Friday, 29 February 2008

Self indulgent post / a leaplings lament.

It’s catch up day today! The insertion of the extra day in every fourth calendar year to keep it roughly synchronous with the passing of astronomical years.

It’s also the day when by virtue of some odd tradition ones girlfriend might actually propose marriage to you. I assume if they are so minded they will already have asked for their fathers permission.

And of course it is the day of the ‘Leaplings’ the ones, such as I, whose birthdays fall on the 29th February.

I think that RL and Blog birthdays are probably a couple of the occasions when your average blogger may be permitted to be slightly more self indulgent than usual and after some pondering I thought I may as well take the opportunity.

As regular readers may have noticed I had hoped to include links to other blogging leaplings as well but no-one responded to my requests. Considering my visitor levels it was perhaps a little ambitious to say the least to expect any replies but a well intentioned thought nevertheless.

And the lament?

The passing of the years, the inexorable slide towards final oblivion? No, not at all.

Firstly you don’t get to choose what date to keep your birthday on. Normally there is a choice, the 28th Feb, the 1st March or more often the nearest weekend. And it’s pretty convenient. And it also means you can wriggle out of the hideous buying cakes for everyone at work thing. Who thought of that? At the very least shouldn’t everyone at work be buying cakes for you?

Secondly the fact that some people think you’re a bit of an oddity. Or the fact that they confuse oddity with the lessened probability of making a first public appearance on a 29th February.

But oddly the most annoying for me is having to humour and express delight to the kind soul who thinks they are being clever, amusing and worst of all original, by purchasing a birthday card which reduces your biological age by one quarter. For example you're 20 so you get deluged with cards and badges designed for 5 year olds. If I wasn’t concentrating my mind elsewhere I fear my sides would split due to uncontrollable mirth .

By this rule of thumb of course one may just scrape in with a second 18th Birthday party but I guess it may be a little quieter than the first.

On the upside though I have already received a few cracking presents ahead of time including a personal digital radio (availability of ball by ball test match coverage at last!), an absolutely cracking book containing a photographic history of Arsenal and Niall Ferguson’s book ‘Empire’ from my peons at work. They obviously know how to endear themselves to their Master.

Please don’t feel that this post was designed to illicit felicitations in the comments.

But if you want to have a guess at what my age is in ‘leap years’ do feel free to have a stab at it. It may be an excuse to pretend not to notice your girlfriend if she seems unaccustomedly well scrubbed up and a bit pensive.



Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

I think the thing is that no one understood tFeb 29? If so, HB and you're four times younger than the rest of us.

jmb said...

Well Happy Birthday Grendel on the rare occasion of you turning one year older on the correct day, or something like that! Still the 28th here of course.

I would not dare hazard a guess, but are you going to tell us anyway in an update?

Liz said...

Happy Birthday, Grendel!

I think you're, hm, let's see, 8.

jams o donnell said...

Many happy returns, Grendel. I am quite relieved that the not-wife has assured me there will be no proposal this leap year (the same as 2004, 1996 1992 or 1984....)

BenefitScroungingScum said...

Happy Birthday Grendel! x

Stu Savory said...

Assuming you have a dog, Grendel,
do you give him/her an extra treat every 48.7 days? ;-)

Ole Phat Stu

PS: saw "Beowulf" at the cinema in 2007, but was disappointed with your performance; fancied your Mom tho' ;-)

PPS: Oh yes, Hippy Pappy Btuthaday!

Susan Harwood said...


My name is Susan Harwooda and I have a blog called


'Lewisham Kate' has left comments there from time to time, and I sometimes drop by her blog too.

I know you read her blog (from the list down the side).

But it has recently become inaccessible.

I'm wondering if you know if she is ok?

I you were to let me know, I would be grateful


Damon Lord said...

Merry Birthday! February 29th sucks for us Welsh, because the Welsh have to wait an extra day for St. David's Day.

Ed said...

Happy birthday! Great post too, especially the cakes thing. I didn't realise that everyone did it I assumed it was our bizarre company only.

Wilberforce (Will) Monk said...

Happy birthday!

Grendel said...

Thank you all for your kind comments.

Actually I am marginally older than the few suggestions that have been bandied around.

Without being overly coy about the age thing all I will say is that this is the first instance when 'both' ages will contain a Zero.


leslie said...

Happy Birthday from the west coast of Canada! Popped over from Liz's guessing 40?

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

I didn't realise you were that old, I had you down as about to reach nine.

I am six days away from having a 'zero' in my age...

Ah, the passing of time!

Colin Campbell said...

Happy Birthday. My daughters friend just turned two on the 29th. Such and odd thing. Hope it was fun.

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