Sep 13, 2014

So, birthdays; A wonderful guest post by Jennifer Gilby Roberts

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So, birthdays.

I am now in my thirties and the proper place to spend birthdays in your thirties is, of course, hiding under the duvet. Unfortunately, I have a toddler who will climb on my head and shout, 'Wake up!' if I try it. Otherwise, I would. Because, if I'm honest, birthdays have never gone well for me.
 It started as a child. I had the misfortune to be born in November, which is second only to February in the annual hateful-weather competition. Theme park trips really lose their appeal when you're being pelted by freezing rain. Once, whizzing round a roller coaster, I got a high-speed raindrop in the eye. If I didn't wear contact lenses, I think I might now be half-blind. And there's nothing quite like an arctic wind when you've just come off a water ride. The queues are shorter, though, I'll give you that.
To add insult to injury, November 2nd always fell in the week after the half-term holiday. Not only did I have to go to school, but it seemed to be the favoured week for all things unpleasant. Head lice inspections, vaccinations, exams and a bus strike are just a few of the things I remember.
Sometimes, it was my fault. For my thirteenth birthday, I had holes punched in my ears. At fifteen, I got a second set, which never healed properly and got sore every time I dared to put earrings in them. When turning sweet sixteen, I jumped off a crane over the River Thames for my first bungee jump. Two notable things about this. One, the air pressure gave me an excruciating ear infection, which wrote off most of the next week. Two, shortly afterwards the bungee company was shut down for being unsafe. It's a wonder I'm still alive.
There have been occasional successes, I admit. My husband (then my boyfriend) was determined that my 25th would be special. I felt the reduction in my car insurance premiums was enough and that fate should not be tempted. By he would not be dissuaded and planned a trip away. He took me to London, where we saw Joseph and The Sound of Music, which were wonderful. In fact, apart from having to make a hasty exit from one of the sightseeing buses in search of a toilet (I'll leave it at that), the trip went without a hitch. I strongly suspected that I was being lulled into a false sense of security.
Now I'm a mother and my birthday dreams have been reduced to getting to go to the toilet by myself. My daughter, meanwhile, was born on January 7th, which should fall just after the Christmas holidays. It sounds very much as if the birthday curse might be hereditary. Which is a real shame, obviously. On the upside, I should save a fortune on theme park trips...


Jennifer Gilby Roberts has a degree in physics and a postgraduate certificate in computing, so a career writing fiction was inevitable really. She was born and grew up in Surrey/Greater London, but now lives in North Yorkshire with her husband, small daughter, two middle-aged cats and a lot of dust bunnies.

Her books include The Dr Pepper Prophecies, After Wimbledon and Early Daze. Find Jennifer at her blog, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, LibraryThing, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo and iBooks

1 comment:

  1. Jennifer Gilby RobertsSeptember 13, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Thanks for having me. It was a lot of fun to write.


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