Wednesday, 20 January 2010


I'm a bit busy at the moment, owing in part to the fact that we have 4 birthdays in January ( well technically 3 birthdays that are actually IN January, but I'm counting Gabriel because his big day is the 5th feb which is as near as dammit January as far as I'm concerned)
I take full advantage of the January sales naturally.
We don't have particularly extravagant birthdays here but we do have birthday traditions that must be honored. "Tradition!" as Tevye famously insisted on, without which life would be "as shaky as a Fiddler on the roof".
Our hallowed birthday tradition always includes the following:
  • Sugary cereal ( I confess here to wincing a bit as I throw Golden Nuggets, Cocoa Pops and a Variety pack into my trolley. Should the paparazzi catch me sailing up the aisle of my local supermarket, I'd rather be caught accessorising my basket with fresh parmesan from the deli, a bag of organic rocket and a loaf of ciabatta. I'm not sure how I came to be snobby about food. I was raised on Findus Crispy Pancakes and Angel Delight)
  • Obligatory birthday banner and balloons. Even our oldest gets the Tweenies birthday banner and he was 20 years old on the 11th.
  • A cake, iced, with as many bits of plastic 'decoration tat' as can be reasonably squeezed on. Old favourites are the football boots and football and the little plastic train. Some variety is permissible and many years have seen many decor newbies come and go, but the faithful football boots have seen us through many seasons and it doesn't look like they're going anywhere.
  • Evening meal of the birthday boy (or girls) choosing. This one is usually a takeaway. Pizza Hut has been a perennial top pick, but I'm happy to report that as my olders are getting older they are more interested in opting for something different. I'm bored of Pizza Hut. We might have a Thai curry or something Lebanese.
  • Lastly we try to celebrate the one whose birthday it is. I like to be mindful that this is an opportunity to be consciously grateful that we have them in our family. We are celebrating the day that they arrived and it is a good time to let them know that we are glad they came! Sometimes we retell stories about the day they were born. They seem to never get bored of this. When I was within an hour of giving birth to son no.1 I was denied an epidural on the grounds that I was within half an hour of giving birth ( siting an epidural when the head is crowning is like cutting someones hair while they are jogging) When they told me 'no' I told them to get a gun and shoot me then. Nothing like the second stage of labour to get your histrionic streak to assert itself. Anyway, my point is that this is the sort of reminiscence that my sicko family never tire of hearing. " Dear son, how glad I am of the day you were born, what a blessing it was to hold you in my arms for the first time and clasp you to my bosom. And did I ever tell you that just moments before I asked them to get a gun and shoot me? " *fond sigh* It's so bonding to share precious memories!
Anyway, smoothly seguing from the discussion of tradition. I have mentioned before how my fascination with/affection for all things Jewish was really significant in my return to the Catholic church.
I am delighted to have found this blog which is right up my philosemite alley.
And it's podcastastic. Here's a list of some of his talks:

I love listening to podcasts. If I could think of one good reason to take up jogging it would be so that I could get a bit of peace and quiet and listen to a podcast. Sadly that isn't going to happen because I find jogging ridiculous. At least it is when I'm jogging. If you saw me jog you'd agree with me. I'm one of those people who can't run. My legs go in the wrong directions and I get traumatic school flashbacks of being cruelly mocked. I think yard for yard I'm actually slower when I jog than when I walk.
Digressing again.
Anyway, I am determined to get these talks by the admirable Mr Marshall onto my uncool, hand me down, first generation ipod and listen to all of them.
He's also written a book called The Crucified Rabbi which I am resisting at the moment. Podcasts are more time efficient at the moment and besides I've got a teetering pile of half read books beside my bed which reproach me every evening. I don't need to add any more just yet.
I like this video for the book though and I love the music ( something warbly and Jewish and then Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve)


  1. Another good website for podcasts is Audio Sancto. Some would say a bit too American but if my parish had a priest like him, then the confession queues would be longer!

  2. Haven't checked out the podcasts yet but they look v interesting.

    Two Jan/Feb birthdays here too. What's with April/May in your house then??

    Love, love, love the birth anecdote.

  3. Antonio
    Thank you for visiting. And thank you for the audio Sancto tip. Oddly the link you left doesn't work, but I Googled it and it looks very good.
    Here's the URL incase anyone else wants it:

    Even though it's a bit of a 'mare having to do the present thing so soon after Christmas, I do think Jan/Feb birthdays have the advantage of being able to sale shop ( or keep back some Christmas presents if you've ended up 'over shopping' for one or other child, as I sometimes realise I have once I start wrapping everything up.)
    Also, I think it's the best time of year to have a baby. You're big and heavy and slow when it's cold outside, rather than sweating with a big bump and support stockings in hot weather. And when the baby arrives, you can enjoy wintry warm seclusion indoors, ready to emerge when the spring starts to warm everything up. Perfect.
    No.2 son is my May birthday.

  4. I love the birth anecdote as well. And am not going to share a similar one. I progressed quickly and unexpectedly. Due to some complications during my pregnancy I was supposed to have a c-section. My water started leaking and I went into labor. Got to the hospital and because it was afternoon on a Sunday it took some time for them to get the Drs and neonate team assembled. So I got an epidural and was checked. I was only at 1 CM barely so we all felt like we had time. I have no idea what my contractions looked like or anything. All I know is that about oh 30 minutes after the epidural for the section I felt bad. I called the nurse she came in and as I sat up little baby head popped out. There was panic and my favorite line ever that i screamed in a panic. "Push him back in, I am not ready!"

    BTW, no matter how good your epidural is, when you deliver by sitting up? Well it hurts and it up does some damage to all the tissue down there.

  5. I was making a cheeky comment about all that April romance which leads to those Jan birthdays...!

    Changing the subject, ahem. You might like to add yourself to -- a list of British Catholic bloggers. Think that's how my local lurkers came to my blog. There are some serious surfers out there!

  6. ROFL! Elizabeth, I totally missed that bit of sauce. This sleep deprivation is starting to take its toll!
    Thanks for the link, I'm off to play with some new best friends.See ya!