As a child I always knew my age down to the month. Birthdays were a longed for day, even if we didn’t have big celebrations, because there was often something we could do when we reached the magic age. I was told I could grow my hair long when I reached ten (though of course I’d gone off the idea by then) and for some reason I imagined that when I reached seventeen I’d suddenly turn into a glamorous person frequenting sophisticated parties (which didn’t happen). But after the milestones of being old enough to drive, to vote and drink, followed by a birthday bash for reaching 21, the significance of birthdays seemed to fade. For ten years, I thought I was still 22 so it was always a bit of a shock when I worked out my real age. I still have to work it out now, though if I reach 100 I’m sure I’ll be only too happy to tell everyone what a great age I am.
The result of this lack of enthusiasm means that nowadays we don’t celebrate birthdays in our house beyond having birthday cake and jelly, unless of course it’s an important 0 birthday. The cake is always home-made and each of us has our favourite; I’ve made coca cola cake, a multitude of chocolate cakes, cakes decorated with sweets, a cake in the shape of a pig’s head and my favourite coffee cake.
It was Bill’s birthday this week so we celebrated with Rhubarb Crumble Cake and Rhubarb Jelly (we know how to live!), which was a good combination because the rhubarb was used for the cake and the juice for the jelly. Luckily Bill likes rhubarb.