The sixteenth of March is always an important day in my calendar, as it is my birthday. Today I will be celebrating 63 of them, not a number that I am shouting about. To be honest, I might wish it was a much lower one. But there you go, Father Time cannot be cheated, no more than the ravages of a good but hard life can be erased.
Since the 1970s, it has been my habit to take a trip to the seaside on my birthday. The weather is often fine, but I go whether it is good or bad. When I was still working, I was always sure to take the day off as holiday, so I could pack as much in as possible. There have been memorable birthdays, in fascinating foreign lands, but even the most average ones were still great, at least as far as I was concerned.
For the first time that we can remember, Julie is unable to get the day off of work tomorrow. They have staff shortages, and are too busy to allow her to have a day’s holiday. This has left me feeling a little flat. Ollie will still be around of course, but he won’t appreciate the significance of the day. I could take him to one of the local coastal destinations, but then I would be restricted to just walking with him, and wouldn’t be able to go into anything. Besides, the weather forecast is not good, and I have to try to get someone in to sort out the broken central heating.
I will have to put my birthday on hold, until Julie gets home. Then I will open my presents, and we will go out somewhere for a celebratory meal. Even that is affected by ‘Norfolk Mondays’, where almost all the restaurants, and many pubs, choose to close on Mondays. I presume this is a bad day for business, but how will they ever know, if they don’t open? We could explore the more cosmopolitan delights of Norwich; the Big City, where most places are open. However, this is making a long day for Julie, who will have been at work, and then have to drive into the city, get parked, and return home much later than usual. We will probably go to a local hotel. As they have rooms and guests, they have to open.
This is all telling me to stop being so childishly enthusiastic about my birthday every year. History has a way of catching up with you, and life deals you bad cards now and then; like broken heating, and no holidays allowed. Even my traditional birthday list of suggested gifts was hard to compile. I just don’t need anything; and books, DVD films, and music CDs just add to the huge pile that already exists, jostling for the limited space in the office room.
Maybe at 63, I am finally growing up. Not too much though…