Something weird happened with my email account this week. No idea how but I managed to delete everything in my account, ten years of emails just vanished. They did not move to trash, they just disappeared. I had never seen the symbol for empty inbox before and I found it quite liberating.
The morning after, I logged in again and a message had arrived overnight.
This was from somebody I went to school with and he is the only person I am still in touch with from back then. I say in touch, this means I get round to sending him an email about every six months. It is always lovely to get these emails but rather than my usual reaction of ‘how is it somebody who teaches English makes so many typos’, it was ‘oh yes, I did have a birthday this week’. It was the first time I have completely missed a birthday. I think it is fair to say, there is a lot going on in the world at the moment so I can’t be too annoyed that nobody remembered when I didn’t either.
I am not particularly fond of ‘fuss’ and so birthdays are something I am happy to avoid. Perhaps they will take on more significance again as I grow older but as a child, my birthday was a big deal.
Looking back over my childhood diaries at past celebrations, I was taken by my entry from 1994. I had an incredibly unusual set of presents that year including a tray, a cactus, and a pair of maracas. I presumably requested these items although why I would have done that is a total mystery. According to Google, the most popular toys that year were Power Rangers figures (not quite the same as desert plants or percussion instruments) and is a fairly obvious reflection of the fact, I was uninterested in fitting in. I didn’t deliberately go against the crowd, it just never occurred to me to try.
The centre piece of my birthday weekend was that I was also treated to a ski trip. Of course we were not the kind of family who went to Innsbruck or Val-D’isere instead we went to the dry slope in Llandudno. The only thing I wrote in my diary about this was that ‘it rained’. Hardly a great surprise for North Wales in November. One thing I am sure about, I never went skiing again.
As for what happened to the tray, cactus and maracas, I suspect their final destination was a landfill site.