Fiona Duff: Dirty dancing ends at midnight

Coaches at midnight
Coaches at midnight
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It was Daniel the Spaniel’s birthday yesterday (I really should have called him Rabbie, I suppose).

In human years he’s 77 but you’d never guess it. He still gets so excited when the doorbell rings and someone arrives at the door – dashing about looking for a tennis ball which he can offer as a present.

Frankly, tennis ball manufacturers should be giving me some sort of discount for the number I have to buy. One day I shall pull back a piece of furniture and find thousands of the flipping things gathering dust.

Anyway, he’s not the only one hitting the big figures. Tomorrow I shall be going to a party to celebrate the 60th birthday of a friend. And you’d never guess that she was that age; she’s so full of enthusiasm and good cheer about everything new, especially her recent move to Edinburgh.

A couple of years ago another friend, Roger, celebrated his 70th birthday. He’s still got a full head of hair, plays tennis and/or golf virtually every day and is as daft as a brush.

When I told my daughter about the occasion she replied, “Well, he doesn’t” – pause for effect – “act like it.”

The thing is very few of my acquaintances do act their age. Having known each other for several decades we still forget that we are no longer in our 20s. We laugh at ridiculous things, dance like crazy windmills and usually drink way more than the GP would say is healthy. Then it hits midnight and suddenly our joie de vivre drops somewhat.

There is a scramble for who can call a taxi first and before you know it the dance floor is empty and we’re all lying in bed at home. Which is probably the best place to be at that time of night.

So I don’t suppose it will be a late one tomorrow – in fact we’re starting at least an hour earlier than we would in the old days. But the music will be the same (I helped with the playlist), the faces a little bit more lined. But like Cinderella it will be coaches at midnight.