I've just blown out the number 39 on a gorgeous chocolate cake! That's right, candles shaped as numbers are far easier than having all those individual little fires on top of a cake, especially when you get past a certain age!
As you can see in the photo above, someone caught me in action at a party we had on Friday night - I know, two days before my actual birthday, which apparently is not a wise thing to do. So, yes, I'm a scorpion, born on the 28th of October, 1968. Actually, I've decided that I may just stick with that number. I think things have gone far enough. I don't see why this counter needs to go up any further. No, 39 will be just fine whenever anyone asks in the future.
Of course, news of my birth was overshadowed by this bit of news on 28/10/1968:
A woman has given birth to six babies in what is being hailed as the first recorded case of live sextuplets in Britain. Sheila Thorns from Birmingham underwent a Caesarean section early this morning during which six children - four boys and two girls - were delivered.
Apparently the singer/songwriter Ben Harper was also born on the same day as me in 1968. I wonder what he did to celebrate his birthday today. Maybe I should've invited him around to my place on Friday night. As it turned out, we had a pretty nice evening. I was anxious - as usual - that no one would show up and I would be making excuses to three people. Luckily, it never turns out to be the disaster I fear and there ended up being quite a number. Thank goodness the elderly couple downstairs was away and I was able to play the piano, on request, at two in the morning.
Parties like this always throw up all kinds of emotions and questions: where am I? what am I doing? where am I going? what lovely people! where are the people from my past? is there enough food? what am I wearing? are people getting on? I really should go and talk to so and so! where's the cat? etc, etc. Oh, I did make a nice vegetable curry, which is always good for large groups.
By the way, am I the only person who thinks of Virginia Woolf before throwing a party? Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself ... What a lark! What a plunge! No, don't worry, my parties are never as complicated as her story turns out to be. I only ever think of that first line. Hell, my parties are not even remotely like the event that Woolf describes, hosted by a wealthy, fashionable society hostess; mine are simple, wholesome affairs, to gently lead me into each new autumn of my life.
Today, on my actual birthday, after only just recovering from the excesses of Friday night, I had a birthday lunch in this lovely spot in the French Alps: La Clusaz. I forgot to take my camera but I was able to take these shots with my mobile phone. These are the first ever pictures I've taken on the phone and I'm quite surprised that they're even publishable. The quality isn't the best, but you get a general idea of the view from the restaurant where we had lunch. The weather was amazing (for the end of October) and we were able to walk around without jumpers or coats.
I then spoilt myself by buying a fancy new ski outfit for the winter - I saw photos of myself in my old combinaison (ski suit) last year and decided: "That look has got to go, preferably down a black slope, very fast!" La Clusaz in winter is a wonderful ski resort and it'll be nice to go back soon when it's covered in snow. This is such an inspiring part of France, where, during the winter, skiing becomes an important escape, necessary for keeping the creative process lubricated!
Oh, I was also given three new shirts, a token for a 45-minute massage (yes, yes and yes!), some old vinyls (bliss), a great film on DVD (La Vie des Autres/The Lives of Others), plus the French translation of Dinaw Mengestu's book The Beautiful Things Heaven Bears and Horowitz And My Father by Alexis Salatko. My birthday hasn't gone too badly at all; I'm ready to face the next year with a smile and renewed oomph!