"Thank You"

April 29, 2008 -


It has been a while………I couldn’t not wait any longer…..

I had to write to you all after reading your comments and birthday wishes.

I have never before received over 100 birthday wishes in English, Spanish and even my own language.  A poem, songs and so much more.

Thank you!

My birthday started with my mum walking up the stairs and into my room singing “Lang zal ze leven” which is the Dutch version of Happy Birthday. I still have my own room in the house which is on the top floor and as my mum walks the stairs like an elephant (don’t worry, she knows, I tell her all the time) I normally wake up just before she knocks on the door.

It has been a long time tradition in our family that on your birthday you get breakfast in bed and then you open all your cards before you get up and get ready for the day.

Even my 4-year-old niece, Sara, did the same when she turned four on April 4. (Her birthday is 04-04-04.)

This time tough, we had breakfast downstairs in the kitchen with so many cards to open and mum had all my favorite things for breakfast ready and a fresh cup of coffee and some juice.

The phone started ringing at 8:30am. My uncle sang Happy Birthday for me and just after that John’s mum and dad called and sang Happy Birthday for me in Dutch, which John had taught them. It was perfect and made me think how John’s Dutch has improved over the years as he is now teaching himself……I better watch out as I am sure he understands more than he lets me believe…

Anyway, my brother called and I spoke to my niece, she starts talking really well now and loves talking to you on the phone for a veeeeeeery long time. She always asks where Uncle “Sjonnie” is. My brother and his family came to see me the day before, on the Sunday as Monday is a day of work and school etc. We all had dinner together, my brother and his two boys Max and Luc watched their team Feyenoord (the Rotterdam soccer team) win the Cup Final, my mum, sister in law and Sara sat in the garden playing games. It was the perfect day.

The Monday, my actual birthday, mum and I spent the day together. Friends called, e-mailed and sent text messages but I didn’t feel like a big celebration.  With John being in L.A. and not having my dad here I just wanted it to be mum and I and we had a nice time, unfortunately the weather wasn’t too great but who cares….the cake still tasted good!

I suppose, when you get older birthdays are not the same as when you are little. You can’t sleep the night before, wondering what presents you will get. Days before you make lists of all the things that you would want for presents, you have to think of who you do and do not want to come to your party, think of the games you want to play and what to have for dinner.

When I was 10 years old, I had nine children in my class. Out of the nine children, there was one girl who I really didn’t like…..her name was Natalie. When my mum and I were making invitations for me party I left out her name and my mum told me I had forgotten Natalie. When I told her I didn’t want her to come to my party, mum answered with the words “If you won’t invite Natalie, there won’t be a party.” Tough words then….but now I understand and would do the exact same thing if it was my daughter…

So, Natalie was invited, my dad rented a van for the day and we went to the woods where we played all kinds of games and after that we went to a restaurant for my birthday dinner. Natalie and I never became the best of friends but it was a lesson learned.

And now its 25 years later……(ouch, I just gave away my age)…….and I received more birthday wishes than on any of my birthdays.

Thank you also to Stephanie, for the special post and thank you for leaving out my age, I really appreciate it Steph!

Two more days I will fly back home to the U.K.  John and I will then start a well-deserved 3-week vacation before we fly to Italy to join our new home, the Carnival Splendor, in Genoa.

After our trip around Europe, (you will love these ports) John went to Southampton for his special visit and then on to L.A. So, after he gets rid of his jet lag we can enjoy some free time together, let’s hope the English weather will be nice and we can work on our suntans…. (I am not too certain and visited the sunbed center here a few times called “Sunny Side Up”).

Thank you again for all your kind words, I can’t wait to see you all either on the Carnival Splendor or on the second Bloggers cruise.

Your friend,

Hi, I’m John, and this is my blog. So please don’t mistake my opinions — or those of my dear friends, fans or commenters — for those of Carnival Cruise Line or Carnival Corporation. My apologies in advance for anything I may say that upsets you, but this disclaimer covers Carnival and puts the blame directly on me………….. bugger.