Richard Oliff: Memorable birthdays down the years

Richard is hoping for a memorable birthday
Richard is hoping for a memorable birthday

A birthday of significance is open to interpretation.

Many choose not to celebrate, seeing the passage of time as something to be, at worse dreaded, or at least simply not worthy of note; no different from any other year.

I’ve never forgotten my 18th birthday in Vancouver, a small celebration which happened spontaneously rather than part of any grand scheme.

I just happened to be on holiday visiting relatives at the time.

My 21st in Corby was a much planned affair with two events taking place for decidedly different groups of people.

One at home for my immediate family, including all the children, my mum, siblings, aunts and uncles, with copious amounts of tea and cake being served in and on the best family china.

The other celebration was at Corby’s Nags Head, an event to which all my friends and their friends were invited, complete with a band and disco.

My 30th birthday bash came in the shape of a surprise party in the band room of Gretton’s Hatton Arms. That was an excellent night.

By the time I reached 40 I’d been widowed by just under a year, so any commemoration took the form of, for want of a better expression, a “pilgrimage” to the Isle of Mull in Scotland, accompanied by my brother Tom and our mutual friend John “JT” Taylor.

By the time I got to the grand old age of 50 I was on the receiving end of yet another surprise party, this time in Gretton’s Village Hall.

Everyone was dressed as characters from my favourite film Casablanca, again with the obligatory disco but this time we had the pleasure of listening as well to a brilliant appropriately themed three piece jazz band.

Well this year I shall be 60 years old and I’m not quite sure what may ensue but surely it has to be memorable: right?