Its my 37th birthday on Saturday. Normally, I prepare well in advance, repeatedly informing everyone I have ever met in the days and weeks leading up to the big day so as to maximise the fuss and guarantee as much cake as possible.
I do this in respectful memory of a lady called Eva, who had Down’s Syndrome and with whom I worked at a charity in London about 10 years ago.
One day, Eva arrived at the office accompanied by her carer and carrying a large, brand new and completely empty rucksack.
“Gosh Eva”, I said, “That’s a smart rucksack. What’s it for? Are you going on a trip?”
“No”, she replied, “Its my birthday today so I brought a big bag to carry all my presents home in.” *huge smile*
“Right-ho. Happy Birthday. How exciting!”
Obviously, the only response to such sublime confidence in The Birthday Gods was to make an impromptu trip to the local shops at lunchtime to stock up on small gifts with which to fill the rucksack. So we did.
She was delighted – though not surprised – by her enormous haul of presents and I have remembered it ever since as a prime example of how The Universe tends to manifest Good Things to Good (and Well-Prepared) People.