My birthday dawned sunny and beautiful. It was nice to wake up to sunlight instead of darkness. Remarkably, dedicated food fan Clyde let me sleep in, his little gift to me. Of course there was the usual Cat Care™ after I got up, but there was also time to take coffee back to bed while I listened to the birds singing and watched the wind ruffling the trees outside my bedroom window. It was really nice to have an obligation-free day.

Dinner was BBQ from a local hostelry. It was supposed to have macaroni and cheese and slaw, but arrived with beans and what may have been some kind of slaw. It seemed mostly like salad with some cabbage in it. The ribs were good, though I actually prefer the ones I make, with a dry rub and tangy Carolina style sauce. I have been on a bit of a roll in the kitchen lately and I am sorry to say that I often like what I make more than what I can buy, a disappointment to my secretly lazy nature.

Still, it was nice to have dinner made by someone else, and the cats and I settled in on the couch to watch an excellent print of Sunset Boulevard with some sparkling wine at hand. For me, not the cats. I have seen it before, but it struck me on this viewing how it’s so much about forbidden love – Norma’s for Joe, Joe’s for Betty (and vice versa), even Max’s for Norma. We all enjoyed the movie in its glorious black and white.

The next day, I had a leisurely morning – not quite as glamorous as the late Princess Margaret’s usual morning ritual – and then went out to the Village, where I got a fabulous pizza for dinner and stopped by the farmers’ market. It’s still early in the season, but I got some Itachi cucumbers, blueberries, and a loaf of sourdough bread.

There were lots of presents this year, including a red begonia, a bouquet of wildflowers, chocolate, and a gift certificate to the local bookshop, which has already been spent. It was a happy birthday.

A YEAR AGO: Unpacking in the middle of the night. Never fun at any time.

FIVE YEARS AGO: Working at working.

FIFTEEN YEARS AGO: I’m really sorry the photos have been lost on this post. The trauma cake was amazing and I’d love to see the photo of me with baby Jessica. Sigh.

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