So here we are again, February 19th. My birthday (my Granddad's too) and I've hit the self-proclaimed milestone of 25 years old.
How I've celebrated previous birthdays:
1994: Mum & Dad put on a 5th birthday party at our house in Polefield, Prestwich. Lots of family attend - and it's video recorded by my Dad, using Uncle Martin's camera. I have the footage on a DVD somewhere, and if I ever crack how to burn it onto a computer, I'll upload onto Youtube first, and then here...
1999: I visit Nan and Grandad's, with one of my first ever issues of Doctor Who Magazine. I tell my sisters and my cousin that I'm officially old now that I'm 10. Oh God...
2003: Mum took us to see Catch Me if You Can at Warner Village Pilsworth.
2004: Mum took us to see Cheaper By the Dozen at Vue Pilsworth.
2006: My 17th, and Mum takes me, my sisters, Nanny Rose and then-girlfriend Katie out to a fancy restaurant called Saporito's. It doesn't offer much choice, the portions are tiny, the bill is through the roof... and we all use it as an opportunity to moan!
2007: See this.
2008: I worked in the daytime, and then went across to Frankie & Benny's in the evening.
2009: See this post, midway down.
2010: A family meal at TGI Friday's (I think).
2011: My sister and her boyfriend Phil came to visit me in London, and stay at my gaffe for a few days.
2012: I travelled to Cardiff and spent a few days with my friend Lauren. Also... lots of Doctor Who and Torchwood related shenanigans!
2013: I visited Manchester, and the family went to a Carvery just out of Bury.
It's strange how birthdays of past have escaped my memory, and faded into none existence. I promise to blog about them all from now on...!
How did I mark the day today, I hear you all asking eagerly - or not!
I'm away from London for the week, back home in Manchester. I spent the day at my Mum's house, and had my two nephews around me. Oh gosh, how they've come on! Tyler is 18 months old now, and you can almost (but not quite) talk to him and expect an answer in return. He's running around like there's no stopping him, and he knows compassion, because for every punch or slap he pulls, there's an apologetic kiss or cuddle afterwards.
Jamie is a year old now, and still a baby on the verge of toddler-classification. He runs around, yeah - but the steps are more wobbly, and there's a sense that he doesn't understand the environment around him.
I played with both of them today, and like most babies they love hide and seek. This is great for me, because it's low skill - I don't know or can't play many other games!
I didn't see either of my Grandmas on my actual birthday. I saw one yesterday, at the nursing home where she now resides. Her spirits weren't very high, but she enjoyed seeing her Great-Grandchildren. I'm sad because I wonder how many birthdays she'll see.
Before the family meal at Nandos I got my hair cut, for only the 2nd ever time in a barbers or hair dressers. For anybody interested I got a standard short, back and side. I look rather fetching afterwards, if I do say so myself, and if people still say "fetching" in this day and age.
We'll quietly brush over the fact that the barber I visited thought that me and my sister were a couple, and thus made several uncomfortable comments that left me and my definitely-not-more-than-a-sister feel a little embarrassed!
What presents did I get?!
Mum & Step-Dad: Buffy Season 8 Library Editions - Volumes 2&4
Dad & Step-Mum: A trip to the cinema back in December to see "The Hobbit" 3D
Donna & Sarah (sisters): A giant bottle of Calvin Klein 'Encounter' after-shave.
Lauren (sister): My haircut today!
Cliché alert! The rubbish thing about being a grown up is that nobody buys you presents anymore. Bummer.
Back to business...
In the evening we heading to the family meal, and a location that surprisingly - considering the day - was not chosen by me. I was asked of course where I'd like to go, but you should know that aside from my step-dad I grew up in a house of all females... and I learnt at a young age that they get what they want, and us guys don't. I recommended an Italian take-away, but Mum declined this because of her Diabetes. A sister vetoed Chinese takeaway. Another said no to Indian.
I knew where this was heading, so kept out of the conversation. I left the girls decide for themselves where they wanted to go, and pretended afterwards that the choice of Nando's had been mine (a lie, there was no choice in the matter!)
Nando's was nice and fine, as Nando's often is. What was great though was having my family around - because in that sense, of late, I'm terribly lucky because the family are closer than ever, and it's lovely.
I know I often use this blog to moan about life, or compare the present unfavourably to the past - but you know, it's days like this that really make me believe that now is good... but the best is yet to come.
I'll end with a conversation I had with Donna, my sister:
Me: I want a big party for my 30th.
Donna: Talk about planning ahead. I think you'll be married by then.
Me: Do you?
Donna: Yes, married with a kid - with another on the way.
Me: Pfft, not likely!
Donna: Don't say that. You could meet the girl of your dreams any day now, and it could happen just like *that*.