As we’ve already established, I celebrated my birthday this week (and the 10th survival anniversary, for those of you who haven’t read about that yet). I have been lucky enough to grow up enjoying quite ‘elaborate’ celebrations for my birthday. I am always on the lookout for occasions to ‘celebrate’ – throw a party, host an event… you get my drift. And of course birthdays are the perfect excuse to oraganise such events. So especially throughout my teenage years and twenties, I had one a many parties to celebrate my birthday. And since I was born in what is usually the hottest week of the year, it would generally be by the pool or in a pool, on a boat or at a BBQ, or you know, that one woman party in hospital.
My last party was three years ago for my thirtieth, when all the guests felt like they were suffocating due to the extreme heatwave we were going through. The joys of being an August baby living in the middle of the Mediterranean I suppose. Three years without a party is way too long, so I thought of doing a mini gathering of sorts this year. The COVID-19 situation was rather under control locally for quite a while, so a small gathering should not have been a problem. It would also have been a great way to introduce my friends to our latest hangout, Coxwain’s Cabin in the heart of Marsascala. Thank
Well, we all know that COVID-19 decided to take over 2020 and it’s becoming more and more evident that it’s not done with us yet! I kept postponing planning an event in fear of having to cancel last minute, or of nobody showing up, and then last weekend I thought, ‘Oh what the heck? The situation seems to still be relatively under control. A small gathering of about thirty friends will not hurt anyone.’ Perhaps it was somewhat immature and selfish of me to reason that way. Perhaps I didn’t think enough about the gravity of the potential consequences. It’s just that I wanted to spend a couple of hours with friends after not being able to see them for months.
Just as I was about to start planning, new restrictions were put in place, and suddenly gatherings of more than ten people were not allowed. Bummer… time to restrategize… a small gathering of friends, maximum of ten around a table? Maybe… but as the week kept progressing the local situation was taking a turn for the worse. Cases started rising rapidly and let’s say we’re probably feeling less comfortable meeting people ‘unnecessarily’. I still wanted to celebrate however, and I do get quite upset when things don’t go according to plan (which is why I avoid planning ahead).
Eventually grand celebrations and gestures were completely avoided, but little moments with the people who matter most were still there. Flowers, wine, Baileys and an Indian take out kicked off the celebrations on Wednesday. Thursday, the actual day of my birthday was a bit bland by comparison, but as a last minute decision, we visited my parents and shared a nice bottle of wine. Friday evening was defined by wine, platters and cake night with my family, at Coxswains Cabin, and as simple as that sounds, compared to the mentioned ‘elaborate’celebrations, it felt like a truly special night. The food was delicious, the wine was lovely, and I was surrounded by the most important people in my life. How could I ask for anything more? I didn’t need to. I was however, even more blessed as I unexpectedly had celebrations stretched out on to Saturday, as some friends made personal home visits to wish me a happy birthday. These were also incredibly meaningful and special.
All the birthday phone calls and messages were also lovely to receive. Each one touches a little place in my heart and puts a bit more of a smile on my face. I cannot thank friends and family enough for that. All in all, I can’t help but think how the simplest things in life are making the biggest difference to me at the moment. I don’t think I’ve ever been as appreciative for what I have as I am now. And with that, I think I can consider this as one of my most special birthdays. I’ll definitely keep treasuring the memories I’ve built over the past couple of days. Perhaps I should also add that I managed to get through the mini celebrations without ‘mishaps’ or clumsy episodes, which I guess, in my case, can also be considered as an achievement.