Today’s my birthday.  Renata and the girls have gotten me gifts which I have yet to open because we’re waiting for the cheesecake to chill in the fridge.  Can’t open presents before the cake is ready!

Sarah got back from Canada yesterday, as Hanna did last week, so we’re only one shy of a full house.  Once Sarah had a sandwich they went into a mother-daughters consultation early yesterday afternoon and then headed off to the mall.

I hope someone finally got me a back-scratcher.  It’s been on my birthday and Christmas lists for years now, but I don’t think the ladies appreciate the seriousness of my situation.  All of them are veritable circus acts of supple-jointedness and can reach any spot on their backs quite easily.  I, on the other hand, have whole acres of back space unattainable to my fingers.  My bovine rituals – rubbing up against any solid protrusion for relief – are becoming embarrassing.  I get that stupid look on my face too.

This morning I  visited an elderly lady in a hospice.  She’s nearly double my age and had a good laugh when I told her how old I was.  On the bus on the way home my Mom called me on my cellphone (from Tel Aviv!) for our annual I-can’t-believe-it’s-been-(“x” many)-years-already conversation.  To her it seems just yesterday; personally, I can’t even remember the event.

After lunch about 50 World War II era military vehicles – jeeps, half-tracks, even an amphibious monstrosity –  many flying Canadian or American flags, paraded down our street to the local town square to join a celebration.  The OLD Canadian flag of course.  The Canucks liberated Amsterdam from the German occupiers on May 5, 1945.  So my birthday falls on a national holiday.  Every five years it’s a “proper” holiday that everyone gets off, but today most people were working.  Still, the trams and buses are decked out with small flags on the front, and many neighbors have flags out.  We would too but we got rid of our flagpole when we left for Canada two years ago.

So this evening I get to have cheesecake, open my presents, and decide what we’ll watch on television.  Seeing as it will be Arsenal -vs- Manchester I’m likely to be the only one watching.  Unless I need someone to scratch my back.

(p.s. 19:15, Yeah!  I got the back-scratcher!  Plus a bottle of whiskey, some nice dvd’s, and a handy usb memory-stick that looks like a key.  So I’m all set.)


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