Last Friday was my birthday. Not a particularly special number but it was still my birthday. I’ve never been one to make a fuss about birthdays. I never felt the need to have fancy parties for 18th, 21st or 30th celebrations. I did concede when I turned 40 and had family and friends over for tea and cake……oh and some wine! 😉
I suspect this disinterest in celebrating harks back to my childhood. True, I had a few birthday parties as a child but, as my birthday falls around the date that the schools stop for the summer and people in this area traditionally head off on their summer holidays, my birthday had a tendency to get lost in transit. My 14th birthday was spent driving through England to catch an early morning ferry to St Malo, France. The highlight of that occasion was a plate of chips and beans in a trucker’s rest stop on the motorway about 11pm and catching the highlights from Wimbledon of a Jimmy Connor’s match on a tiny TV on the wall above the counter. A couple of years later, we had just arrived in the Algarve the day before, and it was lunchtime before my mum even remembered it was my birthday! I rest my case… or should that be suitcase!
However Facebook has added a new dimension to this annual event. By the time I woke on Friday morning (my usual 5:50am) and checked my newsfeed there were a dozen birthday wishes from all over the globe waiting there for me. A beautiful start to my day. As the day progressed I was welcomed into work with a card and a gift (yes, it was wine before any of you ask!) and a few hugs and kisses too. When I next checked Facebook around lunchtime, the number of birthday wishes had swelled to over fifty. Some of my Facebook friends know me so well and there were a couple of “hot” photos appearing along with the kind words. 😉
Birthday Tea was a low key affair. The Big Green Gummi Bear did forego his daily trip to the gym so we could eat as a family at a reasonable hour. The four of us sat down to a simple meal of lasagne and garlic flatbread (thank you Tesco Finest). I had bought a tiny birthday cake and Girl Child attempted a rendition of “Happy Birthday” with her usual tuneless aplomb. Thanks, honey. I was treated to lovely gifts- tickets to see Miss Saigon in London’s West End from the Big Green Gummi Bear, silver jewellery from Parents One and Two, silver rings from Boy Child and Girl Child. I received a beautiful journal from a friend who knows me so well. (Thank you again)
At the last minute I had arranged for another friend to pop over for a celebratory glass of vino or two. My fellow rock chick arrived armed with wine and a present wrapped in red tartan gift wrap. She too knows me so well –I’m now the proud owner of an autographed Slash print! (Thank you- I’m still negotiating about where to put it on display) Cue a wonderful evening of loud music, mainly on vinyl, wine and laughter. One of those evening’s that’s good for the soul.
By bedtime, when I checked Facebook one final time for the day, the birthday wishes had swelled to over a hundred and there was another topless male adorning my Facebook wall (Thank you Myles Kennedy and Charlie Hunnam for providing those bodies!!) It’s a good job that the Big Green Gummi Bear has long since unfriended me on Facebook!
I went to bed with a smile, feeling very humble that so many people from all around the world had taken a few seconds out of their day to type two small words that mean so much- Happy Birthday. Thank you one and all.