Saturday 14 May 2011

Birthdays and other stuff

Friday 13 was bad luck for Google - the Blogger service was down globally for the entire day. Which means it chewed up my birthday post of yesterday and spat it out god knows where.

Fortunately I still had it in my Google reader - so yesterday's post is being reheated as today's offering. The only buggar is that I have subsequently lost all the lovely birthday messages posted by friends from around the world. Bad, bad Google...

So here goes again - THURSDAY 12 MAY

Travel is supposed to broaden the mind and expand one's horizons. It also challenges our preconceptions and brings into question the karmic balance.

Exhibit A: the recent Emirates flight I took from Dubai to Heathrow. Not only did they seat me at the arse end of the plane, next to the loo, they also thought I'd enjoy sitting next to a four-year-old. Those of you who know me know that I consider children to be on a par with the Ebola virus - to be avoided at all cost. I wondered what I had done to deserve that particular hell.

But the oddest thing happened: not only was the rug-rat the quietest on the planet, his mother Maha turned out to be the sort of seat companion long haul travel was invented for. A financial journalist and author, she was ridiculously erudite, funny and generous. So much so that a copy of her first novel (pictured above) plopped through my front door this morning. A lovely unexpected birthday present, and proof that there are still some good 'uns in the world.

Yes, today is my birthday and so far it has been a roller-coaster kind of day:

Down: My age is now so high I get vertigo from saying it out loud.
Up: I couldn't give a toss anymore. I'm proud of the skills and achievements I've been fortunate to accumulate over the years; you don't get to this level by being an airhead teenager.

Up: The glorious bunch of flowers the Animator bought me.
Down: They activate my hayfever any time I go near them; hence the unceremonious way they've been plonked into a vase.

Up: The beautiful cards, texts and emails from all over the planet.
Down: Unless someone has invented a tardis I don't know about, I won't be able to spend my special day with loved ones on the other side of the world.

Up: Landing a writing gig with a film company of my acquaintance; nice to be doing something other than churning out media releases all day.
Down: Have you been smoking crack? Read the sentence above again. There is no down; the Patron Saint of Careers finally swung by.

Up: Breakfast and lunch were joyous carnivals of cholesterol. I have no reason to believe the pattern will be broken at dinner.
Down: Accepting those calories will never leave my hips; not without surgery, anyway.

Up: Wanting to bake a chocolate torte for tonight's celebrations with friends.
Down: Realising the health and safety implications of this; anything to emerge from the Slum's kitchen is likely to play fast and loose with one's digestive well-being.

Up: Getting the green light from my darling Aussie/British mate Gina for the copywriting I've just done for her website. And being asked to help out with her business.
Down: there isn't one - I've always secretly wanted to be a florist.

Up: Going for a leisurely run around an almost deserted Downs.
Down: Realising that no matter how many times I circumnavigate that sodding park, I won't lose the lard I've accumulated since arriving in the UK.

Up: Finding the perfect French Connection top to wear at the weekend - a mere snip at 3 quid (did I mention how much I am going to miss Bristol's superb charity shops?)
Down: Accepting it's yet another item to be shipped home.


  1. Happy Birthday Shaz! Was going to wish you a wonderful day - and year - but from the sounds of it, everything seems to be going well. But then you, my short friend, deserve every success and happiness that life can bring! Look forward to buying you a birthday drink. Anita xxxx

  2. Hello love, have a fantastic birthday...enjoy your birthday dinner xx Love the blog as ever, does bring a smile to my face - keep up your fantastic, honest, public musings

  3. thanks so much guys - not only am I having a fabbo day, I have the bestest mates in the whole world. Drinks are on me...

    Love you long time SSx

  4. Damn Google losing my comment! But it went something like: Was going to wish you Happy Birthday and a great coming year but sounds like its all coming together for you anyway! Can't wait to buy you a birthday drink. Keep up your fabulous blog too - your honest, witty way of seeing the world - and your clever way with words - make your blog a must-read each day. Long may it last! Anita xox

  5. Happy belated birthday gorgeous lady. Hope you had a lovely day. Will have to have some bubbles to celebrate when we see you next xxx

  6. You guys are both on! But drinks are on Shazzy.

    Love you long time xx

  7. Happy birthday you darling girl. I wish you every happiness for the coming year and am so proud to call you my friend. Just one favour - don't ever stop writing this blog - it brings a smile to my face every day. You are such a talented wee writer - v. jealous of your ability to manipulate words to spin a wonderful tale. All my love D xx



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