63 Candles

The sixteenth of March is always an important day in my calendar, as it is my birthday. Today I will be celebrating 63 of them, not a number that I am shouting about. To be honest, I might wish it was a much lower one. But there you go, Father Time cannot be cheated, no more than the ravages of a good but hard life can be erased.

Since the 1970s, it has been my habit to take a trip to the seaside on my birthday. The weather is often fine, but I go whether it is good or bad. When I was still working, I was always sure to take the day off as holiday, so I could pack as much in as possible. There have been memorable birthdays, in fascinating foreign lands, but even the most average ones were still great, at least as far as I was concerned.

For the first time that we can remember, Julie is unable to get the day off of work tomorrow. They have staff shortages, and are too busy to allow her to have a day’s holiday. This has left me feeling a little flat. Ollie will still be around of course, but he won’t appreciate the significance of the day. I could take him to one of the local coastal destinations, but then I would be restricted to just walking with him, and wouldn’t be able to go into anything. Besides, the weather forecast is not good, and I have to try to get someone in to sort out the broken central heating.

I will have to put my birthday on hold, until Julie gets home. Then I will open my presents, and we will go out somewhere for a celebratory meal. Even that is affected by ‘Norfolk Mondays’, where almost all the restaurants, and many pubs, choose to close on Mondays. I presume this is a bad day for business, but how will they ever know, if they don’t open? We could explore the more cosmopolitan delights of Norwich; the Big City, where most places are open. However, this is making a long day for Julie, who will have been at work, and then have to drive into the city, get parked, and return home much later than usual. We will probably go to a local hotel. As they have rooms and guests, they have to open.

This is all telling me to stop being so childishly enthusiastic about my birthday every year. History has a way of catching up with you, and life deals you bad cards now and then; like broken heating, and no holidays allowed. Even my traditional birthday list of suggested gifts was hard to compile. I just don’t need anything; and books, DVD films, and music CDs just add to the huge pile that already exists, jostling for the limited space in the office room.

Maybe at 63, I am finally growing up. Not too much though…

29 thoughts on “63 Candles

      1. Certainly out in rural parts, but we’re an odd mix of countryside and post-industrial. I think it’s cos there’s a focus on weekends and they have to give a day off to staff so pick miserable Monday…


  1. Pete, I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date! ~ And, that’s your Birthday ~ Happy Birthday dear friend ~

    I’ve always carried a different view on age than most of the people I know. My grandparents began raising me from before I was even two, at the beautiful age of past sixty….So, for me the sixties are what I’ve aimed my whole life for as far as age goes. It’s such a time of reflection on what has been good in one’s life. I don’t labor over the bad stuff, I cherish all of the good, and thanks to two people in their sixties, I’ve lived a happy life and look forward to sixty-plus.. which is very, very, very near 🙂

    Take care and happy blogging to ya, from Laura ~


  2. They always say, it is just a number besides your name. Growing old, getting on with the years but we always have something to look forward to. Have a blast though this greeting is late.


  3. Pete: If you can’t have a Happy Birthday, don’t have an Unhappy One. On this particular day (I don’t find birthdays significant, personally) if it’s not happening for you, decant the past and enjoy previous experiences. Corina’s right about the seaside birthday blogs! Brian


    1. Thanks Brian. It worked out pretty well. The weather brightened for Ollie’s walk, and the heating problem may well be resolved tomorrow. We are just back from a delicious meal. I had pigeon, bacon, and black pudding to start, and a lovely delicate pheasant as a main course. Local food, and very nicely prepared. (And at a fraction of London prices.)
      No complaints my old friend!
      Love as ever, Pete and Julie. x


  4. Happy Happy Birdee Pete 🙂

    We always try to go away for our birthdays too, just to make them a bit special as like you we don’t particularly need any more ‘gifts’ (though chocolate and alcohol are good as they don’t hang around for too long). We’ve had some good overseas trips and some good at home trips too. I just like to get away and have an excuse for letting someone else do the cooking and washing-up!

    Have a great evening slumped before that log burner watching one of those DVDs you have stored and eating birthday cake… yummy!
    Jude xx


  5. Pete, I’ve never made much of my birthdays. But you made an interesting point about gifts. Many people do accumulate a lot of things in life: first, the basic necessities, which occasionally must be replaced, and then a lot of unnecessary things that make life a bit more pleasurable. People often do reach a saturation point in terms of need or want, or else they simply run out of space. One’s private environment eventually becomes very cluttered. It seems almost inevitable. We do not wish to part with anything, but, at the same time, we see the futility and absurdity of adding to it.

    Due to the time differential (it’s only 9:40 in the morning here in Las Vegas, but already 4:40 in the afternoon in Beetley), your birthday is already on the downhill slope of the day. I hope you have a nice evening with Julie and Ollie. Happy 63rd birthday. I hope you receive birthday wishes from around the world.


  6. Birthdays, what are birthdays? Mine came and went just as quickly as the chocolate and peanut butter muffins Gosia made for me 🙂
    Happy Birthday mate, have a good one! Even if it doesn’t follow the same rhythm that you are use to, sometimes a change of tune can be a good thing, as you ‘significant songs’ are testimony to 🙂


  7. Well, I hope you have a happy day, anyway! I think that at some point we have to establish new traditions for special days. Sometimes new can be better or equal to the old.

    I know how you feel, though. My birthday is on Christmas Day. Try doing anything special, just about you, on that day! It used to be fine then about nine or so years ago, the kids stopped getting or making a birthday cake for me…which use to be about the only way that the day was about me. I miss having a birthday cake. I’m thinking that next Christmas I will just plan to make my own or order one to be picked up. I think I deserve a birthday cake on my special day…and this coming Christmas will be a big one for me as I will be turning 60!

    Maybe you can spend some time writing a blog post or posts about some of your birthday trips to the shore. I know I would love to read about them.

    Happy birthday!


    1. Thanks Corina, that made me feel a lot better. Having a birthday on the 25th of December must be the worst day possible. You deserve your cake this year, even if you have to order it yourself!
      Best wishes as always, Pete.

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