Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Don't mention the birthday

It's over and I'm glad for it. My birthday, that is. About a decade ago, I stopped 'celebrating' it and informed everyone that I don't want presents. Not for any particular reason, I just didn't feel like it anymore. Everyone listened. Well, almost everyone. My friend Piddi, though, had to bring me a present -- she always does, no matter how much I complain. Luckily, she knows me rather well, and therefore makes me smile when I unwrap the surprise. This year, I shocked her a little when I saw what she did for me, because I couldn't hold back the tears.

For about three years we were talking about Chinese signs, something I wanted to have to remind me every day, and since Piddi loves etching, it was worth a shot. A little too complicated as she now told me, but that didn't keep her from trying. She knew what I wanted to express and did a wonderful picture with beautiful calligraphy. Each sign has an individual meaning as well as one together and she wrote the explanation on the back. I was totally overwhelmed as knew it was something she put a lot of thought, time, love and effort into, she had learned Chinese many years ago and wanted it to be perfect. I guess I cannot tell you how much this picture means to me. When my tears started to roll and I gasped for air, she had a vague idea. It'll have a special place where I'll always see it and some day -- when bravery takes me on the hand -- I'll have it tattooed.

But don't you think it ended there. She had the 'order' to bring liquorice and plenty of it. I love that stuff and it's difficult to get some decent ones here. Oh and a chocolate bar I have failed to get in the UK, too. Add the delicious spicy truffles (her idea), job done.
However, she got a present, too. A while ago, I saw a shirt I thought would look great on Piddi, so I bought it for her as a surprise. It fit perfectly and she loved it. Plus a huge packet of Lady grey, as she can't get it in Germany. Those presents, I find, are the best: something you stumble upon and will make a dear one smile. Nothing better than packing a parcel with goodies, having a big grin on your face, knowing that it'll cause shrieks of excitement on the other end. Love it!

We had a great time despite the rain; we made the best of the situation. I love having her here, it's always a good reason to do things I normally don't do, like sitting in the sun after a beer, wine or gin tonic filled night and stuff your face with a good ol' English breakfast. Delicious. We also met up with my good friends John and Bobby as Piddi and John didn't know each other yet. As expected, they got on really well. We laughed so hard that evening, the next day our voices were gone. Not that it mattered, as we went to the theatre to see a great play which caused a lot of giggles in the back row (where we sat). Between the rain and some sunshine we went to the roof, to the Tate and even did a little cycling tour today.

Ah and something else: somehow we decided I have to do a gig as a stand-up comedian and even worked out the opening 'gag', which had us laughing for minutes. So beware, there might be a good possibility for my pestering you on stage, too.

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