The Business of Sixty

Nicholas Quirke was not giving up celebrating his birthday just yet on 23 November 2020 as it was still the 22nd in the UK and he had people to speak to including Cole and his Mother which meant he was out of bed and on the phone by 5.30am. Regardless of the early hour, it was a good start to the day making contact with those at home and he was in good spirits as he traversed the requirements of settling back into daily life. The continually surprising thing about having a birthday was that no matter how much older he got, he never experienced any different feeling. His spirit telling him he was 20, in spite of being 60 and seeing a slightly grizzled old man in mirror, was persistent and also pleasing. Once lunch was out of the way he made his way to the Exit/Entry bureau to collect his passport. Collection was always a smooth process and it was yet another detail that put a spring in his step till he would have to return on the 12th of December to request another extension. He cycled to the school which was relatively close and spoke with the principal Jenny about how to get a working Visa. The lesson was with Lucia and Jean and as always with these two he enjoyed himself. He had to rush back as he had an online class with Han. Peng had made a smoothie for his supper and once he had dined they watched the Northern Irish thriller, ‘A Good Woman is hard to Find’. The good mood was carried into Tuesday when he busied himself with a variety of tasks in the home, before a visit to register his presence at the local police station. He followed up this particular administration duty with a trip to his favourite cafe, 1920, where he spent the next 4 hours drinking tea and working. The evening viewing was of a more festive nature, though ‘Fatman’ proved to be a dark and somewhat bloody look at the modern Santa. Unfortunately, although they went to bed early, Nicholas was awake for most of the night due to another encounter with an out of date dish lurking in the fridge. He finally got to sleep on the morning of 25 November 2020 about 6am and once he woke at 11 he avoided doing much for the remainder of the day other than binge watch ‘Theran’. By the evening he felt hungry and perky and decided to join Peng on a visit to QMex to sample their new vegan menu which was discounted for its launch. The temperature had dropped dramatically and he was forced to wear his arctic coat. The food was good and he was pleased to note he did not suffer any problems. As always, the night ended with a film which on this occasion was the gripping ’Run’ with Sarah Paulson maintaining her title of queen of horror. On this note of insidious evil he took to his bed and sought oblivion.


  1. Fantastic to celebrate 60 with at LEAST a full week! Pleased you’re enjoying the job and have another extension. It doesn’t seem possible you’ve almost racked up a year. No wonder, we none of us feel our age.
    P x

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