Today is my 50th birthday. I was inflicted on the world on Sunday, March 1st 1959, at three a.m. on the dot. I was a week premature, born dozy and drugged up to the eyeballs, and spent most of my first few days in an incubator. This circumstance I must have found congenial, because ever since then I have tried to make of every place I have lived a hideaway that excludes the world in so far as it can be excluded. (The best part of every day is getting home and closing the door.) The sun is in Pisces, and us natives are usually characterised as unambitious and unworldly solipsists with a fondness for the bottle. In my case this is spot on. I have just been looking on the net and found that we are also ‘imaginative and sensitive, compassionate and kind, selfless and unworldly, intuitive and sympathetic’ and generally fey and mimsy collectors of shells and pebbles, burners of joss-sticks and scented candles, too fragile for this world. We are supposed to have ‘a catlike appreciation of luxury and pleasure’, which is certainly true of me – give me a sandalwood-scented divan piled with Indian cushions over a bracing country walk any Sunday of the month. Likewise I’ll take a raga over a brass band, lights-out over reveille and vanilla over BDSM. There’s some gross-out stuff here too: ‘Pisces governs the feet, liver and lymphatics, and its subjects can be threatened by anaemia, boils, ulcers and other skin diseases, especially inflammation of the eyelids, gout, and foot disorders.’ Yeuch.
Kiddies’ books in my childhood often used to have this little rhyme in them:
Monday's child is fair of face.
Tuesday's child is full of grace.
Wednesday's child is full of woe.
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving.
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath Day
Is bonny and blithe and good and gay.
Well, I was a Sunday child, and the ‘good and gay’ bit is accurate at least. I wonder if this might also explain my lifelong hatred of Sunday, that day with its interminable afternoon when your mind (or mine, anyway) starts to feel like a dusty old frock in a musty trunk in a gloomy attic… Anyway today won’t be too Sunday-ish as I am going out this evening with friends for dinner, so Happy Birthday to me.