I’m not going to write about life and time creeping up on me and all the things I haven’t yet achieved because that’s not going to be cheerful to read at all.
Instead I’m going to spend the rest of this page being smug and pleased with myself for how good my birthday was and how excellent my friends are for all the effort they put into making my day special.
For many years now, I have held joint birthday parties with a close friend who is also a February-baby. If you’ve never held a joint party before, I can highly recommend it. Halves the stress, doubles the chances that people will show. 2011 we celebrated at Alloneword, 2012 we partied at Limes. This year we have decided to get all our friends together at Alfred and Constance. That’s not for a few weeks, but organising it seemed to take up all my birthday-planning-bother. So until last weekend I was doing nothing and had no plans for my actual birth-day.
Fortunately a good friend rode in and took charge and so come Sunday night I was chauffeured to a super-secret location (my friends’ house) for a dinner with friends.
I didn't drive...
For a few years I did not enjoy my birthday. Or rather, I preferred quiet birthdays that centred around eating rather than socialising. I still don’t like the pressure of organising a birthday party by myself. Now, however, I am quite happy to pass over the reins of organisation and lap up the loving care and attention of not cooking one micron of a delicious three course meal, being plied with Mumm and Shiraz and getting to dictate my dessert of choice. Berry Clafoulis for anyone curious. Any dessert that involved berries or stone fruit is an instant favourite. Except Summer pudding, which is just red soggy bread. Serious, so unnecessary.
No birthday cake as such so I blew out candles stuck into toblerone.
Meringues with mint-chocolate, fresh berries and cream.
Cutting my 'cake' and a pile of delicious desserts.
Monday morning I walked out to this on my kitchen bench;
...which is a pretty great way to start the day. Especially when you have two slices of it for breakfast.
The rest of the day was silly gifts – including Pixar DVDs and magic bubbles – lunch at the pub, chocolates and flowers. In other words, just what a birthday should be about.
This was the first time in years I worked on my birthday. It’s sort of a personal rule to not work but rather spend the day doing all your favourite things. In 2009 I took the day off, ate raspberry tarts, drank champagne, went to see a musical and fed squirrels. That was a good birthday. However I absolutely had to go to work yesterday. Fortunately, my work colleagues made the day worthwhile and I felt very special.
Beautiful flowers, a birthday gift form my boss.
Rounded off the day with the traditional family celebration dinner.
As with just about every situation in life, it’s the people around you that make all the difference.
A big thank you to all of my friends and family who went to so much trouble to make sure I had an excellent birthday.