May 8 is my birthday. Happy Birthday to me! Many famous people were born on this best day of the year:

  • David Attenborough – British naturalist who is 87 today;
  • Enrique Iglesias – Spanish singing hunk;
  • Kevin McCloud – British designer and thinking woman’s sex symbol who presents Grand Designs;
  • Sid James – British comedian who had me in stitches with the Carry On films as I was growing up;
  • Naomi Klein – Canadian author of the great book, No Logo;
  • Harry S. Truman – 33rd US President; and
  • Edward Gibbon – Historian (Decline & Fall of Roman Empire).

And, of course, ME. May 8 was also Victory in Europe Day in 1945 – a public holiday to commemorate the surrender of Nazi Germany. So naturally I consider May 8 the very best day of the calendar year. It’s also an even number, which I favour!

My French colleague in Rome was first to wish me a happy birthday and sent me a great birthday present from La Réunion where she is currently holidaying. It arrived a few days ago and I had to laugh. I’ve told you about Nivea Natural Oil, which I discovered whilst living in Rome. Because I couldn’t read Italian, I thought it was an oil for dry skin and used it that way for months. Then my colleague and I had to go to Stockholm together for work and I found the English version of the product there – only to discover it’s a shower gel. I’ve used it this way but it’s pretty ordinary, so I went back to using it as an oil for dry skin. LOVE.

I bought two more recently in South Africa and, when I opened the birthday package, another two fell out. Plus, she sent me two horse-shaped metal hooks to hang keys. The accompanying card was a great affirmation – we are very good friends and I hope to work with her again someday.

Then a package arrived from Bangkok from my Thai sis, Lalida. She showed me a photo a month or so ago of a decoupage wallet she did. The wallet was festooned with cute sheep and I told her it was lovely. Little did I know she had made it for me. She also sent some Zsiska earrings. This design company was set up by Dutch designer, Siska Schippers, who moved to Thailand in the 1990s. I love the bold, quirky stuff Zsiska produces and have quite a collection now.

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