Saturday, 22 May 2010


The title of this page is my age in days, taking account of leap years...

Last Sunday was my 18,263rd day-birthday. Silvia organized a surprise party for me, with help from various friends. And despite having children whose idea of a secret is on a par with a daily news broadcast, I had no idea of what awaited me as I climbed the stairs into the restaurant: Family, friends, colleagues, ex-students, their children, and even balloons. My reaction was not dissimilar to someone choking back the tears... except that I think I may have failed to choke them back - I don’t do ‘nonchalant’.

Amongst the many highlights of the day was my birthday cake. I am including a photo here, though with some trepidation. I’m not entirely sure what that naked woman is doing there! Technically, the cake was sponsored by Elsevier... (with thanks to Debbie!)
Other highlights included the many texts and Facebook messages. And last night we completed the birthday celebrations (a mere 6 days late). Sam had been unable to come to the party (he was braving the Yorkshire Moors in order to earn some certificate or other that attests to his survival skills - it must have been hard out there... he didn’t have his cell phone! It can barely get any worse...). So we went off to a nearby restaurant where a combination of black pudding, pancetta, sirloin, prawns, beer, and a rather fabulous red wine (Argentinian, of course), sealed the deal. There’s a lot to be said for getting to the ripe old age of 18,263.