Today is the day before my 29th birthday. Consequently, I am filled with obligatory self-loathing and fear - although there's nothing particularly unusual about that. But today's dose of anxiety is far worse than usual, for a whole number of reasons.

Where to start? OK - a word on birthdays first. I hate them. I hate them generally, and I hate each and every one of my, and my friends' birthdays individually. I hate my birthdays because they signal the end of another year of failure, of an inability to realise what little potential I have. Consequently, I noded my favourite example of delusional paranoia, the CV of Elizabeth Brady Cabot Winslow, in an attempt to cheer myself up. (Things may be bad, but they're not *that* bad...). Sadly, it doesn't seem to have worked.

(Aside...) I hate my friends' birthdays because I can never remember them. Why do we have to give presents to others on their birthdays? Wouldn't it make more sense for the birthday boy or/and girl to give the presents, rather than receive them? I suspect a conspiracy from diary manufacturers.

(Back on track...) Oddly, I probably shouldn't fear the future at all. I recently decided to abandon London as a bad lot, and from Monday week I shall be starting a new job on the Isle Of Wight. The job is average at best, but the location - a Lemon could do well there. The Island itself is gobsmacking, a concentrated version of all that is great about the English countryside, with some of the best sand and shingle (ohh, how I love shingle) beaches in the country thrown in for good measure. Furthermore, the IOW's population is largely comprised of wrinkly retired exiles, which may well have influenced my decision to move there. In London, I'm practically over the hill. In the Isle Of Wight, I am the epitome of youthful promise.

So why am I so scared? The approach of the big 29 (far bigger in my eyes than the subsequent anniversary - last chance to prove yourself before you become one of them...) is a big factor, as is the fear of the unknown, but that doesn't come close to accounting for my current state of mind. I said at the top of this that I was anxious for a whole number of reasons. The problem is, I have no idea what most of them are.

p.s. - No offence to those who have progressed beyond my tender age. You've all been there, you know how it feels...
p.p.s - Just re-read mat catastrophe's entry above. You can tell it's not *his* birthday tomorrow :¬)