Sunday, 5 April 2009

The 39th step

It's a highly auspicious day, April 5th.

Hang on a minute, I just re-read that as "a highly suspicious day". That can't be right, can it? No, it's definitely auspicious.

You only have to look back at the historic events that have helped shape us- all of which happened on this day:

1242 - during a battle on the ice of Lake Peipus, Russian forces rebuff an invasion by Teutonic Knights. As an aside, the Russian commander, Alexander Nevsky, was adjudged to have performed a simply delightful triple salchow with toe loop, earning 5.9 for technical merit.

1609 - Daimyu, lord of the Satsuma domain in southern Japan, completes his invasion of the Ryukyu Kingdom. A merciless warrior, he would no doubt be less than chuffed to know that we now associate him with very small oranges.

1621 - the Mayflower sets sail back to England from Massachusetts, her captain overheard commenting: "We may as well go home, this place will never amount to anything."

1804 - the High Possil meteorite, the first recorded meteorite to fall in Scotland. Within 30 minutes of its landing it was being deep-fried.

1897 - the 'Thirty Days War' breaks out between Greece and the Ottoman Empire. Why you'd want to go to war over small items of bedroom furniture is anyone's guess.

1932 - alcohol prohibition in Finland ends. Alcohol sales start immediately in Alko liquor stores. 6th April becomes known as 'Call in sick day'.

1958 - Ripple Rock, an underwater mountain and hazard to shipping in the Seymour Narrows in Canada, is destroyed in one of the largest non-nuclear explosions ever seen. This is a designated National Historic Event in Canada. I'm not kidding you.

In this household we celebrate April 5th for other reasons. Because, exactly 12 years after the good people of British Columbia were picking powdered bits of vapourised rock out of their hair, my saintly mother was in a hospital in Moseley, Birmingham, giving birth to her third child and probably hoping for a daughter after the first two boys.

It wasn't the last time she was to be disappointed in me, I guess. Best to start out as you mean to go on.

So it is my birthday, and the last one before The Big One That I Don't Want to Talk About Next Year. I share this birthday with such luminaries as Spencer Tracy, Stan Ridgway, Pharrell Williams and Tony Banks. No, not that one. Or that one. Another one. Go Texans!

Tonight Katie is spoiling me rotten with rib-eye steak in her secret marinade (well, not that secret if I tell you it includes black treacle, Jack Daniels, smoked paprika, white wine vinegar tomato puree and lime juice) served with sweet potato chips and followed by tiramisu. A nice bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape has just been gently popped open. This could be the perfect evening.

Mind you, given the card she gave me, perhaps it's the least I should expect:

It's a town in the Orkneys, she tells me. I detect a hidden message.


Three Legged Cat said...

Happy Birthday!

Sounds like a good evening will be had :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birfday! I hope it was stupendous!

That's right. I said stupendous.


Le laquet said...

Happy birthday - loving the card ... might work for Simon in May!

City Girl said...

Happy Belated Birthday!

WE'RE glad you mother had a third son!

the wife said...

Laquet - it was from Paperchase, if you were wondering.

Le laquet said...

Thanks Katie - gonna have to go and buy it!

sexy said...
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