Saturday, 25 June 2011

Another birthday!

When a woman reaches a certain age, she doesn't like that age to be broadcast either in the intimacy of close friends, or across the World Wide Web. Today is Elise's umpteenth birthday, but to save myself from any hostile reprisals, I shall not reveal the full count, save to say that it is more than 61 and less that 63.

Here in Spain people don't just "have a birthday"; instead, they "complete" a certain number of years. Let's imagine the hypothetical case of someone who is 62 years old today: it's their 62nd birthday, we would say, whereas a Spaniard would complete their 62nd year. A vastly more sensible approach in my view, as from then on a Spaniard is well aware that he or she is in their 63rd year. In cooler climes we tend to think that we are in our 62nd year, thereby cheating Old Father Time of a perfectly good year. You know the sort of thing, "He died in his 62nd year," when he was really in his 63rd year. No problem with that in Spain, where he would quite merrily die when he still had to complete his 63rd year.

Anyway, Elise, happy birthday to you, however old you are…

Penblwydd hapus i ti.

Gelukkige verjaardag.

¡Feliz cumpleaƱos, mujer!

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