My Birthday


It was my birthday on Boxing day. I am a few years shy of 40.

I share a Boxing Day birthday with a number of interesting people, including poet Thomas Gray, Jared Leto, and Dermot Murnaghan. I was born on the same day as Czech porn actress Lea de Mae, who died in 2004.

It was a day spent taking stock of my life. I feel I have found a nice plateau, and I am happy with what I have. I think I have reached a point in life which most people reach when they get into their fifties, whereby I don’t really want to do much at all, but want the rhythm of life simple pleasures to remain uninterrupted. I am happy with my career and my home life. I have plenty of hobbies and friends. I’ve been in lots of relationships and have made some money. I have a busy social life which involves doing lots of interesting things and attending interesting events. I have plenty of entertainnment and and allowed to talk to whoever I like. I was the youngest of four children by quite a gap, and have lived most of my life being doted on by people. When I look inside my brain I don’t see any pressures or drivers that make me want to change into anything else.

The big Four-Oh is fast approaching for me. I don’t feel particularly old, in fact I still look like I’m about 26 years old other than for the few grey hairs on the sides of my head. I think in a couple of years I will be a very young 40 year old. Turning 40 is traditionally the point when people have a long think about where they have been and where they are going. I’m happy to say that I’ve done almost all of the things I wanted to do in life. There are dimensions of my life that don’t really fit into the overreaching narrative quite just yet, and in some of these dimensions I’ve done completely incredible things and had incredible successes.

There is a motorway one hundred feet behind the back garden of my wife’s house. It is raised on pillars to about sixty feet above street level, and runs through most of North Birmingham in this way. You might think that such a thing would be a tremendous eye sore, and that it would be a horrible place to live. But to illuminated people like me, the motorway is a wonderful spiritual thing, and a beatiful poem in my soul. A road is a narrative, taking people from one place to another. I often thing about the people travelling on the motorway. I only really know them by the sound of their car engines, but in my minds eye I think of their dreams and ambitions, their hopes and desires. It is like having spiritual river running past your house, that you can look to for inspiration and as a balm for the soul. I think motorways are sort of beautiful things and I think I am lucky to live by one.

I suppose that now I am in my late thirties I am reaching the halfway point in my journey down Life’s road. I have very good health and many friends. I’d love to be very rich indeed but I’m sort of already bored of buying expensive things – I know money can’t buy you much at all in life. Just enough to keep buying Fly London shoes and Ed Hardy T-shirts is working out very nicely for me at the moment.


Majid Salim


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