Oh, where did it come from – 51! I’m not old, though my kids insist I am. When I look at characters in Elizabeth Goudge novels, who are often about this age, they are already acting old, not me! I feel much as I did when I was 18, except calmer and without the angst. I wouldn’t want to be back there again. Maybe the best time was the 40s, with a career and kids growing up and at last some financial security. Now I’m a bit lost. I don’t want any career, I’m happier to lead a quiet life with riding ,gardening,walking and blogging. But at times I do miss the company of the girls from the Fortune Centre. Maybe I’m simply at peace with myself at last…
Birthdays past. I can remember childhood birthdays, the best being when I must have been between 8 nd 10, and I’d have maybe two or three pounds, and I’d go into Smiths in Winchester and buy every pony book I could lay my hands on! I still have some of them now.
My 18th was at Prices College in Fareham, and I met up with the gang for a now legal drink, but also had a party at my Swiss boyfriend, Ruedi’s house. Don’t think he quite realised what was going to happen. It was a bring a bottle and there was loads of music, couples slipping up to his spare room, gate crashers, people chucking up – a good time was had by all! Seem to remember getting lots of birthday snogs, wonder what he thought of that!!!
Then birthdays went down hill. When I was in Switzerland, I didn’t get a pressy , nor the special cake because we were all so busy with spraying the cherry trees. The new girl a month earlier had got loads. I was homesick and upset. My 21st at Seale Hayne was a disappointment, I’d booked a hall for a party and handed it over to the year group to use as I was so depressed and unhappy. It seemed to set a trend for the next few years when a birthday never lived up to the mildest expectations. When the kids came along and we were skint, their birthdays took precedent.
The worst came when my mother died and the funeral was actually on my birthday. I came down with flu the same day, which I didn’t shake off for months. The next year I refused to celebrate it, and it was actually quite a relief to go into work knowing it was the day but I had no expectations to be disappointed.
The year we left England I wanted no pressies as we were just about to leave and so it was filled with the excitement of the new start. Then when we came here, they improved. All the greetings on Facebook were a great bonus in the first year. The next year we were Langlaufing and had a great day falling over in the snow in the sunshine. The next year was my 50th and the kids were here and we had a meal at the local pub and friends came to tea. Lovely day. This year was quieter, but a peaceful one with no sense of dismay as of old.