Do you ever have those moments when you realise you've changed but you can't remember the change actually occurring?
Example: I used to giggle like an idiot whenever I heard mention of the delightful but hilariously named North American titmouse; now I find I am able to speak sedately (sometimes indeed morosely) about the respectful and respected Parus inornatus. When did such a fundamental change take place? I don't know; what I do know is that I used to be young and silly and now I am, well, old.
As I may have mentioned (or possibly droned on about), I turned 35 last week. On this otherwise happy occasion, a dear friend sadistically informed me that 35 is in fact the opening bracket of middle-aged. And so I find myself, newly early-middle-aged, suddenly aware that another change has taken place.
And that change is thus:
I used to hate series of books (same as the army: you're stuck against your will until the bitter, bitter end) but last night, settling down to read Peter Carey's Jack Maggs, I caught myself thinking "Deary me, I'm really not sure I'm up to meeting a whole new cast of characters; can't they all just stay the same as my last book? I mean, really?"
Then it struck me: if I was reading a series I wouldn't have to get to know anyone new! It would all be the same as the last book, with just a few details changed here and there.
'Marvelous!' I thought, in my newly minted, closed minded, middle-agedness, 'Never need I trouble the waters of my stagnating mind again!'
I quickly abandoned Jack Maggs and retired to the couch to dream about my ideal banana chair, safe in the knowledge that the last bit of actual thinking I ever need do is find the longest possible series I can. Bliss.