I said I wanted my birthday to last a week and it did, starting with midnight last Wednesday when Beth hung up a 'Happy Birthday' banner in my bedroom. The next morning I woke up and checked my birthday messages on Facebook; I was a birthday girl desperate for some Birthday Magic, knowing that I would be spending the day with three five year olds who didn't know it was my Special Day.
I didn't tell the family it was my birthday, because if you say to someone 'It's my birthday tomorrow...' they'll only think you are hinting for a present or for fuss. I thought that the mum might remember, because she asked me for my date of birth a few weeks ago when she was booking my flights for the South of France. I turned up at the house and nobody said anything to me, so they obviously didn't know it was my birthday. I was secretly hoping it would be like this so that I could be a Birthday Martyr, keeping my forgotten birthday as a secret sadness inside me, waiting for the day that the family would ask me when my birthday was and I could say with the ghost of a smile on my lips- 'It's already been...'
I know- I'm a dickhead.
Anyway, an hour in to making the five year old try and eat his breakfast (he has CAKE for breakfast, what child doesn't want to eat cake? I was forced against my will to eat most of it for him) I gave in to the Birthday Fuss-Craving and told him it was birthday. He wasn't arsed.
"Will you make me a picture for my birthday?" I asked
He burst out crying because he didn't know what to draw.
"It's my birthday, don't make it about you! Stop crying!" the Birthday Monster insde me told him.
It was all ok in the end, because later on when his two friends had come round and we were all sat in the kitchen drawing dinosaurs (I was the bestest!) he put his finger in the air and said 'Me have a bon idée!' and his 'good idea' was to draw me a zebra and a giraffe. While he was drawing it he kept asking me to look and expecting me to comment. There is only so many times you can say 'Wow, that's brilliant! It's a zebra! I like zebras! I like the way you have drawn its legs/stripes/face/robot hat!' so after about ten minutes of this I just started making appreciative 'ooohs' and 'ho-hos'.
Unfortunately when I said 'Ho ho' he burst out crying again and yelled "Is no drôle! You no laugh my picture you!" and I had to physically restrain him from tearing up my birthday card.
The day sped by quite quickly and without disaster, and then it was time for the Birthday Fun to begin and Lauren had arrived and was waiting for me in my room with Beth, who informed me that, although she had meant to spend her first day in Paris exploring, she'd actually slept until three pm, checked her Facebook for a few hours then she'd swept my floor for me and taken a photo of the full dustpan to serve as a disgusting testement to my Slovenly Ways. (It's funny because while I was at work I'd dreamily wondered if Beth would clean my floor for me because I hadn't had time to do it before she came. I never thought she'd actually do it- what a nice Friend and Pal she is to me.)
Lauren had brought me presents and cards, from her and Claire (they brought me some nice knickers and socks and a children's book which is about a scruffy cat with the same name as me, but I can't tell you what it is as I don't want to give my Super Secret Identity away) and also from my mum , who gave me a Pandora charm shaped like a cake and seventy euros, which was excellent as I am as poor as a churchmouse at the moment. My mum also sent with Lauren my 'holiday clothes' which I have been anticipating for many weeks now... inside a bag were two tops that I haven't worn since I was sixteen and a dress that I don't think I have ever taken on holiday with me in all the four years that I have owned it.
So. Reading between the lines, whilst moving house, all my clothes that were being 'stored' in the garden shed in bin bags have accidentally (or otherwise) been thrown out.
BUT. It matters not that I am destined to spend two weeks in the South of France wearing inappropriate, worn out clothes, because I got some lovely presents and cards and I wasn't expecting any.
While I was sat on the bed reading my cards and basking in their warm Birthday Glow, I thought I saw a flicker of candles from the corner of my eye. Could it be? I didn't want to look over there in case I had imagined it, but after a moment I dared to look again and I hadn't imagined it- there were candles and they were on top of a huge Marks and Spencer's chocolate birthday cake and Lauren had carried it all the way from London.
I don't know why I hadn't noticed Lauren getting the cake out and lighting all the candles, but I'm glad I kept it a surprise from myself until the last moment, because it was amazing. I went over to marvel at it, feeling overcome with happiness, and Lauren said "Look in the fridge." and I looked in the fridge and there was a bottle of champagne in it and it was too much. I started crying Birthday Tears and then I blew out the candles and I opened the champagne and we ate two pieces of cake each, and then Kayt came round and we set off for the restaurant I had chosen for my Birthday Meal- a north African restaurant at Bastille.
Speaking of Bastille, it's Bastille Day today and I'm going to go and watch the fireworks at the Eiffel Tower, so I will finish à plus tard.