December Reflections 9: best day of 2016


On my birthday I found a labyrinth in the shape of a diplodocus.

It was a great birthday anyway. I was staying with my family on the Isle of Wight. We visited my favourite second-hand bookshop. There was a picnic on the beach, with stuffed vine leaves and huge chocolate cookies, and my youngest brother bought everyone ice creams. I opened my birthday presents on the beach, and one of them was a book about the labyrinths in the London Underground.

Then we walked up from the beach to look for lizards at La Falaise car park. We found a lizard, and then, a little further up the cliff, we found a lizard of another sort. I’d had fossils and spirals on the brain all year – and what’s a labyrinth but a very particular sort of spiral? And moreover, because of the way that one follows the path of a labyrinth into the centre, and then follows it back out again, it’s a very appropriate thing for a birthday. You can let the last year go on the way in, and welcome the next one on the way out.

Later, my oldest brother treated us to tapas; and we rounded off the day with pink lychee liqueur. It was a fabulous birthday.

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