It was my birthday on Friday. I’m not forty yet. That’s all you need to know about that. Here are some things that happened on or around my birthday though, which combined to make it an excellent weekend.
Presents! Presents make birthdays awesomeballs!
From Eva I received a volume of the complete Chronicles of Narnia, of which I read and reread three books when I was a kid but never the rest. I mentioned this in passing while watching the movies a month or so ago, and am surprised and delighted that this information was stored away and has materialised in bound form.
From Kirsty, I received a bike. After the marathon, I want to expand my fitness a bit, including some experiments in cycling. A starter bike with some gears was requested in this spirit. Nothing fancy or expensive – I might not take to it at all – but something to hit the road on occasionally while I’m in India, and to upgrade from if I’m still keen when I eventually go back to the UK.
And behold – the Dominator! It says Dominator on the side, and my ladywife is certain this is its name. I disagree, and am treating the word in the spirit of a tattoo it probably acquired on a misadvised night on the town, and now regrets. To my ladywife’s possible chagrin, I have named him Bikey. I’ll leave it until February before Bikey and I venture out and about, but I’ve taken him for a quick spin. It felt good. I think Bikey and I are going to get on just fine.
The rest of my birthday was, after some dayjobbery nonsense, very pleasant. Nothing hectic, but the ladies took for me dinner at one of our favourite restaurants, and it was relaxing and fun.
As I’ve mentioned, my novel Thy Fearful Symmetry has been this week’s read over at Indie Books R Us. This meant that it was reviewed, by the very charming Marisol Dunham, just before my birthday – and she really liked it. Go and read what she thought (an excellent way to step into my not fortieth year). Yesterday, she also put up an interview that we did while I was in Thailand over New Year. Because she had read the book already, she was able to avoid stock questions, and ask about things that mattered. Want to know why I like a good apocalypse, which characters were easiest or hardest to write, what my favorite bit of the book was, or (and I’ve read emails from several of you about this very question) whether there will be a sequel? You can find out here.
I went for a three mile run today, after a week of Asian BirdManFlu. Felt weak as a kitten, and then had to duck into public toilets halfway round to throw up a gutful of mucus. This does not bode well for the Mumbai marathon next Sunday, although it certainly bodes. Oh yes. it bodes all over the place.
There’s no pulling out now though. On Friday I made a last appeal for donations (every penny of which goes to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity). At that point, the total was close to £2000, and I was hoping you’d round it up to that figure. As you can see, you helped do a little bit more than that. Thank you to everybody who has put in – obviously, there’s still time to do so if you wish.
Your support has been a genuine delight. I’m something of a cynic about human nature, and when the team decided the goal for sponsorship was to be £3500 I thought that was about two and a half times what people would give. Instead, as we head into the last week, people have shown remarkable generosity. it means that as well as being a personal challenge for all of us who are running, the Mumbai marathon means a little bit more to people we’ll never meet, but who are going to benefit from your willingness to help. Again, thank you.
Currently reading (novel): Faction Paradox: Of The City Of The Saved, Philip Purser-Hallard
Currently reading (novel): Ten Little Aliens, Stephen Cole
Currently reading (non-fiction): Richard III and the Murder In the Tower, Peter A. Hancock