Birthday celebrations are important to the Dutch; they are celebrated by the entire family, plus friends and neighbours.
Prior to the computer age, each bathroom had a birthday calendar on display, with names of friends and relatives and their anniversaries. Most hung in a spot in the bathroom that cannot be missed. Only the dates and months were displayed, so that at the end of the year you simply flipped it back to its beginning. A simple phone call was made to the birthday person, which was then followed by a get together with coffee and cake. When entering the room, it was customary to congratulate the family on this happy event.
When I arrived in Canada I had brought some of my traditions with me and my mother-in-law kept pace with them and would congratulate the entire family on such an occasion. This was then followed by a family dinner. My calendar list has shrunk, as most of my family have passed away and over time, our traditions seem to have been watered down. Through my years of extensive travels and frequent moves, my calendar has been replaced with electronic reminders on my computer.
I have had the privilege of celebrating my birthday in many exotic places around the world, such as Singapore, Peru, France, Netherlands, Istanbul, Bahamas, Chile, South Africa and even Lake Tahoe, to name a few. Today I am continuing my exotic adventure with a visit to the Pan Pacific's Spa Utopia, at Vancouver's Canada Place, a gift from my daughter Amy and son-in-law Bram.
Tonight we will be celebrating in our loft and saying good-bye to our small family and granddaughter Annelies, On Sunday we will be flying to the Netherlands to move aboard Zonder Zorg, our Dutch barge.
Life is good.