Someone said to me the day before yesterday, “Sorry your birthday is going to be so uninteresting”, in reference to me being stuck in hospital. But I pointed out that often the occasions that threaten to be the least interesting often end up being the best…
Yep, I had a WONDERFUL birthday! After a visit from the father figure and his lady friend on Saturday, with not one but two cakes, Sunday began quite slowly, but immediately became special when Gobby offered scrambled eggs and freshly squeezed orange juice for breakfast… Egg-tastic! I then had plenty of time to open my cards: thank you to all those who sent them. Card-tastic. The next excitement was the appearance of Tomandalice, en route to a wedding, and then my cousin Lucy and her parents. It was great to see them, and not only did Lucy complete her 10k run in the sweltering heat, but she even gave me a dartboard for my birthday. What larks! I fully intend to practise intensively so that I can build up a beer belly and compete professionally when I get out. Literary journalism? Literary shmournalism.
Competition arrived in the varying shapes of harriet and freddie, and we began a darts game wherein I was soundly thrashing them (historians always tell the truth ;-)). But then Gobby appeared with news that she had a cake for me, which was in another room because the candles would have set the fire alarm off in my room. Being the observant and intelligent Oxford graduate you know me to be, it didn’t even cross my mind that there are smoke detectors in all the rooms… I’d even believed Gobby earlier when she’d said that they could video the candles being lit, as I was neutropaenic and confined to my room. When it came to it, I was allowed to head down the corridor to the Clean Room (usually used for things like putting lines in), where I expected to find just a cake.
So I was a little surprised to find assorted friends, staff and even another patient, in a room decorated with about 50 balloons, and tables laid out with sandwiches, crisps, nuts, drinks, sweets, party poppers and hooters. Talking of hooters, the cake then appeared, bra and all… Cake-tastic! A bottle of bubbly also materialised, and we tucked in. The balloons, I should add, had been decorated before I had got there. It was great! And the main person to thank is the brilliant Gobby. Hurrah for Gobby!
The balloons could not stay in the Not-so-Clean Room, so they came with me back to the hermitage… How best to describe it? An explosion of colour, perhaps, particularly as they periodically pop – about five have gone already and I’m still not used to it! I was lucky that none woke me up with a bang last night, but I fear I won’t be so lucky tonight… Pop-tastic! I’ll try to get Fred to put a picture up, to give you an idea of just how funky my room now is. Back in the hermitage, I had a lovely time with Harriet, Freddie and Jo until they had to go and I collapsed exhausted into bed. Collapsed exhausted in the best possible way, not in a help-call-the-doctors way.
So all was enormous fun. And the joy continued today when not only did I get some quality 24 merchandise from Holly, but an enormous box arrived with my name on it… Inside was a Harrods hamper with all sorts of bits and bobs inside! Now that really was hamper-tastic. I’m not usually in the habit of receiving Harrods hampers, so I don’t know whether it’s normal practice, but there was even a note from the packer, with a quotation, a book recommendation and a CD recommendation, as well as ‘KEEP FIGHTING!!!’ (I guess I’ll put my plans to retire from boxing on hold) written thereon. It was such a generous gift, and thoughtful too, as the bits had clearly been chosen especially for me. There was even a cake, bringing my total cake count to four!
There’s even something to look forward to in the medium term – Harriet’s present is a trip to Rome with her to visit Fred when he’s out there next academic year!