I stopped counting birthdays a long time ago. At my age they're not something I'm particularly eager to commemorate. But with Olwen, me and the kids currently located on three separate continents, it's nice to be remembered by them, also to receive the very many greetings from friends, colleagues and assorted relations that have come my way via snailmail, phone, sms, e-mail and Facebook. Clearly, many people place much greater value on sixty years as a milestone than do I.
Brother Nick called me earlier to offer his and Frankie's greeting, with the admission that he never thought I'd make it to sixty. Forty years ago, if truth be known, neither did. Anyway, I did and if any of you read this - I thank you all for remembering that, which if left to me, I'd probably not bother to celebrate. X
I had a huge surprise from work where I was presented with a fantastic new camera lens and super-sized signed card by my boss and colleagues. With typical foresight, Olwen had hidden a present, a couple of Tommy Bahama shirts in a spare cupboard that she directed me to by phone this morning. They make me look svelte and dangerous (one of the buttons popping-off could take your eye out).
Lucy sent me her own dissonant video version of the traditional birthday song which made me laugh and want to hug her. And she had filmed Baan Bophut's rhythmically challenged kitchen and waiting staff performing the same piece accompanied by their own discordant clapping, which made me want to cry. How do they do that?
I've been invited out to dinner by a good friend tonight. She turned a deaf ear to my lame excuses, for which, more in the spirit of the day now, after writing this, I'm grateful and looking forward to. Nothing la-di-da, we've agreed to meet at the Boston Bar, one of the few places left in Dubai where I can still enjoy a cigar.