Happy Birthday to me!

by Suw on April 15, 2003

Ever tried writing in Welsh after nothing more than half a panini for lunch and far too many Pimms? It gets really tricky after a while. My ‘rhag ofn’s were getting all confused with my ‘rhagor’s. Or maybe it’s just me. Feck, that’s what my translator is for, to fix my typos.
Still, today has been a good day, as birthdays go. People didn’t forget, which is always nice. I had a phone call from my parents who are off gallivanting in Lanzarote. I thought they might call, but they caught me off guard by doing it twelve hours earlier than I expected. Rotters.
I also got four of the CDs I’ve been craving ownership of
– Aqualung’s Aqualung: Matt Hales’s sweet heartbroken voice could make an angel weep
– The Libertines’ Up the Bracket: featuring the best ‘fuck ‘em’ in modern music.
– The Shins’ Oh, Inverted World: James Mercer’s surreal lyrics and pop sensibilities make this a truly wondrous album
– Hot Hot Heat’s Make Up The Breakdown: to say that Hot Hot Heat are Very Very Good, is somewhat of an understatement
I am also now the very proud and excited owner of the Pleasantville DVD. Number Six! Oh yes!! Tonight, once I’ve had my gourmet pasta and the first strawberries and clotted cream of the year, I shall rearrange my furniture in that ritualistic manner to which I have become accustomed, and I shall allow myself to be totally spirited away. I read the script a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been yearning to see the flick ever since. It was a great read – just came to life immediately in my head as I read, in stark contrast to, say, The Ice Storm at the end of which I was left thinking ‘Eh?’.
It’s been unseasonably hot today as well, and I feel with the very moment of my birth rapidly approaching (about 10pm-ish, apparently) that this coming year will be one of huge opportunities, including the chance to tip my life upside down, shake it a bit, and see what interesting things fall out. I haven’t done that for a while, and a birthday is a good opportunity being, as it is, the anniversary of one’s very first Big Shake Up.
This day 32 years ago, in The Firs Maternity Home in Bournemouth, the midwife wrapped a squalling me in a blanket, handed me to my mother and said, ‘Mrs Charman, a beautiful baby girl’. To which my mother replied, ‘Are you sure?’.
Apparently, they’d been expecting a boy, as boys ‘run in the family’. True enough, my brother’s a boy, and so’s my dad. Anyway, they were going to call me Mark, and they had boy’s clothing ready for me, so when I turned up, three weeks early and the wrong gender, my dad had to make a dash for the shops to buy something pink.
Pity they didn’t know at that time that I hate pink. But then, I didn’t know at that time either, so I guess it was a moot point.
Birthdays are good for nice surprises. And I’ve had several today, one of which was quite astonishing. My friend Kate and I had been lamenting only this afternoon about the fact that neither of us had heard in a long time from our American friend JD in a year or more. And what should pop up in my inbox this afternoon but an email from the very same! How’s that for coincidence?
Anyway… I think may be rambling a little, and it’s time for my weekly phone call to Nic so that I can practise my spoken Welsh, so I shall post this, and let you go. But not before I say thank you for the happy birthday to everyone who emailed, PMd, posted and sent me stuff. You’re all adorable!

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