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Happy unBirthday

Today I celebrate my birthday. I'm a crusty half-dead 47½.

Why the ½? I've already explained it two dozen times today, in French, including to some people with zero sense of humour. So for you, I'll just point you at last year where I explained it.
I've actually been doing this for quite a while but I don't always mention it in my b.log.
Sometimes I take the day off. Sometimes not. Not this year, as I'm already taking two for going up to Rennes. The thing is, I don't really "celebrate" my birthday. I think I had exactly one birthday party as a child. And got quite freaked out as a bunch of local kids turned up and I was supposed to be the star attraction. Oh god.
I think I attended exactly one birthday party too. The girl two doors down invited me over, despite the fact that I went to boarding school and rarely mixed with any of them. I think my mom and her mum were friends and she wasn't given a choice. ;)
What I remember most is the apple bobbing. A huge bowl (I think it was actually a small laundry basket) full of water with some apples at the bottom. You're supposed to dunk your head in and grab an apple in your mouth. Why I remember that is because a bunch of tweenie girls, long hair, a bowl large enough you pretty much have to put your entire head underwater. It didn't take much to get their school uniforms soaked. As in water squishing out of their shoes level of soaked. And the assorted parents were cheering them on. The same assorted parents that would probably have gone ballistic had they decided to "go for a swim" in their school clothes, or even walked home in the rain without an umbrella. It seemed kind of contradictory to me.
Oh, and I totally sucked at grabbing an apple. Probably just as well, as it turns out that the "prize" for the person to take the last apple was to have everybody else tip the rest of the water in the bowl over them. Another contradiction, shouldn't that be a punishment for the sad-sack that didn't manage to get an apple? Wait, scratch that, that would have been me...

My forty-blip birthdays were much less exciting. Once in a while I'd do a cake. Once in a while mom would stick a candle into a Mr. Kipling Battenburg (informally known as "pink and white"), which was totally okay as when it comes to baking, I'm an experimental chef. That's a polite way to say crap. There's a technique to making a good cake. Something that I lack. But I can take heart that I live in an entire country full of people that regularly produce and eat cakes every bit as awful as some of my own. I'll save you the rant on how I miss a decent moist fluffy Victoria Sponge, suffice to say that sometimes as I got older my birthday treat would be to have a nice meal and piece of cake at a garden centre... every other Saturday. ☺
I kind of miss that.


Vaccination - an appointment

I now have a fixed time and date for my vaccination. Next Wednesday evening at ten past seven.
So I could have done Rennes next Tuesday after all, but I didn't know that then.
As for Rennes, they're predicting thunderstorms on Friday. Génial!


Lights and levels

I checked lights and levels of Caoimhe. I do the levels every two weeks (no problem so far) and the lights every month.

Of course, I had to get inventive when testing the brake lights...

Need to push that brake pedal
Need to push that brake pedal!


Fête d'Été (at work)

Work has put up a list for signing up to the summer fete on the final (half) day. Of course I'm not planning on going. And given how it was last year - I helped out in plonge (industrial washing up) and everybody stopped at half twelve, dumped a load of dirty stuff into plonge, and buggered off... I will probably be busy until gone one cleaning that mess up. Like last year. Only this time I think I'll grab my backpack, walk along the gallery to the offices up front, then quietly slip out the door where (hopefully) nobody will notice.
It's not that I'm wanting to be anti-social (although as an introvert, that's pretty much the default setting). It's that everybody was so big on "it's the holiday, hasta la vista baby!" that nobody, not one single person, even thought to offer to help. So the company owner who turned up for the meet-and-greet, the people who got flowers and some sort of gift for their retirement... I missed all of that. I was tidying up other people's messes. And that's not even my job, just one of the people who should have been doing it didn't bother to turn up. So, yeah, thanks.

This year the theme is "western". Uh...?
When one of the committee members told me about it, I said then that I'll have to come to work with a gun, riding a horse, wearing a leather hat, and walking bow-legged. I'm not a fan of westerns, so I pretty much ran out of tropes by that point, except to pick on the smallest and youngest looking girl in the room by saying that a bunch of the guys are going to get into a fight, and she'll stop it by smashing a bottle over somebody's head. She looked horrified and seemed to think I was being serious. Some of the others, who have actually seen a western or two, found it funny.
But, I swear to god, if they play Achey Breaky Heart and attempt line dancing, I'm leaving. I don't care if I'm in the middle of scraping chocolate gunk out of something important and I'm still wearing my work outfit, I'm bloody leaving. Ugh...
If you want to do country, at least stick with the classics - Glen Campbell, Garth Brooks, and Johnny Cash. And make sure the amplifier doesn't have an easily accessible Aux socket or I might be tempted to broaden their horizons a little. I'm thinking Yuve Yuve Yu by The HU might do the trick. And better yet, I think there's one girl that might even understand the lyrics. ☺

Here, enjoy.



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John, 16th June 2021, 23:17
Of course, I had to get inventive when testing the brake lights...  
I like to keep a hospital-issue crutch for that job - fully adjustable with the little poppy-button things!
David Pilling, 17th June 2021, 03:00
Brake lights - have something behind the car that is reflective.
Frank, 17th June 2021, 07:12
Discovered The HU only a couple of weeks ago - don't know how I managed to miss them, since they've been around for years. Been playing 'The Gereg' every day...
Gavin Wraith, 17th June 2021, 11:27
Happy birthday of yesterday. I am a dazed 82-year old. 
For testing brake lights I used a device called a Krooklok, which had I bought for my first car, a second-hand Mini, in 1963 which stayed with me the rest of my automotive life. For judging how far into my garage I should drive without bumping into anything, so that the garage doors would be closeable, I had a small furry troll, called Frungeworthy, suspended by a string from the garage ceiling, so that Frungeworthy's nose would just come into contact with the windscreen at the proper position.
Pieter, 18th June 2021, 04:37
I never liked the water and apple grabbing thing. The water was not clean either if you were not the first one to try. 
One of the good things for introverts here in Japan is that nobody insists if you do not (want to) celebrate your birthday.

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