I should talk about my birthday, yes? (Especially now when slightly tipsy on wine and far more tipsy
on The Demon's Surrender
. I am sure this is precisely the sort of mindset everybody wants to listen to me ramble in.)
Let's see -- I rang in the hour of midnight taking cinnamon streusel muffins out of the oven, and both cats slept in my bedroom, and then I rather idiotically woke up at five in the morning because I am still seven years old, actually
, and lay in bed for a really long time without actually falling asleep again, and seven o'clock seemed as good a time as any to get up and tear into the gigantic and tempting packages from barefoottomboy
that have been sitting in front of my dresser for a week (usually with a fluffy cat on top -- she's devastated now that they're gone). Oh, but I spent a merry hour opening those packages -- yes, really, at least forty-five minutes, because they were ridiculously large packages full of lots of dear things large and small. Molly has been teasing me excitedly about her package for over a month, actually. Anna had wrapped up twenty-one things in brown paper and tied them up with string and put little tags on them with symbols that I could look up in the table of contents she included and see little notes on each item, which especially helped me to linger over each thing as it deserved. And every single thing was lovely and thought-full
, and made me feel incredibly loved and known in a way I don't often feel, or used not to feel, back in my lonely adolescence, and still sometimes forget I don't need to feel any more. Everything from beautiful jewellery (typewriter necklace with a wee sheet of paper!!
) to perfume (verbena/vervain: VAMPIRE PROOF) to false moustaches and bottles of glitter -- because she
understands about being a grown-up. (Also books! tea stickers! cake decorating bits! a tea t-shirt! yellow shoes! pens! marvels
Molly's package was also a delightful mixture of Very Grown Up (so many teas omg
; all the books
; pretty notebooks; mugs) and childish (TANGLED
STICKERS). Also a beautiful quill pen which made me gasp when I saw it. Also a cameo mug that turns into a werewolf gentlemen when hot liquid is added. (She sent me a skeleton lady one back in October!) I just. I know the greatest people and I love them a lot. And as much as I love getting things
, just in general, even more do I love getting immensely thoughtful things that remind me that people love me and are interested in me and think my interests and sillinesses and passions are nifty and important.
Then I had bacon (BACONNN) and fresh cinnamon streusel muffins and rose tea and Mumford & Sons for breakfast. It was extremely nice. I spent much of the rest of the afternoon revelling in my presents, revelling in the internet, briefly napping, and then made myself a really nice lunch -- bacon and cheddar on garlic bread, sugar snap peas, the mint chocolates my sister got me from the local family-run candy shop, and a glass of red wine -- and took it outside under the apple tree, along with a Linford Detweiler album, Jane Eyre
, and two purrasites, who were very intrigued by the bacon.
Here I am in post-lunch raptures.
Also Dad slipped home from work briefly to bring me a bottle of the amazing plum wine we had at the Dublin Irish Festival last year. I'm really more of a red wine girl, but this stuff is the greatest
-- sweet and fruity and a little tingly without feeling sticky or cloying, and with a faint almondy aftertaste. It tastes like summer. It also makes me incredibly mellow and boneless -- unless I am at that moment engaged in media that makes me emotional I will probably just sprawl everywhere and bask like a cat. If I am reading Jane Eyre
in the book closet, however, I will chortle to myself constantly and talk very loudly to the characters. Whoops. (Okay, I actually do that without the aid of wine. It just gets slightly worse.) Anyway it was extremely nice. Dad was at work mostly, but when he came home there was time enough between him working on a paper and me getting ready to go to the coffeeshop for me to OPEN PRESENTS -- lots of lovely little things from Mum, like owl earrings and paper mache earrings and Once
on DVD and an owl-shaped ocarina, and a very large box of Nutty Bars from my brother, a mug and chocolates and a belt from my sister, and from Dad/both parents an iPod dock/clock radio -- exactly as I've longed for, not least because the clock radio I have been using was purchased for me when I was, um, maybe six
. Fortunately it is a very basic radio -- black -- and doesn't look babyish, and mostly even works, but it is still Very Old. And I had no proper iPod speakers at all. This present is fun and
practical! It will make dishes-doing slightly less of an agony!
It being Friday night, I went off to the coffeeshop for open mic night, as usual, because why would I miss out on my favourite thing on my birthday
? I had a chocolate muffin and an Orange Crème Dream, and then Sarah showed up and sang to me in front of humans
, the wretch, and also she does a cover of Over the Rhine's "All My Favourite People" that is perfectly heartrending. (It is also one of my personal anthems. So.) And I played stuff. It was mostly just us and some regulars, but hey, my voice is a mess from my cold and I sprained my forefinger a week ago. And music felt good. Hannah showed up a little later and after the musical extravaganza we trooped back to my house for a slightly late-planned Epic Sleepover, which led to going out to the grocery store at ten-thirty at night to buy sour cream and Reese's peanut butter cups wearing hats and false moustaches.
We made guacamole and curled up on my bed (it's very large) and watched Truly Madly Deeply
, which is one of my favourite films in the entire world and heartbreakingly impossible to find. (I couldn't get a widescreen copy, but otherwise. MISSED YOU, CELLO-PLAYING ALAN RICKMAN GHOST AND JULIET STEVENSON AND HER FACE.) We also ate all of the things and discussed the impracticalities of marrying demons and how hilarious Norse mythology is, like that time Loki couldn't cook this one piece of meat and Odin was all HAHAHA. Among other things. Then we had tea (non-caffeinated) and went to sleep. At two in the morning. You
We woke to Hannah killing all of the flies viciously -- they eventually began to flee in her wake. She and my father must be kindred spirits.
I can't remember how we wiled away the rest of the afternoon, aside from lying in bed and talking blearily and laughing an awful lot, and eventually we went to buy bread and salami, because we had a picnic to attend. It was in the graveyard. I suggested picnicking in the graveyard a while back as a ridiculously fabulous way to spend a birthday that I could totally never do
, and then a bunch of people were like "are you kidding? that would be the best thing
; you should do it!", so I did. I was a little worried somebody might make us leave, but there was a gardener fifty feet away and he didn't even acknowledge us. (We were very respectful and cleaned up and everything.) Mum made my cake -- chocolate peppermint -- and we put all of our delicious things in a picnic basket and in Leandra's wagon and pulled it all the way up to the graveyard and found a nice shady spot by the grave of a Mr Harry Spencer, his wife Ollie, and their daughter Matilda, and spread out our blanket, and ate them. (Our lovely foodstuffs, not the dead Spencer family. Yuck. We did share some of our crumbs, and ate some of their wild strawberries.)
Here I am drinking wine from a wineskin. My face says Charles Xavier because we were playing our favourite game.
Here is the wagon full of picnickery.
Here are our gracious hosts.
Here are my shoes, which were very nice.
It was the very best picnic of all the picnics. And my cake had a sparkler on it it. Then, alas, it was time to part, but as we'd been hobnobbing for twenty-four hours by then it wasn't so bad. I was extremely exhausted, but in that rare, thorough, warm way that I love, when everything is good and quiet (so long as people leave you be). So! It was a good birthday. And hi, you, and you, and you: I love you lots. (That isn't the wine talking; I had that glass at least two hours ago. It's taken me some time to write this entry, see.)