I was woken this morning by Thor. I suppose he had birthday greetings to share with a fellow demigod. It’s good to see some of the old manners being kept up.
I was also greeted with the blessed gifts of St. Eulalia. Last year, my mortal enemy Gravity conspired with snow to slay me with two broken arms. While no fresh pins have gone into my arms, and good nights have been had these last few days drinking whiskey late into the night with friends around Maynooth, the snow has left me without a car (well, I am without sufficient skill to drive that icicle-d car) and relying on that most pedestrian of transport modes: walking.
And so I walked around my town on my 29th birthday. In the mode of Jonathan Edwards, I try to think commonly of my death. Thus far, this habit that many find morbid, has left me without any silly fears of aging. My hair is racing against baldness in its effort to go grey. My legs ache much longer after a long game of football than they used to. I struggle to remember the names of people. I am getting on and I am looking forward to getting on further.
I have nieces and nephews now. I used to have none and all of a sudden I have more than I have siblings. I have five siblings. So now our Christmas dinner at home in “135” (what we all call our family home) is going to be manic. One niece rang me to sing a slightly confused version of “Happy Birthday”. She has barely left the house since Sunday due to the cold snap and so seemed more delighted than usual to be doing anything at all. She once got given a gift of a Barcelona jersey. She wanted to know what the word on the back said. She got very upset when she was told it read “Messi”. “I’m not messy daddy!”, she protested.
My oldest nephew got artistic. Last year he made me a Man City themed card that prophesied the future in predicting City would beat Man U ten-nil. This year he asked his mom what I liked. Then he thought to himself, “Kevin likes God!” So he drew me this:
It’s almost the best gift I got. But wife-unit called on some friends to send me photos of themselves. We’ll line the walls of our house with portraits of the people near and far who are in our lives. But now my best friend since I was four has shown up at the door and the other one is on the way over. Allegedly. He has come bearing tumeric for our homemade Indian. Experimental cinder toffee is also in his bag. We’ll make Simpsons references. We’ll listen to Bing Crosby, sit in front of the fireplace and savour each other’s Christmassy sweaters. It will rock. Birthdays are good but the whole year tends to be even better.
Your Correspondent, Would make bedroom eyes at a test-tube