Summer of ’69.

Tanvir Naomi Bush Uncategorized 12 Comments

I was born on Midsummer’s Day in 1969, which makes this Sunday a rather large birthday. I think I am finally on top of the dizzying G-force effect of hurtling through time towards an age which tops Zambia’s life expectancy….which occurs the first time you actually realise that no one will ever call you ‘young woman’ again ….and which gets you ‘that look’ when people ask you if you have children and you reply ‘not yet.’

I did initially decide to hide under my bed weeping for the year but luckily have been convinced a celebration of survival, friendship and family might be appropriate and would certainly involve more sparkling wine.

I had wonderful birthdays as a pre boarding school child. My mum and dad would organise amazing fancy dress parties with themed food and remarkable cakes. Once – when I was obsessed with The Arabian Nights – we had a party with Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, Sheherezade (my own personal spelling) , Turkish delight, storytellers and pink and blue rice. My pal Sasha, dressed as Sinbad had a long wooden recorder attached to a huge stuffed snake in a man sized reed basket. He would play the recorder and gradually pull the string and therefore pull up the snake and we would all fall about with hysterics.

Sadly I don’t have those photos but as a teenager in the late Madonna infested ’80’s there was the infamous ‘Poseur and Tart Party’ we threw one holiday….’High School Musical’ it was most DEFINITELY not..but the less said about that the better…

ehmm…moving swiftly on…

Later my birthday was always mid exams…until my third year and my 21st birthday when my beautiful friend (she of the barge) bought tickets for Glastonbury. My parents sent a side of smoked salmon and two bottle of champagne and we guzzled them in most unhippy fashion in the Fiat Panda stuck in the three hour-long queue to the entrance. We arrived in the dark and I, desperate for a pee, leapt out and ran to a corner of the field and squatted down just as the battalion of parking attendants directed the next slew of cars to my very spot. In a thousand headlights my bare bottom was lit up like the full moon. My friend nearly stopped breathing she was laughing so hard….

When I turned 30 there was a total eclipse of the sun. In Zambia, in the bush on dad’s hill, with a motley collective of marvellous friends and several tourists weighted down with binoculars, cameras and special glasses, we waited and sure enough at 3pm in the afternoon a huge eagle and flocks of birds suddenly flew towards us to roost and the sun was eaten. It was a mind blowing, terrifying, humbling three full minutes of unearthly shadows and the strangest silence and even the dogs stopped howling. As we gazed at the blackened sun with its flaming, exploding aura there was a slight coughing sound and then a man behind us started singing ‘Happy Birthday.’ Dad had chosen that very moment to light the candles of my melting birthday cake.

The sun came back (phew) and the euphoria carried us for weeks.

Tomorrow my big sister is preparing lovely food, my Mum and John will be over from France and the garden will be full of friends and family. In the evening those still standing will go to the pub.

I will, at some point, toast Teelo and other absent friends and have a bit of a wail but someone will pick me up, brush me down and hand me a shot of tequila and onwards and upwards to more adventures, more love and maybe many more birthdays! A toast to all my readers and if any of you are near Cambridge this weekend do come along!
All images (c) T. Bush and family

Comments 12

  1. I loved this post, it made me laugh out loud especially the part about your bare arse.

    I am one of many who will be celebrating with you in spirit. Wish I had a magic carpet to take me across the pond…

    Happy Birthday, my dear T. May we laugh as much at the next 40 years.

  2. LOL! Great stuff, will be a great day! I love the photos in your post, LMAO at the flashers…

    Amora and me will get there at midday, damn I wish I did not have to drive so i could share some of that sparkling wine….

    Big smiles – B

  3. woooo happy BIG birthday! hope you celebrate royally in a day devoted to YOU!!xxx
    that eclipse day must have been something – a diamond ring in the sky!

  4. You have had the most AMAZING birthdays… Glastonbury and an eclipse? Holy cow wow. My birthdays always suck.

    Happy Happy Happy Birthday! My 40's have been the best years yet in many ways; I hope the same happens for you. Wish I could come celebrate, but I will be toasting you and wishing hard for all the very best.

    Here's to many more!

  5. ah t have a fab party and SO wish i could be there….but miles and miles of africa and sea seperate us…but have a WILD one darlin'! loved the pics! xxx j

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