Wednesday, 25 March 2020


It's my 45th birthday today. I'm feeling blessed. I woke up to a video message from my seven year old nephew singing me lispy, gap toothed birthday message which was perfect. My big sis (a key worker on her way to work) dropped off a balloon and Prosecco early in the morning and sang 'Happy Birthday' to me from a safe distance. And although it killed me to not be able to hug and squeeze her tight, myself and the whole family, clapped and jumped like an excited audience at the end of a performance, all whilst still in our pyjamas. My boys made me a toasted croissant breakfast and my husband made me 'a real coffee'. My youngest spent some time yesterday finding the beginning of Aphex Twin's 'Lornaderek' track because he remembered that there's a 'Happy Birthday' rendition at the beginning, so thoughtful and abstract is his brilliant brain, he set up his Bluetooth speaker next to me on my bedside table and played me my birthday song, whilst presenting my cards. One card was strangely familiar, 'I bought one just like this, great minds think alike' I told him. 'Well ... I kind of used it from your stack of cards.' Resourceful is what he is, I thought to myself. My mama Facetimed me as I sipped at my 'real coffee' and she shared how 45 years ago, it was a freezing, cold, snow filled day. She started with labour pains early but I didn't arrive until the evening because the consultant had a dinner date and was running late. Somehow or other, my dad missed my birth. He'd reassured my mother  that as this was number four child, she'd be ok. As I looked into my mother's eyes as she described my arrival into this world, her telling me she wished we could be together today, that she wished we could be pressing on with our plans to spend the weekend together shopping and lunching, I suddenly felt humbled. Just to still be able to look into her eyes, this is enough. Friends sending kind, generous messages, helping and hoping that I'll find the positive in this slightly surreal situation that we find ourselves in. 45 years teaches you a little, enough to know to savour those loved ones, even when they constantly appear at your bedroom door when you're trying to write. Words from family and friends have broken my heart wide open and I feel very loved which is surely, the greatest gift. Parts of the day felt strange. Beautiful blue sky and sunshine but heavy weighted faces of strangers and neighbours, exchanging glances and greetings on the only walk of the day that we took as a family, as instructed by the World Health Authority. At home and listening out for our elderly neighbour, talking over the fence and checking in with her. Worrying that we're already 'behind' on homeschool for the youngest although 'lifeschool' is in full throttle and that, he is ready to graduate from already. Happiness came in beautiful waves of messages from dear ones, sharing words that made me happy, words that made me cry and words that made me laugh till my belly hurt. And one of my favourite gifts? Plans with one of my favourite people, the person who inspires me to write the most, who takes the most beautiful pictures and writes the most exquisite of words, well, she and I have some plans up our sleeves. They involve writing, letters, being friends and exchanging information. I am thrilled and excited and have thought these thoughts a million times and I'm so happy my girl Andrea messaged me this great gift today, on this, my 45th birthday.

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