Friday, 4 December 2015

Older & Wiser? Never!


I'll be 49 on Sunday. I could tell you about how my style has evolved and how my attitude to life has changed but that would be a lie. It hasn't. I'll still be out getting drunk in a dingy Walsall pub with the same mates I've had for years whilst wearing a lurid vintage outfit with big hair, high heels, trashy false lashes and the same shade of Barry M nail paint and neon pink lipstick I've worn since 1983. I'll dance to cheesy house music, laugh till my face hurts and finish the night in a curry house with the hottest vegetarian dish on the menu accompanied by a massive plate of chips and the cheapest rose wine on Asda's shelves. 


I'm happy living in the skin I've been in for the last half a century. I don't feel the need to change my ways, tone it down or grow old gracefully and all that tired old shit we're expected to do to once our wrinkles & grey hairs start offending the youngsters. To be honest, just like my attitude towards Xmas, Halloween and New Year I'm not really arsed about birthdays. Every day I get up is an event, I don't need Hallmark to dictate how I live my life.

Wearing: Vintage Tori Richards psychedelic maxi, 1980s purple suede boots, tribal jewellery and fake fur coat (handmade for me by Liz)
After last week's cut hand and busted ankle, Jon and I only have two pairs of fully functioning limbs between us and, as he can't drive and I can't carry, our usual activities have been somewhat curtailed. Not to worry, our week confined to barracks has been used wisely, we've booked flights to India.

Hindu temple, Madikeri, Coorg

As usual we've made no plans whatsoever. All we know is that we land in Goa and leave 31 days later. No accommodation, no itinerary, no feckin' clue. After a year of having each and every weekend accounted for, it's a month of complete & utter freedom. No internet access, no blogging, no social media, just us and a tatty old Rough Guide for company. 

Menenzes Braganza House, South Goa

Jungle palaces, temples, holy cows, deserted beaches, monuments, spice plantations, mountains, full moon parties, markets, rivers, oceans, spicy food and sunshine.

Agonda beach, Canacona, Goa

Trains, planes and buses, tuk tuks and taxis. I'm already squealing with excitement just looking at this year's photos.

The train to Mangalore
Travel is the whole reason behind the punishing 4am get-ups, eighteen hour days, the endless washing and mending, cutting & dyeing my own hair, patching up my second-hand boots, cooking from scratch & taking a packed lunch & a flask every time we go to work, terrestrial TV, market stall groceries and having a wardrobe that is entirely vintage & handmade. The sorry state the world currently finds itself in is no hindrance. We flew to Mumbai three days after the 2008 terror attacks, drinking in Leopolds and hanging round VT station and we couldn't have been made more welcome by the Mumbaikers. For us, life without travel would be too bleak an existence to contemplate. 


I'll mostly be spending this weekend tipping out suitcases, trying stuff on and planning my travel wardrobe (that's if tomorrow morning's inevitable hangover doesn't finish me off). 

See you soon!

Updated to link to Visible Monday with Patti & the gang.

59 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday! and thank you for your cheerful and cheering posts. I hope you both have a lovely time in India, and I look forward to the photos, and to reading about it, so I can travel vicariously with you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Have a wonderful birthday weekend, wishing you happy birthday on Sunday. Pleased to hear you have your next trip booked. I do hope to reach India one day. But atleast I can watch your travels in the meantime

    ReplyDelete
  3. My dear! all this is honey to my ears! I am so happy you have booked your flight and this trip with no fixed points, is exactly what for me is disconnect "current" and finally .. live by ourselves! These are the voyages I love most, this is the adventure that makes you feel alive! I also can not stand the conventions age and forced holidays, Christmas was a sad thing for me, my mom always worked on Christmas, this will be his first free December 25. That 's what we will celebrate with a quiet dining the freedom! I have a friend of 25 who feels old, I would beat her, tell me I'm right!
    And thank you for these beautiful pictures! My best wishes for a birthday ageless!
    ;)-

    ReplyDelete
  4. Happy birthday! Travel is so good for the soul - I find myself wanting to do it more and more as I get older. My list of places to go (or go back to) keeps getting longer and longer. I love reading about what you've been up to. Your trips to India do sound wonderful. Such freedom!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday for Sunday.
    You are a ray of sunshine for many of us.
    Sometimes I wish I still lived in Britain .Mostly for the wonderful unique people that live there .
    Have a great time at the weekend and in Goa at the end of the year.Liz

    ReplyDelete
  6. I like to celebrate my birthday. My birthday is in February and I usually use it as a reason to drink champagne and invite friends, however you are absolutely right that we really can create cause for celebration nonetheless. Lovely that you and the man that you love will travel to the place you love so much again (and again and again ...)

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love your kick ass attitude, I am 51 and am still evolving into the person I would like to be. Do we ever really grow up? Hell I hope not. But I am still on the hunt for that ever elusive confidence that you have, the ovaries to the wall, take no prisoners. Have a fabulous day on Sunday, eat mind numbing curry with chips, raise a glass to your fabulous self and enjoy. I love your blog, it inspires me with every post. Have a wonderful time in Goa, I look forward to your holiday snaps when yor return. Cheers, Michele

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think birthdays are great when your young, but now I feel like I should get to pick when I celebrate being alive. Like, every day really! I'm glad you get to travel, I wish everyone could travel because we learn more about the world that way. Happy birthday!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. The faux fur glows with warmth! Anything less vibrant would cause the psychedelic maxi to buzz beneath it. And it's good to see the toe that was poodle-punched now fits inside a boot again.

    Your lack of plans for the Goan expedition sounds as marvelous as your itemized list of to-do's for the annual celebration of your natal day. Happy Birthday!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Here's to another year of fecking fabulousness! When you're that fantastic why should you change? It's all those people that have endlessly tried to blend in that need to change as they get older.

    I'll wish you yet another brilliant day in your life rather than a Happy Birthday then. Looking at each day as a new possibility is what keeps you so vital.

    I'm glad you've booked your vacation. You have more than earned it.

    That dress is a work of art.

    bisous
    Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
  11. I hope you have a tremendously wonderful birthday and that when you head off to Goa you have an even more fabulous time xx

    ReplyDelete
  12. Your excitement is palpable Vix. I'm so happy you have something fab to look forward to in the not too distant future after busting your arse selling like a demon all year.
    Can't see you changing now love....there would be legions of disappointed bloggers all over the globe if you did.
    Enjoy your birthday and the fiercest ruby the Indian has to offer.
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  13. I love, love how you love life! So excited for you and can't wait to see your fab photos when you get back! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  14. That dress is gourgeous ! Love the colours . You look smashing of course !
    Xxx

    ReplyDelete
  15. I'm enjoying watching you getting the trip organised, being stuck here in the fen with my pet cripple is driving me steadily mad . Having to micro manage every trip out is a ball ache, worse than when I had 2 toddlers...lol ...who knew a year ago I would end up an expert on disabled toilets and access..lol

    ReplyDelete
  16. Happy Birthday and thank goodness you are who you are! You give inspiration to those of us that can't pick up and go. You two are fearless travelers and I admire you for that.

    ReplyDelete
  17. but, but, but.....you're getting up there in years, you should play it safe and have a stay-cation........who the hell just typed that load of BS? Go enjoy yourselves!

    ReplyDelete
  18. We hope you have the booziest of birthdays and the best of holidays. No clock or calendar watching.
    And we look forward to your blog when you get back with some fab tales n pics.
    It's been wonderful seeing you and Jon throughout 2015. Lots of love you gorgeous girl xxx

    ReplyDelete
  19. You rock each and every single one of your 49 years - Happy Birthday! You are an inspiration for the way you live your life. I completely agree about travel - it is my lifeline too.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Huzzah for India tickets! I'm so pleased to hear you have them booked and a whole month out there to look forward too. x x

    ReplyDelete
  21. Yay - no need even to say 'Don't ever Change Vix' because it's clear that you won't, and that's how we love you! Enjoy your birthday weekend and happy, happy birthday to you. My mum turned 50 a few weeks back and I have yet to indulge in our postponed mother/daughter celebrations, so we'll raise a glass (or three) to you too when we meet up next week.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Your posts are always fabulous but I especially love the ones before you go to India.

    I love hearing about your preparations and looking at what you pare down to take in your luggage. You are so sensible. Travel is wonderfully fulfilling and totally doesn't have to include taking the kitchen sink.

    Have a great birthday weekend. Mine was yesterday, my twin boys are 29 today and it's my husband's on Sunday so we have a busy time too!

    Rock on lovely lady xx

    ReplyDelete
  23. Happy birthday gorgeous!!! I think your celebratory plans sound just perfect. How marvellous that you've booked your flights for your annual exodus from the chilly UK, that must be a real mood booster.

    xx

    ReplyDelete
  24. Balls to having to grow 'older and wiser in a certain way!'. I shan't either!!!
    Hurrah for Goa!!!!Xx

    ReplyDelete
  25. Happy birthday for Sunday, Vix! You're just a baby still...but you look amazing and definitely not one of the crowd.

    I hope you have a fabulous, restful and glorious time in India. There's something about not having access to the internet that is incredibly restful. I hope you post some lovely photos on your return so we can all vicariously enjoy India.

    xxxx

    Veronica
    Vronni60s.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I trully admire you and hey you don't look like 49 at all. They say numbers are in our minds, só keep that young spirit forever!

    I just booked my flight to Ásia! Índia is my passion but this time I wanted to explore different countries só cambodia and Myanmar here we go :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Many happy returns Vix, hope your birthday filled with surprises, friends and treats. Will look forward to your Goa posts with relish - am a little envious! Betty

    ReplyDelete
  28. Happy Birthday, and many, many happy returns!

    All the best for safe and happy travels (and escape from terrible climate). I'll think of you sunbathing on a beach in Goa as I shovel snow-it will give me something to smile about.

    Knowing who you are, and what you're about does make life less complicated. doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  29. I'm frankly appalled - at your age, I really think neutrals and a coach trip are in order... Ha! As if!
    Hope you've got your birthday parcel, and I know you will have a brilliant weekend, it's such a treat not to be working, and you'll have a fabulous time out on the town in Walsall with Jon and the gang. Of course you look amazing in a vintage catsuit and faux fur - how could you not? - and all the photos from India are fab. You and Jon have so earned your trip, I bet you can't wait, it's what all the hard work is for.
    We all grow old(er), that's a given, but we don't have to wear our years like a burden. We've got experience and stories and confidence and humour in spades; another birthday is no big issue, it's just another day and another chance to say yes to life's big adventure.
    Have a fabulous weekend and birthday, my wonderful friend - love you loads! xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hahaha! I laughed at Curtise's coach trip suggestion. Soon you'd have your fellow travelers decked out in psychedelic catsuits and faux fur with Tunes on the bus speaker system.
    It's all worth it, all the hard work, but at least the work has joy in it too being around such cool clothes and meeting some incredible people along the way.
    Happy Birthday, you wild woman!!! Rather, happy partying, loving, laughing, eating... Living to the max.

    ReplyDelete
  31. You look beautiful and great things. Http://gray50plus50dresses.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  32. Good for you! I'm 56 and aiming to be a senile delinquent when I grow up ;)

    ReplyDelete
  33. Oh, happy day, all things good and happy for the stylish birthday Girl;-)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Happy birthday to you, dear person!! You are wonderful.

    And yay to booking your tickets. I so enjoy traveling to India vicariously through your follow-up posts. (Of course, I'd love to go myself but seeing your photos and hearing your stories is an excellent substitute!)

    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  35. Hippy hoppy happy birthday to you you young whippersnapper!
    In your tie dye and psychedelia you redefine aging for us all.
    Have a gorgeous time getting your colour cup filled again in India. So glad the flights are booked.
    And quick healing for the hand and ankle!! Xo Jazzy Jack

    ReplyDelete
  36. Happy happy happy birthday, dear you!
    What a fabulous way to start your 50th year.
    much love! oxoxoxx

    ReplyDelete
  37. Happy Birthday, wonderful lady. Perhaps being wiser is just plain knowing that being true to yourself, doing what makes you happy, and being with who makes you happy is how life should be.

    ReplyDelete
  38. my dear vix - you are born much more wiser then the average gal will ever be!!!!
    i send you my special health wishes to your birthday and congratulate to the fly booking!! you will have a wonderful time!
    love that ensemble - you look gorgeous in this colors! <3 <3 <3

    ReplyDelete
  39. Happy Birthday Vix!! I hope you have a wonderful day!! I agree completely, life without travel is entirely too bleak to contemplate, I'm itching to get on a plane again. I'm sure your next trip will be wonderful and I hope you're both recovered from your injuries soon!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Have a happy birthday and enjoy your forthcoming trip. I have a big birthday myself shortly which will be a drab affair lol due to being off sick ill and no alcohol with the meds. However I hope to make up for lost time once I am fighting fit :-)

    ReplyDelete
  41. Happy Birthday Vix! Hope you get good and drunk, and dance the night away!

    Your blog is so inspirational. I love your frugal, practical ways...please keep posting!!

    Just so you know, your "what I pack for travel" posts are my absolute favorite things to read!

    hope you find some FAB thrift finds too!

    best wishes from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

    Sila (aka ThriftyParka)

    ReplyDelete
  42. Have a Happy Birthday, Vix. You have earned that trip to Goa, big-time. Enjoy it all.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Happy Birthday ... you don't look a day over 21.
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  44. Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Viiiiix, happy birthday to you. Sounds like it's going to be spent doing the best possible thing, packing for India. God, I can feel your excitement. How just wonderful to be answerable to no one for a whole month! No phone calls, no emails, just doing what you want. That sounds like absolute heaven to me. I know you will enjoy every second of it. Anyway, what's this about a coach trip? Can I come? Where we going? Bagsy the back seat. I'll bring gin in a tin! Xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  45. Happy birthday dearest Vix, and I hope it's a spectacular one. You keep getting more beautiful, and more wise. Isn't the anticipation of a trip so exhilarating? xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. Happy birthday, my dear Vix.
    India here you go, perphaps one day you will come to Málaga
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    ReplyDelete
  47. happy Birthday Vix! I'm very happy I know from blogging world really. I hope I'll celebrate my birthdays in years to come just like you - being true to yourself, not changing and as beautiful as ever.

    xx
    Lyosha
    Inside and Outside Blog

    ReplyDelete
  48. Gawd, older yes, but wiser...?! Hopefully never!
    Hope yesterday was jolly bloody splendiferous! I reckon 49 is bigger than 50....maybe as it's the last.....dunno.
    Bugger about the niggly health issues, but that's about the only way we notice our ages, I suspect. A few bevvies will take the memory away!
    I'm always so happy and excited for you when you get your annual Indian trip organised. O, the bliss, and O so necessary!
    Love Helga XXX

    ReplyDelete
  49. Just popped in to wish you a very happy 49th birthday! You look younger every year! xxx

    ReplyDelete
  50. Your birthday is a lovely reminder that India is just around the corner. We can all feel your excitement from here.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hope you had a Happy Birthday! I share a birthday with you... it's important to be true to yourself, not someone else's idea of what you should be. A hot veggie curry and dreaming of India sounds just great.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Even though you don't celebrate your birthday, I'm sending you a big Birthday hug, from one Sagittarius to another! So glad to hear you've booked your trip to India - having that to look forward to makes all those long days of picking, washing and selling worthwhile.

    After paying the bills, my reason for working is to travel to spend time with my tribe.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Sounds like you have definitely earned that break in India, it sounds amazing!Hope you had a lovely birthday. I love your attitude to age.I am 40 next year and definitely don't mean to change anything especially how I dress.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Belated happy birthday gorgeous lady!
    Don't ever change... even when you're 99 :-)
    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  55. Happy Birthday! I love your attitude and feel the same way, I celebrate every day and give gifts/have fun whenever possible. Blah to holidays and b-days, just have fun every day. Jealous of your travels abroad and amazing vintage style, you inspire to me to work hard to get to the same position and get traveling, too :)

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hope you had a fantastic birthday Vix, I bet you can't wait for your trip to India! xx

    ReplyDelete
  57. Hi Vix, I hope you had a fabulous birthday. Once you're baking under the Indian sun with only concerns of what your next delicious meal will be, your grueling market ordeals will be a faded memory. Happy packing! xx

    ReplyDelete
  58. Happy belated birthday wonderful lady you are!
    I hope you gusy wil have a great time in India soon! Enjoy your time there ...

    ReplyDelete

Don't be shy, if you enjoyed your visit leave a comment, I can come and visit your blog if you do.
Love from Vix
xxx