I had a strange experience driving home from work. I reached the first major roundabout, which is where the traffic to and from the airport crosses the major ring road around the city, which usually carries a constant stream of traffic. Today, there was virtually none. No traffic queued up for a hundred or so metres down the airport road. I sailed straight through, and continued to sail through every traffic light controlled intersection until I was nearly home. This strangely surreal experience came to a halt when I reached the last traffic light but one, and again had to queue through three changes of traffic light before reaching the intersection, But it was wonderful while it lasted.
I reached home just in time to grab my credit card (which I realised earlier in the day I had left at home) and get to my doctor's appointment with not a minute to spare. On the corner just before the medical centre, a giant chicken waved at me. Or at least, a man in a black and white chicken suit waved at me. (No camera, and no time, so no photograph, unfortunately).
It's my birthday. Which is not a huge deal for several reasons. One is that we had the family birthday dinner last night, since it was a Sunday and therefore no one was working. I don't tend to attach a big significance to the actual day. I remember birthdays more by events that happen in close proximity. This year, it's our trip to the UK which I view as a giant birthday present. All our spare cash (and more) is attached to the trip, so any little fun presents are a bonus. I have "Kiwi Magnetic Poetry". And chocolate. (I may not have chocolate much longer, at the rate I am nibbling it.)
Other birthdays I remember are the year I got engaged, five days before my nineteenth birthday. Or the year my parents came for a birthday dinner, on the night of my birthday, which was a Friday. I intended to have the birthday dinner on the Saturday, since I was working. But since my parents were leaving on holiday on the Saturday morning, I held the dinner on the actual day of my birthday. The next morning, early enough that it was still dark, I had a phone call from my mother to say that my father had died suddenly some time in the night. I don't think I feel sad about that birthday (though I do about my father's death) - I feel grateful that we were all together on a happy occasion, on his last night alive.
Despite not making a huge deal of my birthday, it was very nice to wake up to birthday e-mails from blog friends (thanks, Dana) and e-mail friends from around the world. Especially since they had taken the trouble to work out that it is actually my birthday in New Zealand almost a day before the calendar hits the same date elsewhere in the world.
I had a blog visit from the wonderfully entertaining Mr Farty yesterday. He left this comment:
"Lions! You've got lions! Not fair, we've only got cows in Embra.
Or did have until your lions ate them."
(Go ahead - click the link - you know you want to.)