I’ve lived to tell the tale. I’ve survived yet another birthday week. For those of you not yet old enough (or fortunate enough) to have experienced this particular phenomenon, first introduced to me by the inimitable DF in Washington, let me outline the basic concept. Once you pass the tender age of 40, instead of forgetting about birthdays altogether, you have what she calls a birthday week – you celebrate for a whole seven days. Nothing like a series of late nights and revelry to keep old age at bay.
Mine started on Saturday, 3rd August, at Kincsem Park – an open invite to join me at the races saw hats being demothballed, picnic baskets being aired, and the inner gambler in some emerge. It was hot, bloody hot, too hot to sit on the grass with no shade so we picnicked in the stands – just by the finish line. While we were awash with food and wine, we were a little light on tipsters. But with 10 races on the card, we had plenty of time to figure it out. Kincsem Park is a great day out, any day. Add some old friends, some new friends, and some good wine, and it’s even better. A swathe of taxis took the hard core to Grund – a garden bar in the VIIIth district – and then for a 2am snack at a great little place on Ulloi. Sunday, as it should be, was a day of rest and recuperation.
Monday was about being nice to me – hair do, manicure, long lunch, phone calls abroad. Tuesday, the day itself, started off with lunch at Kompót, my new favourite place to eat in Budapest. And then it was over to Buda (on a day pass!) to Kobuci where a Jerry Lee Lewis tribute band kept the floor heaving despite the temperatures. People came and went all evening and again, it was great to catch up with those I’ve not seen in a while. I like this idea of open invites – you never know who will show up. Another late one though as Szimpla beckoned and then some more dancing … at a great little place on Ulloi.
The week progressed with more lunches, dinners, coffees, and catch-ups. The cards came through the letterbox and transatlantic phone calls added to my days. And then on Friday, it was off to Szeged by train to see Porgy and Bess. More on this spectacular experience later. Back in town yesterday, for the official close of my 2013 birthday week, I found myself giving thanks to the good Lord for the people who have come into my life…. and stayed a while. For their generosity of spirit and that added extra they bring with them: different perspectives that challenge, provoke, and entertain and further enrich an already blessed life.
Go raibh mile maith agaibh go léir