Wow. It's already the middle of May... I'm struggling to come to terms with the idea that in just a few hours (on Wednesday, in fact), I will be turning 42. My God that sounds old. Yet it's strange, I don't necessarily FEEL particularly old (though Lord knows I look it).
I'm hoping my birthday will be a little less craptastic than last year. I mean, I know it's not going to be anything wild, but hopefully it won't leave me a jibbering wreck of misery, sobbing silently into my pillow so that my Dad could remain in blissful ignorance of my nightmare life... At least this year, the girls are aware of my upcoming birthday and even know what day it is, so that's a start. And, if my new worktop oven arrives tomorrow as it's supposed to, then I might even get a cake and candles this year...
With regards to presents, I've mainly bought myself stuff. First, I bought the aforementioned oven, but that's not exactly the gift that's going to make my eyes shine. It's more that the old one just died and I can't cope for long without an oven.
More excitingly (for me, anyway), I bought myself a small, white, metal table and two matching stools for the balcony (all very cheap from IKEA), so the girls and I can sit outside and have meals over the summer; I have also bought (but not yet received, oh, the suspense is killing me!) three potentially lovely things from Cath Kidston:
First of all, this adorable dress:
Yes, it's most likely the most expensive single item of clothing I've ever bought, but it looks adorable to me and I'm hoping it will succeed where so many other clothes have failed and make ME look adorable too.
Then I bought enough of this material to make a tablecloth and matching napkins for my new balcony table:
And, finally, I bought myself this stationery box set too, because I am weak and frivolous when it comes to a) Cath Kidston stuff b) Amazon and c) CK bargains on Amazon.
So, all in all, a pretty good set of presents. I'm very pleased! After that, I'm not bothered if I don't get any more gifts at all - even though I received two packages, one from my Dad and the other from one of my best friends, M, this morning. This birthday already feels better than last year's!
I've also been trying to get my act together: my Dad installed the wall lights that have been languishing in a cupboard for almost 2 years (D was a seriously unenthusiastic DIY guy), I installed the TV box thingamajig without a hitch, and I'm intending to get to work on clearing this place of D's stuff as soon as I have a minute to breathe. I think I'll feel better when all his stuff has gone, once and for all - clothes, books, papers, CDs, DVDs, all kinds of stuff. I want it all gone; that way, there'll be more space for tidying up the mess that has accumulated.
Being 41 wasn't a particularly happy time for me - one of the worst years of my life, to be honest - so I have hopes for 42. I'm trying not to be too optimistic (that's hardly in my nature now, is it?), but just a little, tiny bit hopeful.