As I have just celebrated yet another birthday...and no, the actual number is not for publication, I thought I would share the past couple of January celebrations.
Before I made the decisive trip from Jolly Old, to Palm Harbor, most of my birthdays were highlighted by absolutely rubbish weather.
At my somewhat advanced age, I have become used to the fact that 'over there' the first item on the agenda would be....is it snowing?
Rapidly followed by (if it's stopped snowing), has it frozen? On the odd occassion when none of the white stuff was immediately visible, one had to check the garage roof.
Many the time when I have looked out of the window, seen a rapid thaw underway and rushed outside with glee, only to be submerged by all the snow sliding off the roof in a mighty avalanche. It's guaranteed to be an anticlimax whatever one's age.
The delight in seeing snow settling gently on roofs, trees and pavements is very short lived when every form of transportation is either stopped, broken, late, or buried under a snow drift. Not to be depressed, I learned at a very early age to 'get out of Dodge' if I wanted to celebrate my birthday at all.
One of my more vivid memories is of spending a birthday stuck in an airport hotel as the air traffic controllers somewhere in the heart of Europe were on strike.
I wasn't even going in that direction, but then no planes were coming to fly me off to warmer climes, either. I was sorely tempted to have my birthdate changed by deed poll. I was fed up with having to make sacrifices to the weather gods to have a snowball's chance in the hot place of having acceptable flying weather.
When I eventually made it out, the transatlantic journey was OK, but then I had to fly on a tiny plane that I am reasonably certain was built with Lego blocks with a couple of rubber bands.
There was room for a pilot, his coffee holder, a map and a couple of terrified passengers, one of whom was me. A little man outside this contraption was spraying the wings and knocking off the sheet ice, while I prayed long and hard.
Kudos to the pilot—he reached our destination on time, but it took him a good few minutes for him to prise my fingers away from the back of his seat. Enough is enough, I said, and I moved to Florida.
So how did I spend this birthday? A leisurely lunch at the beach, tea that was iced, and a siesta on the warm sand, listening to the breaking waves. The sun was warm, not too hot, there were NO mozzies or other irritating, biting insects, it was perfect.
Any planes were droning lazily overhead and certainly not requiring to have their nether parts de-iced. I can handle this type of birthday!
The most dangerous part of the latest celebration was not having a fire extinguisher close enough when I had to blow out the many, many candles.
And who is the sadistic person who designed the everlasting candle? That's enough to end many a long standing friendship in my book.
So I think that on the whole, I'll keep my birthdate, and just plan to be here and not there for future celebrations.