Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Birthdays Away

Tash, Pauline and I on my last birthday.
Can you tell I'm becoming slightly obsessed with
adding aparkly bits to my phoros?

Back home I love all the traditions that have come from celebrating my birthday. Especially as it's my mum's birthday the day after, so we tend to try and spend the day together in one big celebration. First of all, I always take the day off work if I can. Last year I took my birthday off, along with the 2 and a half weeks that followed it, getting well and truly into the Christmas spirit...not bad!

My birthday day is always filled with waking up to open presents, having breakfast with family and usually there is an M&S birthday cake on the menu. Then it's going out and trying to find something to wear for the night time, whether it's a work Christmas do, a Roller Derby shindig or meeting up with friends. Every shop, cafe and bar is completely swathed in Christmas decorations and it's such a nice time of year to celebrate. I love that no matter what pub we go to for lunch there's usually a roaring fire, a big Christmas tree and lots of tipsy office workers in wonky hats trying to act sober in front of their boss. You can't help but be in a good mood.

Then it's rushing home in time for far away friends to arrive, so I can pick them up from Sheffield train station that's usually decorated in lots of lights, and then the tomfoolery begins.

Last year I had one of the best birthdays that I can remember, it fell on the roller derby team's Christmas Fundraiser, there were fish net stockings, candy kane themed outfits, burlesque and lots of cake. The highlight of the night was the lovely DJ  Rex Everything turning his back for one second, just long enough for Tasha to hi-jack his equipment and put on All I Want for Christmas by Mariah Carey. Even the most tough ladies on the team had a good dance.

This year, however, I'm really far from home and I've tried not to think too hard about what I would usually be doing. I have work today, but luckily have tomorrow off due to election day. I'm miles from the family I usually have breakfast with and my mum who would usually be raring to chase down a cream tea after a pub lunch. BUT although it's proving to be different, it's not been bad so far.

I had a few nice emails from home to wake up to, an especially early email from Clare who was slightly concerned that no one else had wished me happy birthday, until she realised the time difference with her being in China, a skype call from my dad and step mum and a little sing song, be it slightly off tune, from Nick, all before work.

When I got here the teachers had bought us gifts (Tasha got a pity gift) and an amazing Paris Baguette coffee cake with macarons on top. Delicious!

And now I'm looking forward to going home, opening my presents, and spending the night with new friends. I've booked a party room in Seomyeon that has a jacuzzi, karaoke and games room, something that I would never have done at home. Judging by Nick's rendition of Happy Birthday earlier, I'm hoping someone is strong enough to restrain him when we don't let him have the mic.

But although I miss the festive cheer from England, and keep thinking about all the little things that did make my birthday at home feel special, I'm also looking forward to doing things a bit differently this time. On hold with the old, in with the new.

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