Because I was going away for my birthday week (birthday is tomorrow), my friend Hazel encouraged me to have a pre-birthday gathering of some description. Being the antisocial nerd creature that I am, I wasn't intending to have any sort of birthday party at all - I tend to get over-excited in the weeks prior to any special event and start organising something over-the-top involving copious amounts of alcohol and then remember at the last second that 1) I am shy and 2) I hate organising things. Corralling people is not a skill of mine.
So this year I had mostly made up my mind to opt out of the whole party shindig, but when Hazel suggested I do a thing I remembered that I quite like bowling, so we did that. A whole bunch of my friends turned up; there were presents, we had cake, and lost all dignity by asking for the kiddie bumpers to be put up on our lanes. It was a great night. I felt loved.
Also, it was especially important in the end to get errybody together because my friend Jade, otherwise known as the queen of my heart, is moving to America for a year to work as an au pair, and I am going to miss her terribly. (She gave me Studio Ghibli postcards and a Star Wars doodle book as birthday presents. And wrapped up a book I had lent her and gave it back to me. This is a friendship I cannot afford to lose.)
Many thanks to everyone who came along to celebrate with me. You are all much-loved. <3
(Jade is in the top right corner, pictured front and centre. Hazel is same photo on the far left.)