11 January 2013


What is it that makes birthdays so strange? Today seems to have been one of the odder ones, but for no very obvious reason.

We've never been ones for making much of birthdays in my family, so I always expect them to be much like any other day. The trouble starts when other people think birthdays are special days. Which is very nice but not what I expect. Maybe I'm just getting old but it seems that these days everyone is much more wanting to make something of birthdays; I'm sure this wasn't so when I was young. Maybe it's just because we're now much more open about things.

In the past I've managed to avoid some of this, especially in the last few years I was working when I had a policy of taking the day off work. But now that things like Facebook tell the world when your birthday is, there isn't much hiding. And yes, in many ways that is nice but I'm still not used to it.

But although a quiet day, this has been one of the odder birthdays.

It started with an alarm clock and the usual unwillingness to engage vertical hold. Oh and I need to do a pee sample for the doctors to check I really have gotten rid of the bladder infection.

Then off to do the weekly supermarket run. Well this is better than it could be as (a) it is always quiet at 9am on a Friday and (b) I get to have breakfast in the café. This morning, being a special day, I indulged in a full English breakfast rather than the usual bacon roll.

Just as we were leaving the supermarket (luckily after we'd paid!) the fire alarms went off and the store was evacuated. Frankly it could have burnt down as it was nearly 10 minutes before a solitary fire engine arrived.

Home about 1040 to news that one of my parents' closest friends had died. Not unexpected as he was in his late 80s and had been ill for some time. Fortunately, when I rang, my mother already knew, so I didn't have to break the news to her.

... And a short doze in front of my PC ...

A scratch lunch of the remains of last night's stuffed peppers with bread & butter — not bad cold, but better hot. This was followed by teh grand opening presents. Oooo goodie! ... Another bottle of gin! Plus an early music CD and some books from my wanted list. And what!? No-one gave me chocolates. Which is probably as well.

While away the afternoon doing this and that — ie. nothing — followed by a shower and shave. So exciting I could hardly stand afterwards.

Then to cook my birthday dinner. A massive quantity of seafood (prawns, mussels, scallops and sprats) and linguine in a tomato, lemon and chilli sauce. Dead easy and though I say it myself it was bloody good — better than many restaurants. Devoured with a rather nice bottle of Roger Brun Réserve Grand Cru Champagne (from Nick Dobson Wines).

Dinner was rapidly followed by a long phone call with my closest aunt — mostly about family things and our researches into our ancestry.

So now to switch off and read for the rest of the evening.

And I still don't know why it is that birthdays are quite such strange days!

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