laundry. There’s almost always lots of laughter in the living room. There’s almost always fancy food in the fridge. The last few years have been a happy and generative time in my life and in his. The flat has been a launch pad for ideas, risks and fun. We eat well and share well, and people drop in and out of that existence gloriously.

This morning we went geocaching in Battersea Park, as much for the joy of gamifying the walk as for the detail of finding the caches. Geocaching is basically the most modern reworking of playing golf. Making a walk into a game. “A good walk spoiled,” as Shaw had it, because yes it’s good to know you can walk and appreciate beauty without a reward mechanism. But I don’t think it’s a spoil. I like the game of it, just as I reckon I’d enjoy golf if I played it more. There’s a Geocaching app that you can pay a monthly subscription to. People hide things in public places. You get a description and a gps. You have to be cunning and stealthy to find the things without alerting the “muggles” who might blunder in after you and remove the cache. “Hey I found a box full of paper. Weird huh. There was a toy in it.”

Geocaches come in many forms. Boxes. Fake rocks. Magnetic containers. Fake screws. There are many that I’ve failed to find. They aren’t meant to be easy. You find them if you can, sign the paper, return them, and log it in the app. Today we were looking for boxes full of weird stuff hidden in random beautiful places around Battersea Park. We didn’t even bring a pen to sign the logs. But it was delightful. Although we couldn’t find one of them, dammit.

Now I’m in a bar in Victoria, hanging with some other people who love Brian and are free today. It’s early yet, but I can see where this is going. All I have to do tomorrow is send a letter. I thought it wise to take myself off and write this before I get hammered.

Happy 30th, Brian you fucking legend. Thanks for coming into my life. I’ve had so much fun the last two years thanks to you. More good times to come. But right now I’m missing out on your party and your friends in order to make sure that this blog – that you catalysed – goes out. And about ten minutes ago you came and looked for me, to check I was okay because I’d taken myself off. On your birthday. You went checking on your friend. I love you. We took this, but I was already fading:


I’m coming back to the party now. But yes, mate. Oh yes. You’re the best. Keep on just being. Glad you’re in my life. Welcome to old age, you anciently old old man of 30. Winning.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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