OK, so no developments on my bus adventures, but rest assured - I'll continue to sit in that middle seat and will post as soon as The Weirdo reappears with ensuing fracas.
Anyway, slowly but surely in recent months, I've come to accept the inevitable... In behaviour now as well as age, I am more man than boy.
Since turning 20 back in 2006 I've put up a hard fight against all the signs of aging, but I'm now resigned to my fate. I'm a man, just like my dad before me: the man who has a table of coastal tides for reference purposes, nose hair clippers, a very wide variety of ordinance survey maps and several purple jumpers. I'm half-way there.
I accepted this over the weekend, as Jennifer and I parked up at our new flat (with all magnolia decor) and transferred "documents" and misc. crap from one car to the other - a Peugot 406 to our brand new Vauxhall Vectra. The only way I could possibly be thinking more about what an old fart I'd grown into was if the precocious little kids-acting-as-men from the Zafira adverts had shown up:
Actually, it wasn't so much the fancy Vectra - with it's built-in screens, 4-CD changer and Bluetooth capabilities - that made me contemplate my predicament as it was a mysterious box inside.
"What is this?" I ask, carrying it carefully from one car's boot to the other.
"A dinner service."
It was fully 10 minutes before I even thought to question what particular dinner service it was, where it had come from and who had given it to us. I'm now so mature that I don't question my possession of a spare dinner service. Very worrying.
That, however, has got me thinking on how I can retain my youthfulness - what I like to think of as my "boyish charm" and what Jennifer would no doubt call my "unbelievable immaturity." And it occurred to me that, day to day, I'm already doing whatever possible to stave off the final steps of becoming a Fully-Fledged Man. Unconsciously, I'm doing everything in my power to remain a man-child.
On Thursday, two of our best pals became parents for the first time. We took them all manner of fancy baby presents and along with it, gave them a card that I picked out. The message on the front read:
"Congratulations! You've given birth to a baby boy, which is amazing and creative! The only amazing and creative thing I ever did was make a fruit salad at school."
Promptly displayed on the windowsill along with all the mature, pale blue cards they'd received, I felt strangely proud of my stupid card.
In fact, I've just now become aware of another childish thing I'm doing without thinking - as I type, I'm watching CBBC's "Dick and Dom's Diaries." This isn't research for my blog, oh no. This is just what I consider a morning's entertainment.
Perhaps the greatest example I can give you of this subconscious fight between childhood and manhood involves my trip to Amsterdam, of all places. Me and my best mate - the one with whom I once nearly got thrown out of a family restaurant because we could not stop laughing at a man with a monobrow - are all booked up to visit the capital of the Netherlands for a football trip in March.
We really should not be trusted to do this together.
All credit to her, my missus has not once questioned what I'll be up to on the trip. No interrogations about coffee shops or red lights, it's all taken on trust that I'll be on my best behaviour... The way it should obviously be between two mature adults in a serious relationship.
She did however frown with great concern when I told her that we might visit a fetish night club "for a laugh."
"Apparently men lead each other about on dog chains and folk run amok in gimp masks. It sounds brilliant! Me and Thomas just want to go in, order a pint at the bar and down them with the straightest faces possible, like it's A. N. Other bar. It'll be hilarious!"
In no way can she see what's funny about my and my straight mate visiting a kinky Dutch gay bar. And that, I'm pleased to report, probably means I'm not yet mature.
Fart bogies bum boobs fanny.