Happy birthdays

Are such fun as we age.

Gone are the days of cards dropping through the letterbox, or here on the Iberian peninsula, appearing in an external mailbox.

No. One gets an email from one’s not so nearest and definitely not so dearest.

Making a flippant comment on someone else’s blog about being up early for my birthday, I immediately got a personalised visual greeting on there. Three others wished me birthday greetings on the same blog.

One also sent me an email with a lovely handmade personalised image.

These are all people I haven’t met, apart from on the blogosphere. But polite, friendly, and thoughtful.

Meanwhile … back in the real world … a friend sent a greeting at 12.20 am the day after (ie today). Technically late, but as he lives in the UK, not late in his world. It was chatty and fun and sent me happily off to sleep.

Today … my ‘best friend’ from university finally wrote. I’ve known her for thirty eight years.

Happy Birthday yesterday, darling. You were in my thoughts Wednesday evening and I didn’t want to send greetings too early then yesterday was one of those days when I didn’t get near a computer – you were in my thoughts though.

Ever heard of delayed emails sweetheart? Or maybe send an ecard, which can also be delayed. Still, I’m not sure of the level of her technological skills. Or, what about your iPhone darling?

My very first birthday greetings came from a great efriend who had managed to send me an ecard for the first few minutes of my birthday. How difficult was that?

Blah blah about ‘best friend’s’ exciting social life …

Then it was yummy lobster and crab for lunch, you’re probably bored with it in Gibraltar.

What? I’ve been vegetarian for nearly 30 years. She’s catered for me when I’ve stayed with her in London. There was no seafood. When they hosted a dinner at The Ivy (posh London restaurant, for non-Brits) we were the only vegetarians and had our own special, fairly vile, meal. Possibly deliberate? But anyway. Why would I suddenly be eating lobster and crab in Gib? which, I have to say, doesn’t seem to feature on Gib menus anyway.

Ah. Here we are. The Landing’s at Queensway Marina. Lobster Thermidor at a mere £28 a head. For those who are mathematically challenged that’s £56 for two.


No. I think not.

My dearest friend concluded with the usual desire to meet up:

Hope that your ankle is better by the time you are sixty as we will have to meet up then!

Gee thanks sweetheart. Kind of you to hope it takes another flipping four years before I can walk properly. And when I’m sixty, meeting up with you for lobster and crab is not high on my agenda.

Seriously, if people can’t send friendly emails as birthday greetings, why not just send a one liner, an ecard, a photo image like my creative friends send, just less is most definitely more. But digging yourself into a hole and leaving a bad (fishy) taste in someone’s mouth by sending a late and thoughtless greeting doesn’t serve anyone. Just send the greeting early next time. If there is a next time.


About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
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38 Responses to Happy birthdays

  1. It was your birthday yesterday?

    Happy (belated) Birthday! I would have wished you Feliz Cumpleaños yesterday instead of just posting a reply comment. 😦

    I really hope you had an enjoyable time of things. Did the dogs help you open any gifts?

    Liked by 1 person

    • But I wasn’t asking for greetings! although thanks. That’s the point, it’s not important that Internet/efriends feel they have to jump to it, even when they do. It’s just a pisser when someone I have known for so long comes up with such a crap email and feeble excuse and not for the first time either. Bah!

      It was a shit day all round 😀 but today was better, and, really, I’m too old for presents. The dogs just got even more treats than normal!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Tiribulus says:

    I would have known, I would have sent you a happy birthday 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. disperser says:

    Happy day after your birthday or, depending on the time differential, happy second day after your birthday. Or, wishing you a 364/363 early happy birthday for the next milestone.

    My birthday is not publicly advertised for specifically this reason.


    • Day after actually, still. Thanks. Better day today too. 364 isn’t it? Or 365? LY next year. More Olympics. They come round ever faster.

      Mine isn’t advertised either. I found the contrast between internet friends, who picked up on it, and didn’t make a fuss, interesting, compared with the belated email I received.

      It’s just another year, another day. Normally, we don’t do anything special. Ah, at this point I should say birthdayS, his is the day before. But we’ve always taken time off work, usually our annual holiday. This year, he’s been working nights! 😦 So it’s had the added bizarre quotient. Not here at night, asleep and/or tired grumpy during the day!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. violetwisp says:

    Did you just get, and accept, birthday greetings from Tiribulus? I feel like I’ve stepped into an alternative universe.

    I always send late and thoughtless greetings. I didn’t realise people care so much, it’s just a birthday.


    • Um, yes. So it would appear. And maybe I should be flattered by the Konan thing. Even though I don’t like cake. It was still sweet of him. In a crazy way. Did I accept? I don’t think I even said thanks 😦 I was still reeling in shock.

      Even to people you have known for two thirds of your life? Who you have lived with, worked with, studied with, left cooking dinner (as a guest) while going to shag in the bath, holidayed with etc etc etc. You’d still send late and thoughtless and forget they were vegetarian? Even you aren’t that bad. Are you?

      And I’ve had more of them than you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Somehow it would be preferable to me to have short email/messages several times during the year rather than a “Oh, I have to send greetings and what do I have to talk about as we have so few experiences in common now” birthday message.
    It could be worse – that sounds like a birthday greeting from my brother.
    (HRH RC Cat and Molly are on the phone with the German coordinating paw waves to you. Snowy will at some point bark for no reason to alert you their greetings are on the way.)
    Smiles and cheers sent from Staff and Half Staff

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, your first sentence sums it up (7). But to continue, it’s a sad sigh, er sign, or maybe sigh? when the only thing we do have in common is broken ankles!!

      Luckily, I have no sibs.

      Snowy did indeed bark for no apparent reason earlier. That must have been it. He was looking out of the window for the paw waves. Thanks to all three for that. And to S and SH.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. pinkagendist says:

    56? You’re a child. That’s a whole decade younger than Mike. When I was in my early 20’s I set 50 as the minimum age for people I wanted in my life. Before 50 most people are confused and/or annoying. Going from the desperation of youth to the desperation of the realization youth is over. You’ve managed to get through the years without the imbecility caused by those phases. That’s present enough, is it not?


    • If I’m a child, you’re un bébé. A spoilt one at that 😀 And, as a (spoilt) only child, I spent a lot of time in the company of older people ie my parents’ friends. School was in the local city and the children near me went to the local comprehensive *shudder*. And for the most part came from the nearby council estate. So it was a house of adults. One of my favourites once said, in all seriousness, ‘Katherine, we’d like to take you out to lunch next Sunday. You may bring your parents if you wish, but that’s your choice to decide’. I joined in my parents’ dinner parties, and when they went out socially during the day, they wouldn’t go if they couldn’t take me. It was as though I absorbed age by osmosis. Adjusting to younger people, ie those of my own age wasn’t the easiest. Or maybe that’s just an excuse for not suffering fools gladly. Which one of my employers wrote on a testimonial for me. I still have it somewhere.

      I’m sure I was imbecilic in my youth at some point. Probably with flair though.


  7. Sonel says:

    Yep! I know the feeling. LOL! One of the many reasons why I don’t advertise my birthday and then there are the ‘family’ that you never hear from, but funny enough, they must contact you on your birthday. Why, I don’t know. Guess they just want to hear if I haven’t died yet and then I disappoint them. 😛

    Sad about the friend of yours that forgot everything, especially the fact that you’re a vegetarian. Clearly she doesn’t even follow your blog, or she would have remembered that.

    Anyways, big hugs to you and the boys. What are they doing? ♥


    • Ha! Family. What’s that? It’s all a bit like school reunions isn’t it? If I haven’t stayed in touch with you, why would I want to meet you after all these years? If we liked each other enough, we’d have made the effort. I don’t attend reunions, in case you haven’t worked it out. Mm, next blog post maybe?

      Damn well hope she doesn’t follow my blog! I’ve slagged her off on here before now. I would have thought surely you would remember someone who is a PITA to cater for? Apparently not. But there again she delights in telling me about her ‘working’ dogs. They are cocker spaniels for hunting. And to someone who supported Hunt Saboteurs in the UK? As you can tell, our paths have diverged. Give me my internet friends 😉

      Boys are, sleeping, although the not-so-furry one has woken up and gone to the shops. Had a confrontation with Little One who vomited and didn’t want to relinquish it. Looked like a Hound of the Baskerville when he was snarling.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sonel says:

        Ha! You can ask that again! Don’t go to school reunions either. It’s just like Facebook where some of them want to brag about themselves.

        I totally agree. If you care for someone, you will stay in touch.

        hahahahaha! I am sure you would have heard from her if she did. LOL!

        Sounds like she’s changed for sure. She won’t fit in with us animal lovers for sure. We don’t let dogs ‘work’. Ours play and sleep with us.

        Mine also went to the shop. He is making pancakes for us today.

        Oh dear … hahaha. Wish I could have seen that. Not the vomit part though. LOL!


        • My mum’s family were really nice at my dad’s funeral. I refused to have a ‘do’ at the local pub, and insisted it would be family only at the house afterwards. They’d all travelled to make the funeral, and I didn’t want some ghastly smoky pub with potted meat sandwiches. I wanted a more intimate personal gathering. Mind you, after my mum died, never heard any more from any relatives.

          I was asked if I was going to a school reunion this year. I mean, I’m just going to put my life on hold, go back to the UK, for a Saturday lunch? Uh? I was more than happy to walk out of the door when I’d finished school. I’m not a believer in going back.

          I think Snowy would be a cracking working dog, as would Russel I guess. But killing animals for sport/fun? Oh. No. Extremely large NO.

          The H of the B was very apologetic afterwards, and came to both of us to check we still loved him 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sonel says:

            It always amazes me that people can do their ‘duty’ at funerals but they never keep in touch with the ones that’s still alive. That’s why I don’t go to funerals or weddings and people can think what they want to.

            I feel the same about school and it’s easy for the lot that live close-by to attend.

            I totally agree and I am sure they would, but I don’t like the idea.

            hahahah. I can imagine that little face. 😀

            Liked by 1 person

          • I can never work funerals out. Do you go for the dead or the living? Or not at all? or just a load of hypocrisy? Or in the case of funerals, money?

            Bah. It’s all over for me now fortunately. Well, apart from the dearest ones 😦

            Liked by 1 person

          • Sonel says:

            I could never figure that one out either. If you’re dead, you’re dead and there’s nothing but that body and you don’t see it anyways. Traditions and beliefs are scary.

            Same here and yes, the dearest ones are all that count. ♥

            Liked by 1 person

  8. “It’s not a call for greetings” – hard luck, you’re getting them anyway! Hahahaha.

    I’m lucky, in that I do get lots of paper cards, and lots of gifts actually, now I think of it. But I do put effort into sending them out myself, and enjoy doing so, because I have found even the grumpiest of friends, who ‘wants no fuss’ and complain about their age, all seem chuffed to bits when they are shown a bit of love in card form. I get emails too, and the thought is there…but it has neither the warmth or the feeling of genuine greeting about it in that form. An easy click.

    I’m glad I didn’t miss any letters out of that last sentence.

    – sonmi letting off party poppers and wheeling in an enormous vegan cake in the shape of a cock upon the Cloud


  9. Happy Belated Birthday roughseas! 🙂 ❤


  10. Growing apart from once dear friends never stops being awkward, does it? One of my most cherished friendships has been slowly dying the last few years. There is a strange mix of apathy and sadness that I haven’t been able to shake yet.

    As someone who has only celebrated birthdays as an adult, I’m surprised by how disappointing they tend to be.

    I won’t wish you an even more belated birthday, but I will say that I am very happy you were born. You make the world a more honest, interesting place. I hope your next birthday is more enjoyable. 🙂


    • I think there is a reluctance to let go because of all the years, and what once was. And to be fair, I have a standing invitation to stay with all my university friends (well all four) when I visit London. Certainly more than I have with any remaining family. So, even I’m reluctant to cut it dead. When I visited one friend last time we sat on the sofa together looking at a photo album. His wife was looking daggers, but there was just such an easy empathy with him. Our relationships change, but the fact we shared our formative university years is a strong bond. More recent friends have come and gone. Both virtual and IRL.

      We’ve tried to make our birthdays special as they are on consecutive days. It doesn’t necessarily mean presents and eating out, but spending those two days together. Because he’s been working nights this week, we’re really having a delayed birthweekend 🙂 Today has been good, and fingers crossed tomorrow will be too.

      That’s a lovely sentiment. Thank you so much Madalyn.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. EllaDee says:

    What can I say? I hope your birthdays were the best they could be. Sometimes birthdays happen that way. As for other people, if they remember it’s nice but I can take or leave the rote greetings… and definitely Facebook reminders… OMG… are not on my agenda.


    • It was one of those weeks. Sometimes it happens like that. We’ve had better, but at least we’re still here to laugh and chat about it. Thanks though. At least GO had a good one 🙂


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