Earlier this week I turned the grand old age of 31. Waaaaaahhhhh! I’m old, I’m past it, I’m on the shelf, MY LIFE IS OVER! Sod that for a game of soldiers, getting older doesn’t bother me. Admittedly I did have a bit of a “31, seriously? 31??!!!” moment about 2 weeks before my birthday, but that soon passed. Apart from anything else, I’m one of the youngest out of my circle of friends, so any moaning about me feeling old is met with comments along the lines of “Oh shut up, I’m xx years older than you!”
Although I spent my actual birthday in work it was a lovely day. My friends at work bought me a lovely present, we went out to lunch and there was cake, candles and singing (although it was very hushed and whispered singing as there were conference calls going on around us!). I went for a drink after work (and it really was just one drink, turns out I am capable of it!), and headed home to open all my cards and speak to my family. The joy of Facebook also meant that throughout the day I was pinged with messages of birthday wishes, which is always nice. Makes a person feel warm and fuzzy inside to receive a multitude of good wishes from their friends.
I know some people think that Facebook is the work of the devil and that it impersonalises relationships but I don’t buy this. I live in a different country to a lot of my friends, Facebook is a wonderful way for me to keep in contact with these people, and it’s helped me to re-connect with old school friends and old college friends. People who I lost contact with for various reasons, but am genuinely glad to be back in contact with again. But I digress, this post isn’t about the merits of Facebook.
I love birthdays, always have. I’ll fully monopolise on the fact that it’s a day all about ME! And this year I was a bit nostalgic thinking of the birthdays I remember from years gone by, which then prompted me to write this post.
I only really remember one birthday I had as a child, I think it was my 7th birthday. And the memory I have is only of about a 20 second window. The party was at my house, which was unusual in itself from what I can remember. We were playing a game that involved dancing. My young competitive & bossy self (nothing’s changed) was desperate to win this so I remember pretty much flinging my partner round like a ragdoll. I don’t remember if I won or not! I remember my sisters supervising the game, and I think I remember Sophie laughing at me, but then there’s nothing new there...
I don’t actually remember my 18th birthday, am sure I should! Or is it a good sign that I don’t remember it?!!
All the birthdays I had at college were great. My 19th was rather clandestine in some ways. I was seeing an older guy and a few weeks after my birthday he took me to Brussels for the weekend. I don’t think my family knew I was seeing him at the time of the trip, I vaguely remember Sarah phoning me when we were driving to the airport and asking me if I was in a car. I told her I wasn’t…she must have known I was lying, but didn’t challenge me on it!
Was a fab weekend though, freezing cold but lovely. Lots of Godiva chocolates and wandering around. The Del Amitri song “Always the last to know” reminds me of being in an Irish bar on this trip…which is ironic given that the sentiment of that song is pretty much how that relationship ended up 8 months later.
My 20th was a bit bittersweet. I’m not going to go into detail but I wasn’t on best terms with my parents and my dad forgot my birthday. I was gutted and very upset. But, my brilliant hall mates put on a brilliant spread for me and we did a treasure hunt. The theme of the night was a kids party, we had hats and jelly and all manner of fabulous things.
|My 20th birthday at college. I don’t look happy but I was, honest|
As is traditional, I had a party for my 21st, and I remember having a great time. My then boyfriends mother made me a lovely cake with elephants on it, which I was made up with! But, my main memory of this party is looking over to see my sisters sat together on a table, gazing at me. I asked them what was up and got the response “Our baby sister is 21!”. I got the same comment on my 30th…but you’ll hear about that next!
|My fab birthday cake|
|School friends and I on my 21st|
My actual birthday was on a Sunday, so I’d rounded up friends weeks in advance and said that I wanted to go for a meal on the Sat night then out for drinks and frivolities afterwards. This was planned, we were going to a lovely French restaurant (http://www.lgueuleton.com/) and then onwards to wherever we felt like.
We’d arranged to meet up for normal Friday drinks…it was Friday afterall, and the Friday of my birthday weekend, it’d have been rude not to kick things off then!
Sophie texted me on Friday afternoon to ask what the plan was for the weekend so I’d told her what we’d arranged.
I headed off from work on Friday evening and met the girls in the pub. I was smoking at the time and so I decided to head outside for a cigarette. My friends tried in vain to get me to stay inside (which I didn’t see as strange at all!) but I’m a stubborn bitch, so I didn’t listen to them and wandered outside
As I got to the door, I spotted my flatmate outside, but then realised she was stood with two people, one of which looked remarkably like my sister Sophie. As my brain fully engaged and I realised it WAS Sophie I tried to get out the door, but I was trying to push the door when it was pull….I got all flustered and ended up ragging the door to try and open it for about 10 seconds before I finally made my way through it!
I burst outside to find Sophie & Sarah stood with my flatmate. There was a few seconds of bewildered silence before I exclaimed “What the fuck are you doing here?!”, they held the masks they were holding up to their faces, shouted “Surprise!” and I burst into tears…!
My stubbornness to go outside had ruined the surprise! They’d planned to put on these masks, come into the pub, sit down near me and do something to annoy me (sit REALLY close to me, or bang into me etc), to see if I’d realise who they were or just give out about the fact these inconsiderate sods were annoying me!
They’d been planning it since the previous September with my flatmate and I’d had absolutely no idea they were coming over! Now, I am rather gullible so it’s no great surprised I didn’t twig but there was nothing to twig either. Why would I think they’d come over? I’d planned to see them in a few weeks in the UK. But, I was absolutely over the moon that they were here and we had the best weekend. They finally got to meet all my mates and see where I lived (Neither of them had been since I’d moved from my previous place). I still smile lots when I think about that weekend.
|Me, Sophie and Sarah|
The do I had a few weeks later with my mates in Halifax was also wonderful. Copious amounts of champagne consumed and my jaw hurt from laughing that night. That was the night Whitney Houston died, I remember discovering the news about 3am in the club. Had an absolutely stonking hangover the next day but managed to make it to my mates to see her and her new baby. There was a moment when I didn’t think I’d make the journey across but thankfully I did. My mate would NOT have been happy if I’d have puked in his car!
|Sums up my 30th celebration in Halifax!|
This years birthday celebrations will also be lots of fun. We’re killing a few birds with one stone. My birthday, my friends birthday and the start of the 6 Nations. Rugby men…gooooood!! Massively looking forward to it, I may report back with stories, it all depends on what happens really!
Till next time, much love!