Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.

13.6.08

Forty.

This week my youngest brother turned forty, making this family officially Old.

He was born in the year in which Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience topped the charts (is it any wonder I grew to hate guitar-free '80s music?); Carlton pinched an Essendon flag by three points; Melbourne University runner Ralph Doubell pinched gold in the 800 in Mexico and Rain Lover strolled to an eight-length victory in the Melbourne Cup*. On the food scene, I ate my first Chinese meal at David Wang in Little Bourke Street and, just around the corner, Hofbrauhaus opened. (The latter restaurant must have saved thousands of dollars over the decades by never having to print a new menu.)

My mother had brought home to the older ones a younger sibling in each of the winters of 1963, '65 and 68. I kind of believed that babies were a winter phenomenon. Being fourth in the sequence, I hence became Mr Middle. This meant that while I watched the older ones sail serenely up the decades as time went by, I was also able to vicariously hang on to the younger ones' ages as a kind of youth-enhancement by relativity.

So to me, my brother is still a teenager. Or at least a twenty-something.

Happy birthday, youngest brother.

*I witnessed this event. I was inside the rails with my father, a freelance press photographer. Adjusting his Pentax, he asked me to let him know when I saw the horses enter the straight. 'I can see them, Dad,' I replied. 'But there's only one.' He nearly dropped his camera in shock.

8 comments:

Lesley said...

'68. My final year at primary school with all the apprehension and expectation of our lot becoming the babies of the local high school, after spending the year as the "big kids". I don't really remember much else about the 60's...just snippets here and there

Anne said...

My youngest brother turned 40 last June. As the eldest sibling, I know what this means--and what comes next. Fooey. The sole consolation is that he has to hang onto the handed-down-through-many siblings-and-spouses tacky 40th birthday socks until my oldest -- 11 on Tuesday -- reaches that milestone.

kitchen hand said...

Lesley, I was also a graduating Grade Sixer in '68.

Anne, are they patched?

Duncan | Syrup&Tang said...

Oh I'm having a David Wang flashback! Thanks! I was too young to dine there, but I remember shopping with my mum.

Paz said...

Happy birthday to your brother!

Paz

kitchen hand said...

Yes, Duncan: David Wang ran an emporium business upstairs and the restaurant downstairs.

I'll pass it on, Paz.

Dr. Alice said...

My baby brother's fortieth is tomorrow. It's a bit of a stunner to see him grown, married with two kids, and FORTY! This makes me ancient, no doubt.

kitchen hand said...

I know the feeling, Dr. A.