Back in 2003, my good friend Sophie and I spent out 21st birthdays in Querétaro, Mexico, where we managed to blag our way into the backstage area of a nightclub with a band that was performing, after the club owner took a shine to us and even offered me a job. The party involved copious amounts of rum, some private guitar renditions by the band and a 7am walk of shame back to our hostel in blazing sunlight.
Fast forward to 2012 and Sophie and I decided to have a low-key, slightly more sober, daytime affair, commencing at 3pm at Bar Story in the heart of London’s Peckham Rye, due to us being Very Old now, and due to me trying to preserve my good health in the run up to chemotherapy. After all the fuss and palaver made by the Olympic Organising Committee about transport mayhem during the Games, it turns out that everyone chose to stay indoors this weekend and London descended into an eerie silence, so my loved ones were able to come from far and wide to make it to our double whammy cancer-survival 30th celebration.
Sophie, Saz and I kicked off the birthday celebrations yesterday morning with a brunch of scrambled eggs and bacon in one of Peckham’s many cafés, finishing off with some Cappuccino, Red Velvet and Banana and Maple Syrup-flavoured cupcakes for good measure. (It is, of course, imperative that I keep up my strengths before chemo club commences). We then pitched up in the beer garden of Bar Story for the rest of the afternoon and evening.
I had resigned myself to only being allowed three alcoholic drinks over the course of the evening to prevent myself from getting run down before the chemo, so it threw me slightly off course when a Secret Admirer, later revealed but who shall remain anonymous for the purpose of adding mystery and thrill to this blog, called up the bar and left a gift of champagne in lieu of his non-attendance. Said champagne was gratefully consumed, though not all by myself, and I was safely drinking cups of tea by 10:30pm.
The title of the post is not entirely true to life, but a tear did come to the purple-feather-eyelashed Pricey eye when Sophe did a heart-rending speech, toasting many more milestones celebrated together in good health. A very lovely lady named Nina provided a delicious home-made chocolate cake, and you can probably take a good guess at what I/we wished for when we blew out the candles.
As Bar Story shut at 10:30pm, we were turfed out and forced to head to a curious rave inside a theatre, which was actually exquisitely wonderful and had me dancing to such tunes as an I Will Survive remix, which seemed fitting for the occasion. Not ones to repeat the 21st birthday all-night extravaganza, we were all back home in bed not long after midnight, as this is what one does when one turns 30 and is trying to maintain 100% good health before chemotherapy. But not before we sighted a UFO from Sophie’s doorstep, which is obviously a common occurrence in Peckham as it failed to feature in the national news today.
Apart from the obvious thanking of all my amazing friends and family who turned up for my birthday event in an obscure part of London, I would also like to thank my mother, for providing my footwear for the occasion. I don’t think she ever imagined when she bought these coral heels for my brother’s wedding in 2009, that her daughter would end up adopting them indefinitely and wearing them for future weddings, parties and nights out in 2011, 2012 and beyond. Thank you Mum, thank you Sophie, and thank you to everyone for my amazing presents, most of which I haven’t opened yet because it is not yet my birthday, and therefore more of this at a later date. Happy birthday, Sophe – here’s to many more decades of birthday celebrations!