Becky says things about … what happens in your 30s

Gentle Listener, I am now 31.

I’ve learnt things.

I want to share them with you.

Here they are.

  • If you can’t think of a hilarious and verbose introduction to a list-based blog post, short and sweet is king.
  • Everyone in the world is either married or engaged.
  • If you are not married or engaged, you start to fear that the reality of aged spinsters silently knitting alone is coming your way, baby.



  • You start tutting at loud music in shops.
  • Your friends start discussing mortgages and car insurance in the pub, and you’re too embarrassed to ask if anyone saw ‘World’s Most Dangerous Newts’ on Channel 5 last night.
  • Crouching for long periods of time doesn’t become impossible, but unpleasant.
  • The wrinkles that you see on grown-up people suddenly appear on your own fair skin, overnight. Next to the fresh spot that popped up yesterday.


  • Facebook is swamped with first smiles, first steps, first birthdays, first school photos, first managed-not-to-shit-on-the-floor-but-in-the-allocated-potty-in-the-allocated-poo-station-in-the-corner-of-the-bathroom-s.
  • If you don’t have a child with which to adorn Facebook with its firsts, your parent friends assume that there is an old ice cream tub where your womb should be.


  • If you accidentally buy trousers with elasticated waists, you do not freak out at their tragic agedness, but rather relish in their supportive yet luxurious comfort.
  • A nice cup of tea and a sit down is literally the shit.
  • You find bits of your body evolving into places you cannot follow.


  • You don’t buy clothes on their fashion merits, but on your judgment on whether they will maintain you at a pleasing temperature.
  • A bottle of wine + ‘British kids’ TV theme tunes from the 80s’ on YouTube = Best. Night. Ever.
  • You see your friends every two months instead of twice a week because of children / honeymoons / mortgage repayments / late-night working / business trips to New York / prison.
  • You have to start taking paracetamol before, possibly during, and definitely after a drinking session to mitigate the risks.
  • You genuinely start to not give a poppins about what people think of you and you’re much better with criticism.




  • There is literally nothing more exciting than discovering a 70-part show to binge watch on Netflix.
  • People falling over is still funny.
  • You start asking for grown-up things like saucepan sets, slow cookers and new mattresses for birthdays and Christmas, and are genuinely thrilled when you receive them.
  • You see your childhood toys labelled as ‘vintage’ and ‘retro’ on eBay, and a small part of you dies (but you secretly don’t mind now being ‘retro’).
  • You are still not too old or grown-up to act like a right brat in front of your parents.


  • You keep a packet of Rennies or Tums in your bag, because indigestion is an evil you do not care for.
  • You fear for humanity when you see pictures of Leonardo DiCaprio looking a bit old and podgy.
  • You cannot grasp what a ‘gif’ or a ‘vine’ is, and you’re too afraid to ask.
  • Vicious forces start mucking about with Time, and as a result, Christmas comes round every three weeks, yesterday was 5th May and today is 30th October, and when someone asks you what month you went to Greece, you assume this pose:


  • You realise that, when you thought at the age of 22 that by the time you were 30 you’d know what words like ‘dividend’ and ‘remittance’ mean, you were naive, and you don’t.
  • You are utterly fascinated by teenagers, because the last time you spoke to one, you were one.
  • Instead of saving up all your money to go on a £100 blow-out on a Saturday, you drink moderately and consistently throughout the week.


  • If you’re a writer, the phrase ‘Write drunk; edit sober’ is literally the best advice anyone has literally given to anyone literally ever.
  • If your night out edges much past 11pm, you start desperately worrying about transport.
  • You get vague pangs of envy when you see nubile, dewy, smooth-skinned 20-somethings prancing around and necking shots, but then you remember you have a fresh packets of crumpets in your cupboard at home.


  • You still catch yourself thinking the phrase ‘When I grow up’ and wince inwardly and painfully every time.
  • None of the above is really so bad.

So, if you are yet to tumble into your 30s, you have all this to look forward to; and if you are past your 30s, please don’t spoil the surprise. We’ll find out soon enough.

Like, TOMORROW, at this rate.

Becky says things about … getting old

If you look very carefully in most dictionaries, darling Listener, you shall see that the definition of ‘annoying’ is thus:

someone younger than you complaining that they are getting old

I would like to test this definition with the following announcement:

It will be interesting to see whether that has annoyed my listeners who are older than 29 or if


Oh ruddy heck, that was harsh. You could have just asked me to be quiet, Listeners-older-than-29. That would have sufficed.

It remains a fact that being 29 brings with it a plethora of factors that work together to result in us 29 year-olds feeling OLD. These factors are, in no particular order:

  • Telling someone how old you are and receiving the following response accompanied by a playful shoulder nudge:


There is only one suitable reaction to this, and on behalf of all 29 year-olds the world over, I would like to apologise for it. But my God you asked for it.


  • The undeniable presence of wrinkles. Not just those threadlike sweeps of character under our eyes, or the cute flicks of smile lines at the corners of our mouths, but deep, cavernous gorges. Frownlines like daggers that scream ‘I HAVE BEEN WORRYING ABOUT TURNING 29 FOR 29 YEARS’; that terrible moment we walk past a shop window, glance at our reflection and see the dark shadow of AGE sweeping from the inner corner of our eye and into our cheek like an unstoppable reminder of our impending and horrible death.
  • The realisation that 29 years is a long time for our bones to be holding our body together, and, as a consequence, they don’t work quite so well.




  • Being asked ‘What did you do last week?’ and, after a lengthy silence, during which we plough further depth into those frownlines, responding with ‘I have literally no idea.’
  • Where once we could spend happy hours perusing photos of our Facebook chums lying unconscious in club toilets or cartwheeling naked in the mud at Glastonbury, we are now faced with a daily barrage of engagement announcements, wedding albums, baby photos, blurry black and white photographs that make us think ‘Why would someone post a picture of the inside of a plughole?’ and then realise that it is a foetus and that, at the age of 29, it is perfectly acceptable, nay, expected, to own a foetus. Or, worst still, seeing photos of your old school chums with their four children. Because, at the age of 29, we have had more than enough time to have had four children.


  • Never ever ever ever being asked for ID when buying alcohol. And, on the rare, wonderful occasion we are asked for ID, it is quickly followed by ‘Actually, don’t worry about it.’ Why? Because they have spied our wrinkles, smelt the Deep Heat on our lower backs, and told our four children to get their hands out of the confectionery.
  • Congratulating yourself and your fellow 29-year-old chums on arranging a night out at a club where you can dance and get stupidly drunk on cheerfully-coloured shots with an indeterminate alcohol content, and then sheepishly calling each other the day of the event and making excuses like ‘I’ve just had such a knackering week at work’ or ‘I’ve got to get up early tomorrow to help my friend move house’ or ‘I just don’t have the money at the moment, the new washing machine wiped me out’ or ‘London is such a long way on the train and it’s just so busy and crowded and the club will just be so loud and we won’t be able to talk properly’, and you all end up going to the local pub for a nice comfortable chat and a sit down.


  • Sitting in said pub and observing the antics of a group of people in their early 20s whom you cannot help but label in your aged mind as youths, and becoming irritated by their noise levels, their irresponsible drinking (three shots of Sambuca each?? Who needs that?), their loud declarations of recent sexual and alcoholic conquests, and their carefree, worry-free, and wrinkle-free faces, which inspires a grumbling outburst of bitterness from your table of over-the-hill curmudgeons.


  • Realising you not only understand, but agree with, the phrase, ‘With age comes wisdom.’

It is perhaps the wisdom that makes us feel the most old; realising that we are ancient enough to not only give advice to those younger than us, but to have that advice listened to and accepted, because the youths realise that we’ve had loads of time in our 29 years to make mistakes and have experiences and must thus know exactly what we are talking about.


And at the age of 29, we are faced with the most startling piece of wisdom of all:


We have spent our lives looking up to grown-ups and thinking how wise they are and how all-knowing, and we’ve been keenly awaiting the day that the grown-up switch flicks on, when we’ll suddenly understand mortgages, or what a dividend is, or how to programme a boiler or do a cryptic crossword, and become a proper, qualified ADULT. But, our 29 years of experience of the complex and often ridiculous world of human beings have finally taught us that 99.999% of grown-up humans are simply fumbling their way through life, trying to make enormous decisions, behave responsibly and look like they know what they’re doing – when in fact they still stub their toes on bedposts, fall over whilst putting on their underwear, get nervous talking to their boss, fret over everything, and struggle with supermarket trolleys.


So, there is really only one thing for us 29 year-olds to do.

Just carry on.

Embrace our wisdom, learn how to cover up our wrinkles, accept that we can no longer sit cross-legged for an extended period of time, keep making mistakes, ignore the Facebook foetuses, persevere with the cryptic crosswords, and realise that we may just be better people than we were.

And if we’re not, then there’s still plenty of time.

Becky says things about … no longer being 21

There are many signs that tell you you are no longer 21: you have in-depth discussions about vacuum cleaners, you begin to understand what a mortgage is, you mutter to yourself ‘Oh, put a coat on’ at the sight of scantily-clad 21 year-olds shivering in town centres – but surely one of the most conclusive signs that you are no longer 21 is walking into an empty club you last went to when you were 21, realising it’s the most terrible place in the world, and then getting lost in it.

That’s what my chums and I did last night.

We went to what now calls itself the Kingston Hippodrome, or The Works if you’re a tiny bit older, or Volts if you’re practically ancient.

After immediately realising that a) the place smelt like an infected foot, b) it was empty, and c) we’d paid £4 to experience a) and b), we set about trying to find our friends who were in the place called ‘upstairs’.

This is not as easy as it sounds. You see, we could see the stairs, but we just couldn’t get to them. Do you realise how many barriers and partitions a nightclub has? When it’s packed full of people and you’re drunk, you just bounce off other bodies when you need to get somewhere. But when it is totally deserted and you are not drunk, it’s much more difficult.

So we tottered through this barrier, past that partition, up this little step, down that little step, all while the DJ was enthusiastically playing drum & bass (I wasn’t confident enough to write ‘drum ‘n’ bass’ there), and all with the stench of rotting foot in our nostrils. (Quite why it smelt so terribly of rotting foot I have no notion. I can only assume that either a) there was the decomposing corpse of a lost reveler in the air conditioning, or b) the carpet had never, ever, ever, ever, ever been cleaned. Ever.)

We eventually found the stairs, found our friends, bopped around quietly for a while, then had a loud discussion on the landing as to which flight of stairs was the best route back down. I mean, really. Have you ever stood in a club and said things like ‘No, these stairs are more direct’ or ‘But we don’t know where those go!’ or ‘I really feel that this is the best way back to the ground floor’? Of course you haven’t. Unless you’re not 21 anymore, in which case you may well have done.

We chose the wrong stairs, of course. We ended up back in the lobby when we’d meant to end up in the footish hellhole that was the dancefloor, but we’d chosen the wrong stairs, Gromit. Had to make a U-turn. Trooped across the foot graveyard of the dancefloor, through impossibly cool people much younger than us who were bopping away, seemingly unperturbed by the smell of foot death that hung like an atomic cloud. Maybe their 18 year-old noses couldn’t smell it. Maybe they just smelt fun.

I left soon after. At 1.15am, it was time for my bed. I’m sure the 21 year-olds continued to bop around in this putrid foot pit until the early hours, whereupon they left and went back to Megan’s house because her parents were away, and they bought shed loads of booze and drank it at Megan’s until 6am, at which time they decided to have a huge drug-fuelled orgy on her parents’ Habitat kitchen table, which broke while Lauren was trying to do something peculiar to Jack and Dan at the same time, and next door called the police when they heard Megan crying, and most of the revelers escaped and ran off into the dawn, while Megan was left with a house full of used condoms, piles of vomit in corners, an expensive broken table, the impending wrath of her parents, and an acute feeling of shame and emotional malaise, but I didn’t do any of that because I’m not 21 anymore, I just went home, had a piece of toast, and went the hell to bed.