Happy Birthday Matt

I wrote about the best (birthday) gift I could receive last week – conveniently right before my actual birthday at the weekend! – but my employer‘s CBBQTTO Matt has an even more abstract wish: he wants people to blog more! (Matt’s three years younger than me, almost exactly to the day.)

Conveniently, that’s a gift I’m able to provide, because my (now trackable) blogging output has been way up so far this year. I expected that to be the case because of my Bloggy Pen Pals project, but I’ve not even managed to get around to writing about my experience of exchanging emails with my first penpal partner Colin yet! Instead, I’ve been swept up with writing posts as part of Bloganuary 2024!

Making a conscious daily effort to write more has been… challenging. I feel like my thoughts come out half-finished, like I’m writing too trivially, without sufficient structure, or even too-personally. But I’m loving the challenge!

Anyway – happy birthday Matt! Forty is a great age, highly recommended. Hope you love it.

[Bloganuary] Attachment

This post is part of my attempt at Bloganuary 2024. Today’s prompt is:

Describe an item you were incredibly attached to as a youth. What became of it?

I really struggled with this question: I couldn’t think of anything that I was especially attached to as a kid.

A young boy and a less-young girl sit on a sofa in pyjamas and dressing gowns.
Our kids have very strong attachments to a knitted blanket from her babyhood and to a stuffed toy elephant he’s slept with since he was very young, respectively.

Maybe it was just that I couldn’t think of anything; that the memory was lost to time and age.

So I did the obvious thing… and reached out to my mum.

A white-haired woman sitting on a comfortable chair holding a mug.
“Muuuuum… where’s my… whatever I used to be attached to? Also… what was it?”

It turns out that apparently my recollection is correct: I really didn’t have any significant attachments to toys or anything like them. I didn’t ever have any kind of “special thing” I slept with. I recall in my later childhood being surprised to learn that some people did have such things: like all children, I’d internalised my experience of the world as being representative of the general state of things!

Why, I wonder, are some children different than others and get this kind of youthful attachment to something? Is it genetic?1 Is it memetic, perhaps a behaviour we subconsciously reinforce in our children because we think it’s “normal”?

A young girl asleep on a stone floor, her head on a doormat, napping alongside a French Bulldog.
Being attached to napping with a dog doesn’t count, right? (‘cos I’ve definitely done that at least once, although for obvious reasons I’ve only managed to take photos of others doing the same.)

I’ll bet that some clever psychologist has done some research into this already2, but that sounds like a different day’s exploration.


1 I’m not genetically-related to our kids: they’re biologically the children of my partner and her husband, but consider all three of us to be their parents.

2 And that a dozen other psychologists have reinterpreted this research in completely different and incompatible ways.

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