Monday, 20 June 2011

A bittersweet birthday

It's been a tiring week. 

Where my tears have stopped the rain has begun in earnest. No, not bad poetry or heavy-handed metaphor but literal, pouring, sobbing rain. It's been fitting if not a little obvious but the melancholy weather has suited my sentiment the last few days as I've slept, pondered, remembered and grappled with the complete sense of unreal that her passing has brought. I can't bring myself to say the D word because I can feel her still here - in the sense that I remember her touch, see her in my Mum, know what she would say and continue to receive emails and cards from people who met her and loved her. I just still can't quite believe she's gone. Perhaps if I'd been at home it would seem more real but for now it just feels strange. 

Hyde Park Corner between showers and after dinner.
And so my birthday on Thursday was bittersweet. LB made the day very special with thoughtful presents and cupcakes and dinner at our favourite Spanish restaurant and a haircut and pedicure improved, if not brightened, the day also. 

On Friday I had lunch at Hix in Selfridges with my lovely, dear friend before we amused ourselves with the cosmetics counter and a spin through Gray's Antique Market in search of wedding accessories. The inscribed dessert at lunch was another small, special moment. Last Friday LB, Tor, The Hungry One and I went for dinner at The Corner Room in Bethnal Green - a joint birthday dinner - that was delicious, delightful and very good fun. I think it was a good idea to get some birthday celebrations in early this year as I haven't much felt like celebrating since then. Don't get me wrong, I'm not disillusioned or anxious about 31, I'm looking forward to a year in odd numbers, but frankly, between work and grief I am completely shattered. I slept until 3.30 yesterday and woke at half past one today so I'm glad the urge to celebrate en masse completely passed me by this year. 

Some of the decor at The Corner Room...

So much has happened in the last 12 months - some serious Life boxes have been ticked: incredible job, impending wedding and yet adulthood still feels relative. I'm glad not to be 30 anymore, with all its significance, but mortgages and babies are as foreign a concept to me as ever and I continue defiantly to understand grown up as the right to drink wine on a Tuesday and book an overseas holiday online using my own credit card. Each to their own I suppose but there was something quite serendipitous about my Wednesday morning Oval tube station philosophy lesson which I think sums up everything the last week and last year has thrown at me, from the mouth of Muhammad Ali no less:

And so another year begins. 

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