It was my birthday last week. I’m not going to say how many, save it was a number divisible by 1, 2, 4, 11, 22, and itself. Go work it out if you like.

Having a birthday in the wake of Christmas is no fun, let me tell you. For starters, everyone is skint so can’t afford to buy you a present or take you out for a drink. Secondly, everyone is partied out anyway and is probably doing some detox or alcohol-free fad. Thirdly, January is a bleak, dark, dead-end month in which people would rather just do nothing.

Fourthly, in my case, I am now of an age which is a number divisible by 1, 2, 4, 11, 22 and itself and therefore don’t really want to do much on a birthday other than stare my mortality in the face as it approaches like a thundering freight train.

For all these reasons – though I must thank the father-in-law for taking us all out for a Sunday lunch the day after my birthday – I decided that I would not impose on other people’s lack of funds/lack of inclination to party by insisting on anything special.

At this time in life I find I’ve started saying things like “I’m not one for birthdays” or “I’ve stopped celebrating” or “I don’t count them any more”, preferring to curl up foetus-like in a ball on the sofa and stare through drooping eyelids at D-list celebrities cavorting like pigs in heat on Big Brother, supping the dregs of the leftover Christmas alcohol.

However. While doing our usual supermarket shop on Saturday I chanced upon a box-set of all the Alien films for a tenner, and decided to treat myself to a little birthday gift. Thus we spent the weekend watching the four movies in order, pondering how Sigourney Weaver seemed to get better looking as she got older and realising that these movies could not have been made today without substituting the female actors for classically-beautiful Hollywood starlets.

I’m sure you think spending my birthday doing this marks me out as the king of the party-poopers, but for all those reasons listed above this was in fact the perfect way to spend my birthday.

I used to love watching films but never seem to find the time any more. I can’t remember when we last went to the cinema to watch an actual movie for grown-ups that wasn’t animated or had talking animals or comically-exploding pies in it. Somewhere in the dark recesses of the loft are piles of old VHS videos of classic movies, a collection I assembled in my youth and somehow allowed to become obsolete.

So it was fun to turn off the lights, finish off the Christmas booze and watch the cramped menace of the Alien films, Sigourney Weaver running around in her underwear, a youthful John Hurt’s guts exploding out of his chest.

And that’s what you call a good night.