Wednesday, 10 December 2014

I Celebrate My Birthday

My birthday was yesterday, but I have been celebrating it since June.  This is because this is the year in which both I and my longest-serving friend Helen turned fifty and we decided to do one thing per month to celebrate from our forty-nine-and-a-half birthdays until our fifty-and-a-half birthdays.

The problem with winter birthdays is that they aren't very good for camping.  And the problem with celebrating a birthday just on one day is that there's a 5/7 chance of being at work.  So in order to do the things we've wanted to do to mark our 100 years, we've had to take control.

In June we went camping on the Lleyn Peninsula; in July, we went to see Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies at the Aldwych Theatre; in August, we drank red wine simultaneously; in September, we spent a weekend at Helen's parents' home in Somerset; in October, we re-read Anne Michaels' novel Fugitive Pieces; in November we met up in Shrewsbury at Theatre Severn; later in December, we will be spending half of Christmas together.

I've managed to squeeze in other celebrations, like my favourite ever birthday party.  This involved poetry, good food and wine, and a variety of amazing people from most parts of my life, including a few I'd never met before, but have now.  And yesterday, a class of my students brought in food to share after the morning lecture.  There were a lot of crisps.  I like crisps.

Yesterday evening, at the restaurant, my youngest son announced, 'This could be the worst wrapped present ever,' as he pulled the still warm and slightly creased slow movement of his first piano sonata from under his blue shirt.  And then my eldest son produced a card he'd drawn, 'The background's after Rothko,' he said, 'and there's an L on it because L is the Roman Numeral for 50, so because your initials are LL, fifty is your perfect age'.  The moment I saw the music, the moment I thought about the L, I felt as if every planet in the solar system was aligned.  I never realised before that the music of the spheres is the tune of  'Happy Birthday To You'.

It's been a wonderful thing, this uber-celebration.  And the great thing is, there are still five months of it to go.

No comments:

Post a Comment