I bought Ady a t shirt for his birthday way back last May saying ‘2020 lockdown birthday’. They were quite the fun thing then although I remember thinking when I ordered it in April that there was every chance we would be out of lockdown before his birthday and the joke might fall flat….
Davies’ birthday in September was not actually that lockdown-y. We had Megan here, we’d not long returned from a trip to Ireland and had a trip to Edinburgh planned for a few weeks hence. It was that brief window of thinking things may be returning to some sort of ‘what used to pass for normal’.
That Edinburgh trip never happened. Neither did the surprise Edinburgh weekend in December for Scarlett’s 18th. Because by then she was having a lockdown birthday of her own.
And now I’ve had one too.
My birthday, as is often the case, was a white one. More heavy frost than ice at ground level but with plenty of snow up on the hills around us. It was a gorgeous sunny day with bright blue skies and the sort of crisp clear ness you only get at this time of year.
I was about to leave the house for a birthday swim when a friend messaged to ask if I wanted a socially distanced exercise swim buddy so we arranged a spot to meet and when we arrived we found another two friends having their own socially distanced swim already in the loch. They are much faster, stronger swimmers than us anyway but we did call across the loch to each other and managed distanced helloes on the beach afterwards. That was unexpected and special.
We got home and Scarlett had put up the Birthday Bunting so my birthday was officially declared started and I was presented with my cards and gifts. I got lovely hand made cards from Davies, Scarlett and Megan, along with a couple of nice gins and some lovely chocolates. I also got a new (to me) waterproof camera. A gorgeous notebook arrived from a Rum friend and a swimming friend gave me a sketchbook. All very thoughtfully chosen, given with love and very gratefully received.
We made the most of the sunshine by heading out for a walk at a nearby beach. It was frosty and cold but beautiful.
Back at home Ady and I did some rejigging furniture to create a better side table next to where I sit and made a hole to put all the chargers for my phone, chromebook, camera and tracker watch (my Christmas gift) through. I talked to my parents, enjoyed reading all the birthday messages I was sent online and then had a delicious steak dinner.
Followed of course by birthday brownies. The perfect day.
Perhaps if it had not been lockdown we would have gone out for lunch? Maybe my swim would have been with a group of friends instead of just one and we could have hugged or even just stood closer to each other?
There have been times during this circle round the sun between my 46th birthday in January 2020 and this birthday when I was worried that the people I celebrated it with would not even be around – with me here in real life or around me online and by telephone. The sun shone. I was showered with love, good wishes and gin.
I really hope that now all four of us have celebrated a lockdown birthday the circle is complete and Ady’s birthday in May allows for all the things that were missing in our last birthdays. But this one still managed to be a happy one and for that I am truly very grateful.