I recently celebrated a milestonish birthday. Let’s just say it didn’t end with the big 0, but halfway there. My group of girlfriends were meant to mark this momentousish occasion in Bali, but alas a volcano foiled our plans. So we were left to our individual celebrations.
It turned out my sister-in-law and nieces were to be here during my birthday. So I had a readymade plan. My birthday weekend commenced in Disneyland, which I am only a little ashamed to say I love. Considering we were going back after a couple of months, we really should have bought an annual pass (as V could not stop grumbling). However, I could not deprive the kids of the chance of seeing Disneyland with their cousins. It turned out to be the best possible weather, a little overcast with a hint of cool and no rain, and strangely, a lack of crowds and queues. So even though the nieces covered very little on the half day they were there before us, we covered a lot together on Day 2, thanks in no small part to what the sister in law referred to as my Disbey dictator tendencies whereby I marched everyone around in a predetermined order. As usual, from Tw moment I met the nieces, I became the Pied Piper with three children hanging off me at any point.

Also, thanks to many not-so-subtle hints, V got me the coveted mouse ears as a birthday gift. Alas, there is no being an adult and laying claim to the ears when there are kids around. My precious ears were appropriated almost immediately by Mimi who decided they were hers and what’s more, it was her birthday (the whole thing about having her birthday last is not going down well with the Meems). Then, oldest cousin Lala had her turn, and I only got to wear them before bed at night. Harumph.

However, I highly recommend them. At one point, V was arguing with me and he just gave up and said: “I can’t take you seriously in those ears.” Honestly, the Israel-Palestine conflict could be resolved if Netanyahu and Abbas donned a pair. Anyhoo, I digress.

The night before my birthday, I went out dancing with the sister-in-law, the bestie in Hong Kong, her sister-in-law and another girl who was scandalized by our behaviour. I have not been dancing and/or to Lang Kwai Fong in ages, but I got into the spirit of things quite quickly. One lychee martini helped speed up the process, which then had to be slowed down by an enormous bottle of mineral water and fries. Let us just say that we got home at 3.30 am.

Even more astonishingly, we actually woke up and went to the beach at 9.30 am, the day of my birthday. There was a typhoon in the Philippines and the waves were crazy rough but we had a lovely time nevertheless. Nothing like four munchkins collecting ‘special sand’ to rub over your legs to make you feel special.

V went out of his way to get me my desired very chocolate cake from Agnes B, which has been polished off at leisure all week. The candles however were blown out by Mimi and Nene.

The day ended with a huge pizza dinner at California Pizza Kitchen. We got a table overlooking an ice rink with extra space for the kids to move around though Nene still pissed off a neighbouring guest by bumping into her chair and thereby stressed me out. And then Nene slammed his finger in the toilet cubicle door. Oh well.

I have to say it was a lovely birthday. It has been one hell of a year emotionally. On the one hand, the PhD was going swimmingly, until most recently when I had a dreadful fall down to earth. On the other, the marriage was going not so swimmingly, but in the last month we seem to have simmered down and dare I say, made our peace? I feel like I’m finally getting off a rollercoaster and not a moment too soon.