â€œOh, Rue!â€ I exclaimed in delighted surprise, embracing my quarry before he had the chance to return the salutation. â€œOh, my friend, my precious friend!â€
It had been a good night so far, judging by my level of intoxication: a very good night. Ruellan, an old friend from university had arrived fashionably late with his partner Melanie. The occasion? My birthday!
Now, for the record, I don’t normally celebrate my birthday. In fact, the last party I can recall was at about age 13. I had my friends Roger, Carrie & Clinton around for a small but enjoyable party. I didn’t even do anything for my 21st. I guess I have always thought such things were a little too self-aggrandising. I felt as though I didn’t really deserve all that much attention. There wasn’t much I could be celebrating, after all, there’s not all that much special about me.
Still, in the last 29 years (yes, it has been that long, but not that long), I have come to realise that there most definitely is something in my life worth celebrating, and it’s not even something I am particularly good at. It’s my relationships: my friends, colleagues, and family who I have managed to collect over the years. Even though I have moved countries, moved houses and changed lifestyles more than I care to recount, I have managed to connect with a number of fantastic people.
I have come to realise that, when I look at the accomplishments in my (so far) rather short go at life, it’s these people my mind eventually turns to. I was musing this when a friend of mine (Jo) said something busy professionals with families / other commitments often say to each other â€œoh, it’s so good to see you… I have to run, but we should get together sometime, ok?â€
She really meant it too. We always mean it. We just never follow through. I resolved, though, that since my birthday was coming up, I would arrange something special for all my friends.
I arranged a party at a place called â€œTrafficâ€ (fast becoming my favourite bar in Auckland), arranged for food, a generous bar tabÂ and invited many of my family & friends. If you were in Auckland and I didn’t invite you, I am sorry, it was most likely an oversight on my part.
I had a great time. My family drove up from Hamilton and Sebastian even wore a shirt with a collar for the occasion. About 30 people came to the event in the end, much to my pleasure. My friend Sam arranged an enormous cake, which you can see me attacking with a rather large knife. I enjoyed myself a lot.