Friday, May 18, 2007

The one and only birthday party…

My birthday is on Christmas day, which means I don’t usually celebrate it with friends. As a child I have only one strong memory of a birthday party at my Nanna’s house with all my cousins. I can’t remember ever having a proper birthday party with school friends. Generally it was just my parents and sister and we celebrated Christmas in the morning and my birthday in the afternoon with a cake. Later on I found myself working on birthdays (cooking in a ski-resort or teaching English in Japan). For my 30th I was at Jacques’ parents house and everyone totally forgot until I started weeping at 6pm. On my 29th and 35th birthday I was hugely pregnant and ready to pop, with Marc (born 8 days later) and Gabriel (24 days later). So it is an emotional day for me.

Having children certainly has helped, and they love preparing a surprise for my day, but understandably they are rather busy with their new toys to really pay much attention to my birthday. It’s not that I feel sorry for myself (well I do to be honest!) but that’s how life is. I can’t even blame my mother since she didn’t expect me arriving either that day!

So imagine how delighted and amazed I was when some of my KL friends decided to organize a mini-party for me. I would be 38, not a great age but memorable as the only year I really truly had a party arranged in my honour. My Filipino friend Maribeth booked us a table in the English-style hotel bar where her husband worked. We did it a week early since some of us were leaving for the holidays. Maribeth invited Hilary, Yuen-Chi, Sasi and Fred. I was close to tears when a surprise cake arrived, iced in pale lilac with my name, made personally by Maribeth's pastry-chef husband. The girls presented me with a bracelet made from yellow stones, which was good luck for my Chinese birth year of the Goat. It was the perfect gift, I am not a jewellery person but I loved the asian bracelets I found in markets and wore at least one a day. I was truly touched and we danced till 1am to the Filipino band singing along to Abba hits and my favourite song ‘I will survive…’

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