But before you panic, check your calendars (given the number of occasions I have missed the birthdays of my nearest and dearest, there really is no need) and rush to the shops to buy me a card, the birthday I was celebrating was my Hebrew birthday.
I had been asked the date of my birthday a few times at the Kabbalah centre (astrology is a big part of Kabbalah) and when I replied with my boring old Gregorian annual celebration of the day I was born, I would always hear the question "Is that your normal birthday or your Hebrew birthday? What's your Hebrew birth date?" As if I should know. Well I do now. I looked it up on the Hebrew Birth Date finder on the slightly out of date Kabbalah centre Astrology page. Or maybe it's not out of date - perhaps it is working on Kabbalah Time too.
Working out the Hebrew date is slightly different because they are based on Star Sign. So, for instance, my date is 6 Sivan - or the 6th day of Gemini.
Which just happens to fall on the Holiday of Shavuot, the date upon which the Torah was given to Moses on Mt. Sinai and also the anniversary of the birth and the death of King David (what a bummer of a birthday that must have been). When I attended Shavuot at the centre last night and said 'guess what - it's my Hebrew birthday today' the response was unanimous: "Oh wow! Tonight? You do realise that is very special?" and they looked at me with a kind of ... well, wide-eyed awe and expectation that I was about to do something wonderful, I guess. Like channel some divine source of wisdom, or something. A mischievous part of me feels that perhaps I need to learn David Blanes' trick of levitation and float whilst giving an announcement in Shabbat.
The whole 'special' thing doesn't sit very well with me. Yes, I have always felt this kind of higher sense of purpose, but no doubt so did Darth Vader (although I promise, I will never be lured to the Dark Side of the Force...), but I can't say that I feel particularly special. Which is probably just as well.
The Shavuot connection ended in the early hours of the morning and I stayed with a friend. As Hebrew birthdays start at sunset on one day and continue until sunset the following day, today was still my birthday (I have to say, I am liking this system). So in a 'it is still my birthday' kind of mood this morning I caught the bus from Chelsea to Liverpool Street in the blazing sun to make my way back home.
If you are due to visit London anytime soon, I can highly recommend the No. 11 bus from the Kings Road to Liverpool Street - it was the best sightseeing trip I have ever been on, and all for the princely price of £1. The route passes the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Downing Street, Whitehall, the Museum of the Household Cavalry, The Royal Courts of Justice and St Paul's Cathedral. And probably much more besides.
There were no irritating tour guides cracking bland jokes and inviting me to 'look to my left' - just a continual display of spectacular architecture for almost an hour. I couldn't think of any better way to spend my birthday.
If anything that totally explains to me why it always pisses down with rain on my birthday in June (almost without fail). I've simply been celebrating the wrong day!
So! Don't settle for one birthday!! check out your date and celebrate twice! Astrology page