New Years, filled with the possibility of starting a fresh, setting goals and intentions and kicking things off with birthday cake. It took me a long time to love and appreciate my birthday. When I was younger the possibility of a party was pretty non-existent and everyone had plans with their families over the festive period, when I got a little older I’d head into the middle of Edinburgh and watch the celebrations, drunken people stumbling and singing and everyone standing with red noses eager to count down the seconds to midnight. 3…2….1 it would hit and strangers would all hug while jumping up and down, some would wish me a happy birthday when they would hear Keith shout it to me one the crowds cheering, my Dad would always call me at midnight knowing I’d be in town celebrating before attempting to get a taxi and wishing I’d stayed home in the warmth with a cup of tea.
But as you grown and have kids, your birthday isn’t really yours anymore, is it? There’s no long lie or a relaxing cup of tea in bed, there’s no romantic meals over candle light. But there is a fun packed busy day and cake for breakfast and kids clambering into your bed and opening their little handmade cards with you. It’s a different kind of celebration. Now I get to spend a day with a handful of my best friends and drinking hot chocolate at the beach.
The beach is my most favourite place in the world. Every New Years Day our local spot becomes packed with people, everyone comes out to run the ‘loony dook’. Theres a countdown at 1pm and everyone runs into the freezing cold water, laughing and screaming to bring in the New Year. We brought a flask of hot chocolate with us and our favourite tin cups (cream and sprinkles too of course). We popped on boots and we joined in the celebrations with the rest of the city.
We sat cosy as we watched the kids find sticks to write their name in the sand, and run around collecting shells to make their castles pretty. We said hi to strangers and laughed at the dockers who shivered and ran up the beach trying to warm themselves back up with towels and cups of tea. Each of the kids wandered back and snuggled in for a cosy break and we all chatted about our plans and what we wanted to do this year.
It’s become a wee tradition and I am here for it, there isn’t a single way I’d rather spend my birthday.