Birthday 2016: An Understated Celebration
The day started off with a cup of tea in bed with Dee, accompanied by a bombardment of presents. Mia was sociable enough to join us for once and was mesmerised by the torn wrapping paper. I was delighted with my gifts, most of which were books that had been sneakily spied from my Amazon wish list.
BOOK: The Establishment and How They Get Away With It by Owen Jones. I have been keen to read Jones’ book since spying it at a train station last year, and have been even more eager after reading his previous work Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class a few months ago.
BOOK: I Am Spock by Leonard Nimoy. This is actually the third copy of the autobiography I now own, one of which is a first edition. This latest release holds a special place in my heart as it was marketed after the actor’s death last year. It was in honour of his passing that I watched Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in February 2015, which was Dee’s first real exposure to the Star Trek franchise, something she has since grown to love.
GRAPHIC NOVEL: Kieron Gillen’s Uber is a comic that is new to me, but the melding of Nazi’s and sci-fi is too tempting to resist, so I look forward to delving into its pages. If anything, at least it will be a brief respite from my constant Judge Dredd binging.
BOOK: Charlie Brooker’s TV Go Home is a frivolous piece of humour I only recently discovered. Having read all of his other books, it seemed somewhat compulsory to complete the set.
BOOK: A fan of Kermode and Mayo’s 5 Live film review radio show (and something I talk endlessly about, to my girlfriend’s, ahem, delight), wanting their new book The Movie Doctors was a no-brainer, although I have still to catch up with all of Kermode’s previous releases.
BOOTS & MICROPHONE: In addition to literature I also got some other superb presents including a pair of black Gringos leather ankle boots (I got a pair in brown the year before) and an SL300 USB condenser microphone and Racksoy microphone stand for my future podcasting career (spoiler alert!)
CD & DVD: Musically, I was blessed with a new Alphaville CD featuring longer mixes of their biggest singles and a collection of B-sides (which is probably as close to getting a new Alphaville album as I’m going to get this year – Come on guys, your fans are starving!). Dee also got me a John Pilger documentary (The War You Don’t See), although I suspect that was really a gift to herself (not that I’m complaining).
With all the presents gladly received, it was time to get out of bed and begin the day proper. Resisting temptation of a lazy birthday, I had my tasks for the day already planned out the night before:
1. Go to the gym.
2. Make a curry.
3. Take care of work emails.
4. Write up a new post for the website.
5. Do not over-indulge on treats just because it’s your birthday.
So how did I fare?
Seeing a pile of dishes chaotically mounting up in the kitchen I decided to get some washing up done before venturing on to anything else – no one wants a dirty house on their birthday. Dee left for work and I prepared myself for the gym. Then, just as I was picking up my bag from the dining room floor, I caught sight of the laptop and remembered that I had some episodes of Silicon Valley and Game of Thrones to catch up on.
‘Why not?’ I thought, ‘after all, it IS my birthday’. Needless to say, I did not manage to work out on my birthday – 3 weeks worth of TV catch-up can really cut into your day. Now short on time, I also had to abandon plans to make a curry, so popped a pizza in the oven while looking over my shoulder at the Hound axe some men in the head. Even though I wasn’t hungry after lunch it was followed by a chocolate mousse – well, it is my birthday!
With Westeros having taken up so much of my time, the emailing for work I had planned was being rain checked for another day. At 4:30 I jumped in the car and picked Dee up from work. Hungry and disappointed that I didn’t have a curry waiting for us at home, we decided to eat out at Woodies bar, which also meant I had to scratch off any notion of writing a new blog post. Full up, we just about made it in time for a 7PM screening of The Secret Life of Pets at the cinema. Already stuffed after tea, I lost all self-control and reason when a bag of chocolate peanuts was thrust into my lap and pushed my stomach to the point of nearly popping (I swear, just one more chocolate peanut would have burst it). But hey, it’s my birthday!
Although not in the same league as Inside Out or Zootropolis, the film was a good giggle, and when it was over I was surprised to find it was still light outside and felt more like nine in the morning than nine at night. Mia was pleased to see us when we arrived back home and I gave in to her craving for attention by scratching her chin and making her purr. I wonder what secret life she harbours when we’re not around? From the state of our damaged carpets I’m guessing she runs a fight club. Not that she could tell us about it #FirstRuleOfFightClub.
After an unjustified tiring day of not really doing much, I logged into Facebook just before bed to find a wall full of messages from well-wishers and even a couple of birthday dedication videos from my niece and nephew. Smiling as I got tucked into bed with Al Murray (or rather his book), I couldn’t help but feel blessed to have had such a wonderfully understated birthday, even if I didn’t manage to achieve anything on my list.
Oh well, there’s always next year.