I try not to give in too much to feeling sorry for myself, but it was 6.15 am on my birthday, and I was on my way to the bathroom to throw up (because my perimenopausal body had decided that today was the day the menstrual nausea would visit) when I came across first a dog poo then second a cat vomit.

The beginning of my 49th year (it being my 48th birthday) was off to something of an ordinary start I think we can all agree. After throwing up, then cleaning up (dog poo first then cat vomit), then throwing up again I made myself a cup of tea. The name of the tea is womankind, but I think it is just a coincidence that it is pink on account of the fact that its ingredients include cranberry.

All of this was conducted in alternate states of swearing at the absent mister (using both adjectives and nouns) and crying. The kind of crying I was doing was the one where you’d prefer to be angry than sad, but you’re enormously sad and so a river of tears runs down your cheeks and you know your face is going to look puffy for the rest of the day. Also, I wear increasingly magnifying glasses which means that my eyes look slightly larger than they really are. Or slightly puffier. Depending on how the day is going.

This situation made me grumpy because the tarot reader I saw last year told me that we live our lives in cycles of seven years and so this coming year would be the first year of the new cycle so it would be exciting and all of the hard work of the last couple of years would begin to come to fruition. Of course, I don’t actually believe in tarot cards or runes, but I visit tarot readers regularly (but not frequently) and I often cast my runes just to see what they say. Which is a fair amount of commitment for something you don’t believe in.

Anyhoo, I got back into bed with my cup of tea and I was going to continue watching Wives and Daughters on Netflix. There was a whatsapp message from the mister who had stayed up late to make sure that he could send me a birthday message when I woke up. I ignored it which was rude, but not as rude as swearing at him (using above-mentioned adjectives and nouns).

I’m almost certain that Wives and Daughters was one of the novels on one of my Major English Texts reading lists in around 1988 which almost certainly means that I’ve never got around to reading it. I have not been enjoying the Netflix series at all (she has a most annoying stare) and sometime after I finished my cup of tea I fell back asleep.

It was a lovely refreshing sleep as such sleeps often are and when I was woken at 8.30 I was sufficiently recovered from my earlier misadventures to eat some of the breakfast that was delivered to me in bed after a gentle knock on the door. It was smoked salmon and avocado on toast which is one of my favourite foods, but I could only eat one slice. Perimenopausal nausea is awful, but usually lasts only a couple of hours at a time. There was also some fruit salad which was a beautifully-scented combination of blueberries and nectarines. I ate all of that. (Please note the second piece of toast was not wasted as it was consumed by the morning’s chef.)

Later in the day I was passing by Haigh’s and I bought myself a dozen peppermint creams. I have always loved peppermint creams because they remind me of a scene in a novel I used to re-read when I was young where the heroine stands against a lamppost eating a bag of peppermint creams. I have some vague sense that the peppermint creams were obtaining illicitly, but I remember nothing else about the novel – not why she was standing there, nor what happened next, not even what the novel was called. But I still adore peppermint creams.

I am a few days into my 49th year now, and while nothing particularly outstanding has happened so far, I have not had to clean up any dog poo or cat vomit and so I think we can say things have improved. I wish I had some moral to share with you, some lesson, some stunning conclusion. But really it was just a day that got off to an inauspicious start and never progressed past ordinary.