Today marks the day
That I finished thirty four
Orbits of the sun
The prize for “best thing to happen this year” is a pretty tightly fought contest, but storming into the lead is an event which occurred today. I returned home from work to find a couple of letters on my floor. One was from BT, so I threw it to one side before I flew into a blind rage. The second was adorned with exotic postage stamps, and postmarked “Novorossiysk, Russia”.
This was awesome for a number of reasons, which I will address in due course. The first reason the letter was awesome is because it was a surprise. I ADORE surprises. Truly. Nothing reminds me that life is more than a boring monotony of similar days than a few well placed surprises. Now, obviously receiving a letter from the Russian Federation is not something which happens every day, and I only know one person in Russia, so the “who” was not the surprise. But the “how” and the “why” certainly were.
So I cautiously opened the envelope to find the second awesome part of this whole event. Inside there was a birthday card (2 weeks late, but I really don’t mind), an origami dinosaur and a foil etching of another (rather fearsome looking) dinosaur. Let me just repeat that for you. An origami dinosaur and a foil etching of another dinosaur. Long term readers (yeah, both of you), will recall that dinosaurs are possibly my favourite things, so can you imagine how big my grin was when I saw the crafted dinosaur imagery laid out before me?
As you can probably appreciate, by this point I am so happy I cannot stop smiling, but that’s not even the end of the awesome. There was also a birthday card with a message from my friend over in Novorossiysk. I’m not going to tell you what it said as that’s none of your business, but I will tell you that the handwriting in this card is hands down the most beautiful script I have ever seen. I spent a good few minutes just admiring the letters before I even read the words. And considering this was written by someone who uses a different alphabet to me, it’s even more impressive.
The message inside was heart warming, uplifting, superb. I read it through over and over, smiling incessantly. This was the best birthday present ever. The only downside is the fact that as my friend is in Russia, I can’t properly thank her for it. Hopefully some day I’ll have the opportunity to do so.
So here we are, another year on. I don’t feel any different. Well, I have a thumping headache. I don’t know where that came from. But inside I don’t feel any great awakening or enlightenment.
I’m not really sure why we celebrate birthdays. When I was a kid, I celebrated birthdays because I got free stuff and loads of cake. When I was a teenager I celebrated birthdays because there was an increased chance of getting kisses from girls. These days, I don’t want free stuff and I don’t know any girls.
So I guess the only thing left to celebrate is cake. But even that is losing its appeal.
Yesterday I went to see my Dad. My brother had tried to organise a family get-together at my Dad’s place for my birthday, but the only people who bothered to show were him and his girlfriend. So we sat and ate and talked about the only real topic of conversation we could find; how much we hated the managers at the place where I used to work and where my brother still works. It was amusing at times, but just odd, now that I look back on it.
While I was at Dad’s, he gave me a letter which had arrived, addressed to me. It was from my old school, inviting me to a class reunion. my time at Rugby School was not a happy one. Not coming from the privileged background of most of the students (I got a scholarship which meant the fees were waived), I was seen as one of the filthy unwashed peasant underclass, by both students and teachers. I earned the nickname “Stig” (taken from the book “Stig of the Dump” by Clive King). I was constantly in detention, which was conveniently held at 8pm on a Saturday night for two hours. Every week I was in there, usually with no reason given. Stops me causing trouble, right?
See, they called me a trouble maker. I prefer the term “revolutionary”, personally. I was constantly in trouble for bending or breaking rules. “There’s a set way of doing things,” they’d say. Now, for those of you not familiar with Rugby School, this is the place where Rugby Football was invented. Invented by one William Webb-Ellis, a statue of whom graces the space in front of the school. There is also a plaque, which reads:
COMMEMORATES THE EXPLOIT OF
WILLIAM WEBB ELLIS
WHO WITH A FINE DISREGARD FOR THE RULES OF FOOTBALL
AS PLAYED IN HIS TIME
FIRST TOOK THE BALL IN HIS ARMS AND RAN WITH IT
THUS ORIGINATING THE DISTINCTIVE FEATURE OF
THE RUGBY GAME
A fine disregard for the rules. Presumably my disregard for the rules was not fine enough. I mean, my father didn’t have a tremendous amount of money. Other students’ fathers did. Like the student who was caught dealing cocaine, but was not expelled or even suspended from school as his father paid for a new wing of the school library. In contrast, I was nearly expelled for putting yoghurt in someone’s gym shoes (which I still maintain is an hilarious prank).
Needless to say I don’t really have any desire to go back to that place and see how successful everyone else has been, using their inexhaustible parental funding to follow the dreams they never once had to fight for. I guess their level of true success depends on how one measures success. I have no doubt that my criteria is wildly different to theirs. Regardless, I have no desire to go back there.
But I’m getting off topic.
Actually I’m not really sure there was a topic. I’m sat here in the library on my birthday, spilling my guts to the world. Or trying to at least.
Did I mention I was supposed to have a date on Wednesday? Pretty neat, right? Well she sent me an email saying she’d met someone else and that she was calling it off. Now I’ve had a number of people decide that they’re not interested in me from the start. I’ve had a number decide that they’re not interested after getting to know me a bit. But arranging to meet up and then deciding in the interim that I’m not worth the bother? That’s a new one. So thanks for that.
I guess I’ll go back to looking for that redhead riding a dinosaur. She’s gotta be out there somewhere. If I tell her it’s my birthday, maybe I’ll get a kiss.
Happy birthday Karl.
To help you celebrate, here’s
A pounding headache.
This coming Sunday
Will be birthday thirty three.
Its getting boring.