On birthdays …

So, once again I have fallen off the blogging wagon. In fairness, I’ve always been more of a reader than a writer. Given the choice each evening of turning on the computer and being creative, or turning to my couch with a good novel … I inevitably choose the latter every time. But I find myself currently sitting at the computer with little to do and so I felt I ought to let you all know I’m still alive and well! I’m off to South Africa again next week, and those of you who read my friend Ger’s blog will know this safari is for a bit of an occasion. Both Ger and I will be celebrating our birthdays, and for me it’s a bit of a milestone being my 40th! So, taking inspiration from Ger’s last post, I’ve been reflecting on past birthdays.

To be honest, I’ve never been one for the big party and huge fuss. I don’t like being the centre of attention and, oddly enough, I don’t like cake. It made birthdays pretty easy for my parents when I was a kid. Small group of friends, lollies rather than cake. What I do like though? Presents! I love the whole process of giving and receiving gifts. I go to great pains to make sure presents are beautifully wrapped, with swirls of ribbon and a card with heartfelt sentiments inside. And what is better than a gift which is a surprise?! Whether giving or receiving, that anticipation of revealing the unknown is exquisite to me. As much as I love the whole gift thing though, I’m not necessarily the best at choosing good ones for others! But back to the birthdays … I can only remember three childhood birthdays. My first birthday (okay, I don’t actually remember this one but I’m going on family tales), my cousin Kate & I didn’t eat the cake, we opted to crawl through it instead. Showing my distaste for the stuff at an early age lol. My fourth birthday, I asked for a figure 8 as a cake. Because, hello, racing car track! And my 13th, which was a fancy dress party with a mini mouse cake. I remember the cake because I went snooping and found it stored in a freezer in our backyard. Being of a curious nature, I stuck my head in the freezer to get a better look and made a discovery. A head full of hair spray will get stuck to the ice inside the freezer. And it’s a nightmare to get it unstuck without tearing your hair out. Word to the wise, people.

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Because everyone has a number 8 cake on their 4th birthday

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Me, on my 5th birthday πŸ™‚ 
And those are pretty much the only childhood birthdays I remember. My 16th is best forgotten, my 18th was at a Greek restaurant my next door neighbours’ owned, and my 21st? Dinner at a French restaurant with friends and family, followed by some dancing and drinking at my favourite nightclub at the time. I also remember my 21st for the outfit I wore. I wanted a gorgeous red dress and agreed to leave it to the then boyfriend to purchase it. Big mistake. Huge. I ended up with an ankle length, slinky, shiny, satin gown. WTF? But being polite, I wore that hideous dress rather than hurt his feelings. Okay, not quite all night … I changed into the standard little black dress before hitting the club πŸ˜‰

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The 21st … and that dress
My birthdays in the years since then have passed by quietly and have been largely unremarkable. Typically, I don’t even bother planning a dinner with friends or family. Usually, it’s just another night at home. But there are exceptions. My first birthday spent overseas was in 2001, visiting with my then new boyfriend’s family on the Wirral peninsula in England. Since then I’ve had a birthday in Hoi An, my favourite Vietnamese city, and last year in Krakow. Last year’s celebrations were amazing – dinner, drinks, and dancing in a beautiful Polish city with a fantastic group of new friends met on my travels. There are photos and videos of the dancing, but you all know the rules … what happens on tour stays on tour. The best birthday to date though is an easy one. In 2008 I spent my birthday camping with the Bedouin in the spectacular desert at Wadi Rum. Honestly, what an incredible experience in a breathtakingly beautiful environment. It will be difficult for anything to beat that. But we shall see … this upcoming 40th spent on safari in the Timbavati promises to be a wonderful trip. An epic safari, for a milestone birthday, spent with a great travel companion … does it get better?

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Sunset over Wadi Rum and another birthday over

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The view from my Bedouin camp

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Krakow 2016 – and the beginning of the celebrations πŸ™‚ 

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28 thoughts on “On birthdays …”

  1. Wow!!
    Many congratulations on hitting the 40th mark. From what I’m guessing, and correct me please if I’m wrong, you are enjoying your adulthood birthdays more than your childhood birthdays.
    That Wadi Rum snap is definitely majestic πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you, Hammad! I’m certainly enjoying my adult birthdays, at least the ones I’ve been away for. I wouldn’t say I didn’t enjoy childhood birthdays, just more that I don’t really remember them anymore. Too many years have passed.
      Wadi Run was certainly majestic though πŸ˜€

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  2. You are sooooo pretty Kim. And I think the red dress looked gorgeous on you.
    Have a spectacular birthday – both you and Ger. When is yours btw?
    Hugs❀️❀️

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    1. Aww thanks Natasha, that’s such a lovely thing to say! I’m sure it’ll be a fantastic birthday, for both of us. It’s been over a year since we booked it so I’m more than ready to go! Hopefully there will be lots of photos & some interesting stories out of it! πŸ˜€ xx

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  3. This is a fun and reflective post, Kim. I think I remember you writing about the Krakow one last year. Darn… has it been a year already? Love the photos and the little peeks into your life at a younger age. You’ve always been of the adventurous kind, it seems like. The best birthdays are the ones spent abroad!! Enjoy your 40th. It will be epic!!

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    1. Thank you, Liesbet! I did write about KrakΓ³w back in April, you have a good memory! I think you’re right, that spirit of adventure has always been there. It’s fuelled by my sense of curiosity and a desire to always been learning or discovering, I think. This trip for my 40th promises to great though!! πŸ˜€

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  4. Welcome back, Kim! I absolutely loved this post, Kim! You looked so cute on your 5th birthday! And quite shy on your 21st (red satin dress). I don’t remember have exceptional birthday celebrations and I can’t remember having done anything special on any birthday. Maybe, I need to change that soon. You’re turning 40! I’ll be there in a couple of years. That’s a big milestone or as my parents say: age is just a number. I wish I could join you on your trip to South Africa! I love your wildlife pics. I loved Vietnam. Couldn’t go to Hoi An or Danang. 😦 I’m going to wish you a very happy birthday (in advance) and may the travel gods shower their blessings on you! lol..

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    1. Thanks so much, my friend! I really hate having my photo taken so that probably explains the expression on my face in that 21st photo! That was my “hurry up & take the photo” face. πŸ˜‚
      I think I’ve picked the perfect trip for my 40th, I’ve been looking forward to this for over a year!!
      Ohhh that’s such a shame you missed Hoi An. It’s my favourite spot in Vietnam. But I’m so glad you loved your trip. I’d love to go back to Vietnam. Such a beautiful place & the food is amazing!! Hey, maybe one day we can join up and do a safari in Africa together? You never know!
      Thank you for the birthday wishes. Stay tuned for the thousands of photos!

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      1. So do I, Kim! Your expression is better than mine in most of my pictures. πŸ™‚
        “Hey, maybe one day we can join up and do a safari in Africa together? You never know!” I’d absolutely love to! I wish I could come with you! Will wait for your pictures…We’re off to Mongolia quite soon. I’m super excited! πŸ™‚

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      2. It was on mine for more than a year! We’re leaving in two weeks time. πŸ™‚ Not more than 10 days though cos Basil can’t get leave for longer. But, I’m not complaining. I’m so happy to just go!

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  5. Happy birthday, Kim! I hope you have here in South Africa. I would have loved to meet you but maybe that’s strange since we only know each other online. πŸ˜† Coincidentally, I am on leave this week. If you’re in Joburg first and you’d like to meet up, let me know. I can mail you my number. ☺ I love near Sandton City, if you’re booked anywhere near the centre; Fourways, to be more precise.
    Awesome reflective post and great pics! Thanks for sharing with us. I used to love birthdays. I celebrated being 30 for 8 years (till I turned 37 in real life). Haha. Then I stopped celebrating even after considering a big party for my 45th this year.

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    1. Haha! 30 for 8 years! I love it lol. Have you decided to do anything for your 45th?
      It would be lovely to meet up! However, I’m only stopping briefly in Jo’burg and will just be at the airport really, not venturing near Sandton on this occasion. But I have no doubts I’ll be back in South Africa in future πŸ˜€

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      1. The 45th came and went and if it wasn’t for my friend and business partner, there wouldn’t have been dinner either. Haha!
        Ah, pity! Next time. I hope you come back soon (although you haven’t even arrived, haha).

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