I had completely forgotten that the 25th was my ex-husband's birthday - and of course there's no reason why I should remember, except it's one of those dates that sticks in my mind. Birthdays have always been tricky where he was concerned. After he left me (for my secretary) I was regularly shouted at for not reminding the children about her birthday (why would I do that?), and his behaviour around his own childrens' birthdays was just awful. He would turn up on the day, when they were really excited, and pretend that he had forgotten. He would say "Oh, is it your birthday? Should I have brought you something?" By the time he had said these words, it was too late. Birthday spoiled. And I can remember every year feeling extreme pain when I saw their little excited faces fall. Never mind that he did bring something - and that he hadn't really forgotten - it was too late to recapture that excitement. He must have thought it was a good joke, because he repeated it year after year. And I hated it every time. The effect, particularly on Son, has been long-lasting and horrid. To this day, when I ask him what he wants for his birthday he says "Oh Nothing." He just doesn't want to allow himself to get excited about something that might not happen. I could kill that insensitive pratt for creating such everlasting disappointment. Daughter is not as bad, but still won't talk to her father about birthdays, presents or money. She just says "Mum, it's not worth it." Bless her heart, and what an idiot he is to have created such unhappiness around what should be a fun time. It was all about money for him - and keeping most of it for himself. Surely to give, particularly to your own children, is one of the joys of life? And if birthdays are a chance to spoil them a bit, I'm all for it. I would make a very good rich person, because my children, and all my friends, would have a lovely time.
Car has been MOT'd, and only needed something done to a brake cable. Just £113 later and I'm safe, legal and ready for the open road to Cornwall. I'm about to start ironing clean clothes (Son always says "why?" - he never irons anything) and packing them. I've found my lovely new/old, grey Joseph jumper (courtesy of Sister's movie contact) and I'm beginning to feel 'demob' happy. (For those of you too young to remember, when blokes of my Dad's generation were finally coming out of the forces after the Second World War, they were said to be "demobbed" - I guess it's short for demobilised - and were very happy indeed to be going home after maybe five or seven years!) Anyway, another piece of useless information from my past..
Last night Gay Friend came round for supper and we watched a video afterwards. We have decided to have regular movie evenings, especially since you can now pick up good videos at a Car Boot really cheaply - the last lot were 3 for £1. Our choice for last night was "Get Shorty" - full of casual violence and irony. A black-humorous look at L.A. life and the movie business, with John Travolta and Danny de Vito - plus Bette Midler who is always wonderful. Most enjoyable. We shared a box of chocs and had a lovely evening.
I also have a new haircut to take to Cornwall, which is rather smart (the haircut, not Cornwall). I always feel in need of a shorter, smarter look for Winter - to go with the smart Winter clothes I wish I could afford. Still, the haircut gets me half way there...