Birthday Month

March is the month of my birth.  In our household, the end of one year and beginning of the next is always an interesting time of year – as we enjoy Christmas celebrations in December, then Valentines in February, followed by my birthday and our wedding anniversary on March 8th. Then in August we celebrate our ‘getting together’ anniversary, and Conrad’s birthday in October.  So, celebrations are spread pretty well over the year.

It’s interesting when you look up to find who else was born on the same day as you.   I share my birthday with:

  • Kenneth Grahame the author of “The Reluctant Dragon” and “The Wind in the Willows” born in Edinburgh in 1859.
  • Cyd Charisse a dancer, sometimes partnered with Fred Astaire and with Gene Kelly in ‘Singing in the Rain’. She was born in Texas, in 1922.
  • Actress, Lynn Redgrave was born in England in 1943 died 2010.

I have never read, either of Kenneth Grahame’s books, but Cyd Charisse, I remember watching in old black and white movies, as a child. I remember her elegance as she glided across the floor, usually partnered by some famous male dancer of the time.

9 Historical events that took place on March 8th

1531 – Henry VIII was recognised as supreme head of the Church in England by the Convocation of Canterbury.

1702 – approx. date only, of the Irish Caribbean pirate, Ann Bonny’s birth.

1817 – New York Stock Exchange was founded.

1902 – Finnish composer, Jean Sibelius’ 2nd Symphony, first performed.

1930 – Mahatma Gandhi began the campaign for civil disobedience against British rule in


1954 – Scottish Olympic Champion, David Wilkie MBE, was born.

1961 – Sir Thomas Beecham, Conductor and founder of the London Philharmonic died aged

            81. He also conducted the Halle Orchestra, Manchester and in 1917 he was appointed President of the Royal Manchester College of Music.

1975 – The International Women’s Day was adopted by the General Assembly of the UN,

            saying that IWD would be internationally celebrated on 8th March.

2014 – The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, (known as Clare’s Law) came into effect.

            Allowing people to find out from police if their partner had a history of domestic violence after 36 year old Clare Wood was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009.

History wasn’t one of my best subjects, but we seemed to learn quite a bit about King Henry VIII at school, also a little about Gandhi, but not anything political. However, I do remember seeing David Wilkie swimming, on TV – though I’m also not a sports fan.

Sir Thomas Beecham is a name I know well, because I studied at the Royal Manchester College of Music, and he was highly thought of in classical music circles. Often quoted by other musicians, he made some acerbic and witty comments.

“Try everything once, except folk dancing and incest.”

 “The sound of a harpsichord – two skeletons copulating on a tin roof in a thunderstorm.”

 (I particularly like that one, as I’m not keen on the sounds of the harpsichord either!)

This next comment was aimed at an underperforming cellist in the orchestra he was conducting – which he could not have got away with today!

“Madam, you have between your legs an instrument, capable of giving pleasure to thousands – and all you can do is scratch it.”

This last quote, I totally agree with:

“Great music is that which penetrates the ear with facility and leaves the memory with difficulty. Magical music never leaves the memory.”

IWD – I didn’t even know it existed until I became self-employed and went to several women’s events.

I love films, so I looked up to see which films have been released on March 8th – not many, and I’ve only watched 2 of them.

     ‘New Jack City’ 1991

     ‘Captain Marvel’ 2019

However, if I looked for the main movies in the year I was born (1952) – I’ve seen all of them (on TV).

     ‘High Noon’ – Gary Cooper

     ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ – Gene Kelly

     ‘An American in Paris’ – Gene Kelly, won the Oscar for best picture.

 Of the books published in 1952, I’ve only read 3 – those marked with *

  • Charlotte’s Web – E B White
  • The Old Man of the Sea – Ernest Hemmingway
  • East of Eden – John Steinbeck
  • The Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
  • The Borrowers – Mary Norton
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – C.S. Lewis*
  • The Birds and other stories – Daphne Du Maurier*
  • Revised Standard Version of the bible published* (not all of it)

Have you ever looked at what was going on in history, on your birthday?

Last year, we celebrated my 70th birthday and our 20th wedding anniversary, but the year since has passed far too quickly, and I’m suddenly celebrating 71 years on this planet!

When I was younger, older people always said that time did go by far too quickly as you aged, but interestingly, since the pandemic, many of my friends, far younger than me have been saying the same thing. 

It seems to be that paradox; when you are rushing around with things to do, the time seems to pass more slowly – because you are building memories. And when you don’t rush around, the time goes more quickly, because you are not doing so many different things.  I don’t know if you feel the same?

A poem I wrote last year on reaching 70 – ‘Decades’