Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy Birthday, Josh!

Today was Josh's birthday.  Yesterday morning I was reading the book I got at the American Women's Club meeting on Tuesday, and one thing in particular caught my eye.  "On your birthday, it is customary to bring treats for everyone in your department."  Uh oh.  Even if I went out and bought treats for Josh to take to work, how was he going to transport them there on his bike?  Anything he brought with him would end up a squashed mess by the time he got to the office.

Fortunately, I had his assistant's email address, so I sent her an email asking if this was indeed the custom.  She confirmed that it was -- although even she thought it was odd that people were expected to provide their own birthday treats -- and offered to pick something up at M&S if I could give her some suggestions on what Josh would like.  I gratefully accepted the offer and promised to send reimbursement in with Josh the next day. 

Since Josh ended up working late last night, he slept in this morning and went in a couple hours later than usual.  That was probably a treat in and of itself, since he's usually heading out the door at 7 am, which is half an hour later than he used to wake up for his previous job.  He called me this afternoon to let me know that not only was there copious amounts of cake, but someone had decorated his office, and nearly everyone he walked past wished him a happy birthday.  Excellent!

When he got home from work, we went out to dinner at a local restaurant near our house.  There are nicer restaurants up in Wimbledon Village, but we didn't want to compete with the hordes of tennis fans for a table, so we'll have to save those until after the tournament ends.  After dinner, I gave Josh the birthday cards that had come in the mail (from his mom and my sister) and his gift from me:  an iPad 2!  They are much more expensive here, so I ordered it online in the US and had it shipped to Ben, who brought it with him when he and Laska visited a couple weeks ago.  (Thanks, Ben & Laska!)  Josh isn't allowed to bring his work computer with him when he travels, so he lugs my old MacBook around to check email and access the Web.  Now he can leave the laptop and just bring the iPad.

Josh hasn't had much of a chance to play with the iPad yet as he had a ton of emails, Facebook posts, and phone messages to respond to.  We also had a fun Skype session with our friends the Nelsons, whose youngest daughter just turned one.  All three girls were in a celebratory mood, some of which could probably be attributed to the birthday balloons and cake in their house, which they pretended were for Josh.  It's always a treat to Skype with friends and family, and the two older girls made it especially entertaining by putting on a little song-and-dance performance for us.   Hilarious!  

Overall, I think it was a pretty good birthday for Josh, despite being so far away from everyone.   Saturday we are planning to do a walk out in the country, and Sunday we are likely to attend an Independence Day celebration with a bunch of other American expats.  After celebrating the 4th in DC for the past 15 years with the crowds and huge fireworks display, it's going to be strange to spend it in a country that goes out of their way to ignore it.  Someone told Josh they call it "Good Riddance Day" in the UK.  There's going to be a huge Canada Day celebration in Trafalgar Square tomorrow, but the 4th of July is just another day here in London.


  1. Well, when in the Dominion, celebrate Canada Day! Any excuse for fireworks! I'm glad Josh had a good birthday and that my card arrived in time!

  2. I told Josh the tradition of the birthday boy/girl being responsible for bringing cake in reminds me of being in elementary school, when we always bought in birthday treats for our classmates. I'm glad he had a good day!!


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