In recent years I have designated my birthday and the days either side of it as my birthday-tide. A merging of several distinct days into one celebratory time outside time.
I have become able to break down my birthday-tide into the following distinct feast days.
– My actual birth date, which I generally spend privately with whatever family I have available.
The time is spent eating, picnicking, getting gifts, it’s summer so its usually out somewhere country-ish.
– Another day is spent on my Personal birthday. A day I set aside to do whatever I want. I’ll invite friends if I think they’d be interested in my plan. Or not if I don’t want.
I see this as my annual day of reckoning, Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape, but without the audio-jiggery-pokery and with the possibility of a party thrown in. One year I did a day trip to Margate, another I visited The Triangular Lodge in Northamptonshire. One year I climbed a hilltop to Julian’s Bower Labyrinth, spectacularly overlooking the confluence of the Trent and the Humber.
– Finally there is Lammas Eve, which always falls after or between the other two days of birthday-tide. In this way my life cycle is tied into the yearly cycle of the eight-fold wheel of the Year, and maintains continuity and movement. The chance to return back, if not to the beginning, then at least to the familiar, the same however slightly changed.
Then, of course then there is my facebook birthday. Which is another tale entirely and only came about because I stupidly typed 6666 when fb asked for my date of birth.