Monday, March 17, 2014

Post-Birthday Debrief

Hello & welcome to my Post-birthday Debrief.

I don't know about you, but I've always been a bit funny about my birthday.
Feelings of slight dread begin about a month before the actual day, building up to full blown Existential Ennui by the night before.
Usually, by the actual day itself, the worst is over & I just settle back & wait for it to end.

I'm sure that there's lots of reasons why I have had this reaction:
1. I'm adopted & even though I don't actually remember being torn away from my mother who was told by a kindly nurse not to look at me after I was born, maybe I've been carrying around some kind of loathsome trace memory of the ordeal ever since.
I'd like to think so.

2. I had an unpleasant experience at my fourth birthday party when I spilt orange flavoured soft drink all over my self-spotted cream silken dress with a blue sash & Mum hastily dressed me in charmless shorts. And my sourness wasn't helped by the fact that I only had one friend, Margaret who lived across the road. And Mum had to invite her friend's kids to make up the numbers. And I didn't really like them.

There are lots of other reasons why I don't like my birthday involving Nasty Nuns & not enough fuss being made of me & boring presents & boyfriends who forgot & dry & tasteless birthday cakes & not enough surprise parties, & Happy Birthday being sung to me in a sneery way, but I won't go on. I'm sure you get the drift.

But last year , on the cusp of turning 60, I'd finally had enough.
It was time for a change.
No more Birthday Blues. From now on, I was going to embrace my birthday even if I had to grit my teeth & create even more Dental Problems in the process.
On the morning of my 60th, I skipped ,not plodded ,down the street shouting "I'm sixty! I'm sixty!" to passers-by.
Actually, I didn't. I saved it till I reached the entrance to Zinc, my local cafe where I was meeting my friend Trixie for breakfast. No one noticed. Maybe Trixie did. But she already knew how old I was turning anyway.
But I was out & proud, owning my birthday for the first time maybe ever. It was mildly liberating.

This year, I was a little more low key.
There's something a bit anti-climactic about turning 61. It's a kind of Nothing Number - four years away from being eligible for the Old Age Pension, but not too young to get a Seniors Card if only I could stop work & many years away from the next big Milestone (or should it be Millstone?) Birthday.
I celebrated it over two weekends which doesn't sound v low key, but it was. There was no big cork-popping celebration but more of a Slow Burn.
I :
-bought two designer handbags, loads of Mall Jewels at Diva on sale & the entire set of Sherlock DVDs ,
-had a pedicure & now I've got apple green toenails,
-didn't bother going to the gym but had an extended afternoon nap instead,
-ate chocolate fondant cake that was deliciously soft in the middle,
- ate plump Sydney Rock oysters & jumbo tiger prawns.
- was treated to see The Monuments Men by Trixie which we enjoyed but only gave three & a half stars to.
-chatted & laughed with Maeflower
- got lovely thoughtful gifts & warm wishes.

Without trying to be too much of a Brown Noser, I have to say my favourite card I received was from Tacitus, who is a Classical Scholar. Mindful of the fact that I was born on The Ides of March, that fateful day when Julius Caesar was stabbed in the back by all his close personal friends, he sent me the card featured below. I thought it was a hoot.
Lastly, is a photo of me holding a beautifully wrapped gift from friends Raquel & Carlotta. I was thrilled.
Lastly, lastly is a photo of me today wearing my new apple green toenails.
Goodbye Birthday, hopefully see you next year!


Rusquel said...

Glad you liked the picture and/or sentiment! Many birthday wishes.

A particular favourite quote of mine, for the Ides of March (of which Caesar was a fan) is from Glaucos, son of Hippolochus, (from Homer, Iliad, 6.145-48 of course):

"Like the generation of leaves, the lives of mortal men.
Now the wind scatters the old leaves across the earth,
now the living timer bursts with the new buds
and spring comes round again. And so with men:
as one generation comes to life, another dies away."

Apologies it doesn't scan very well, I'm not au fait with my Homeric Greek. Very apt quote, I feel, for the Ides of March, but not terribly birthday-esque.

P.S. Here is something a little more cheery, from the stentorian Hillaire Belloc:

"Is there no Latin word for Tea? Upon my soul, if I had known that I would have left the vulgar stuff alone." from 'On Tea' in On Nothing and Kindred Spirits, 1908. (Thought: by 'stuff' does Hillaire mean 'Latin' or 'Tea'? Of course the ambiguity of English pronouns is the real butt of the joke here, since in Latin there would be no doubts as to which subject an adjectival pronoun referred to.)

P.P.S. Deckard was totally a replicant. Here's a thought: Gaff was originally the best Blade Runner, but was injured in the line of duty (hence the cane), so his memories were 'downloaded'(?) into the replicant Deckard so that he could continue on. That's why Gaff is generally useless in the film, why he always makes an appropriate origami figure for Deckard's feelings at the time (since he knows how Deckard would react) and why he knows about Deckard's dreams of the unicorn. Also why Gaff tells Deckard, at the end after he fights Batty, 'You've done a man's job.'

Tacitus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tacitus said...

Bless me, that should read "… now the living timber bursts with the new buds…"

Oh dearie me.

[And then i mis-spelt the correction, I really should get a wriggle on and retire to bed.]

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