Tuesday, August 27, 2002

So now that I've calmed down about the Adelphia thing I'm back to thinking about the fact that in one month exactly it will be my 35th birthday. I hate birthdays - not cos they're a sign of getting older but because over the last few years they've been pretty crap.

Actually, my 30th wasn't too bad in terms of what I did. We went for Chinese with a load of friends...who had bought me some nice presents, including a gold bracelet (which I still wear). I'd just come back from Egypt where the ex had given me some money to buy myself some nice Egyptian gold - a bangle, that I also still wear and a necklace that I've not worn for a while. Truth be told, I'm not 100% sure where it is any more. That was probably the last birthday that had any stability about it...albeit bad because of the ex.

A year later, I was sitting in Pizza Express in Northwood (actually a very nice restaurant although the name makes me think of Pizza Hut....to which it bears no resemblance at all!). There was myself, my parents, my sister and grandmother. I was no longer with my ex, having walked out two weeks earlier. I remember my mother "pretending" that he was away because she didn't actually want to tell my grandmother that I had left him. Strange conversations ensued in which I'm not sure I played a huge part. I was still at the not talking about anything stage. I still don't but at least now it's all out in the open. At that time I was living in the second bedroom of a friend of mine having made myself homeless and pretty much possessionless.....whatever I could carry had come with me....basically, a couple of bags of clothes, couple of towels and those important papers that I needed (passport, birth certificate, etc).

By the time I reached 32 I had spent the best part of a year renting a place in North Harrow. The area wasn't too pretty but at least it was mine. I'd changed my job and got myself the most beautiful car I've ever owned - Peugeot 406 Coupe 3.0 V6. It's still one of my dream cars but, unfortunately, there aren't too many of them round here. Just before my birthday I had bought my 3rd house (which I still own and, good news, today I heard the tenant is going to extend his lease for another year and pay more rent....yipppeeee!!!). The divorce was out of the way and I'd lost a number of so-called "friends". I spent the evening getting very drunk, after work, in a bar in the City of London. I don't remember a lot else.

On my 33rd birthday I was 3,000 miles away from all that - sitting in an Irish bar in the middle of Midtown Manhattan with a friend that I'd made on a trip to Maine. If anyone had asked me the year previous where I'd be, that would probably have been my last guess.

And then there was last year. I had moved to Buffalo, NY and just been laid off - the same week of my birthday. Greybird and I, a friend of hers (who I later got to know a little more as she was also the Greybird realtor) and someone we used to work with went to the Shannon for their Thursday night quiz evening. We didn't win! Had a few drinks and then went to AM for some dancing, which was interesting cos of the combination of alcohol and misery over no job!

What will this year bring? Who knows. It's a month to go and, yet again, I'll be celebrating it in another home. Supposedly "Wednesday's child is full of woe". If birthdays are anything to go by, I'm living proof of that!


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