Birthdays. Aren't they just awesomely fantastic and spectacular?!
I was born today, 28 years ago at 11.55pm so my birthday is exactly five minutes long. Which, really, given my track record with birthdays is probably long enough.
I think everyone experiences a general waning in enthusiasm for their own birthday as the clock ticks the years away, and shiny new toys are replaced by socks and pens. For me though it's not so much the brilliant memories of birthdays past being replaced by slightly duller more grown-up versions...
Having a christmas birthday acted as a barrier for even childhood birthdays to reach their true potential. It's not that my parents didn't try to make it special and distinct from christmas, i know they did because i have fond memories of the years they were successful, but they were few and far between, because, let's face it- who wants to go to a swimming party in December?! Anything outdoors is pretty much ruled out, and at this time of year everyone is so busy with their own stuff, like food shopping and gift hunting and present wrapping and visiting relatives they barely speak to the rest of the year, and getting drunk at their office party and all that jazz that they don't really have the time to squeeze in another, seemingly unrelated and minor celebration.
I'm not bitter. Although if you'd received one half of a tracksuit for your birthday and then the other half for christmas, i'm not sure you'd really blame me if i was.
As an adult it was slightly easier, most people are up for a few drinks most nights in December so providing i planned it like a military manouvere so as not to clash with anyone's works' christmas do's i'd generally be able to guarantee a handful of friends would raise a glass with me.
2009 was to be my first birthday as a parent, which was sure to be different and exciting in itself but then, as you know, my Dad passed away suddenly two days before so actually, it was shit.
2010 was better, i went for a family meal, and wore a dress with owls on it.
What you can't see in the photo is that i'd just had an early twin miscarriage and ERPC a few days before. So, like i say, an improvement on 2009 but still slightly maudlin around the edges.
I had high hopes for 2011. No family deaths. No pregnancy losses. Two beautiful children, and i was on maternity leave- bonus! I dreamed of a delicious lie-in and then dinner out for the four of us. Maybe tapas. Mmm. Unfortunately i got mastitis. I made it out of bed around lunchtime and spent the afternoon wrapping other people's christmas presents.
And this year?
Well. The boiler broke yesterday and at this point we're facing christmas without heating or hot water. Our plans for dinner out were once again cancelled as we had to wait in for the gas engineer, who tried his best to fix it with one of the two parts he needed, but alas, the other part really is vital and although it would usually only take 2 or 3 days to get hold of, it is of course, you guessed it, christmas so a lot of places are closed already.
Given the spectacular fail of my 25th birthday though (2009 for those who can't do math at this time of night) and the pain of last year's mastitis-birthday i really don't think this year has been too bad.
Sure, the birthday cake i bought for myself never made it out of the cupboard because Chris forgot it was there, sure i had to go into work to collect a heater from one of my (generous) colleagues so that my children won't turn into ice statues overnight, sure i ended up in The Trafford Centre for part of it, on the last Saturday before christmas, with two small children in tow...
but i also had croissants and real coffee made for me for breakfast, a beautiful hand made card from my boys that almost made me cry
and all the alcoholic beverages in the house are pre-chilled without ever having set foot in the fridge because it's so bastard freezing.
The best bit though, has to be my birthday boots, my present from Chris, Toby and Rudy. I'll let them speak for themselves because they're so awesome that they can.
And at the end of the day, i'm just grateful to be another year older (and none the wiser)
Happy birthday to me!