Sunday, May 31, 2009


Entry for 31 May 2009:

Today has been my 59th birthday. It is a tradition in my family to mark a birthday by considering the significance of the number of the birthday: 59 is a prime number. 59 is one minute less than an hour (and 1 second less than a minute), sitting as it does immediately under that roundest of numbers, 60. So: I get one more chance at figuring out how to make the best use of my 50’s.

Today turned out to be another startlingly beautiful day in Glasgow: sunny, high in the mid-70’s, light breeze. This doesn’t happen too often here. Normally, when we drive to church about 10am on Sunday morning, the streets are pretty empty, but today there were so many people out, trying to make the most of the day that there were traffic jams. Startling! I’ve decided to take it as a good omen.

Mostly, we had a pretty normal Sunday, sleeping in a bit, going to church, doing our weekly grocery shopping afterwards, then lunch and a bit of nap, then some email and a chat with Brendan. Today, however, we had dinner with Beth and James, co-celebrating Beth and my birthday at one of our favorite Scottish restaurants, The Sisters. When we got there, they offered us a table outside, which turned out to be a perfect way to spend 3.5 hours on a late Sunday afternoon/evening. Afterwards, we touched base with Kenneth; my mom and sister Louisa emailed me; and finally I IM’d with my brother Conal.

So birthdays are a great excuse to touch with family, sometimes in unusual ways. My mom also sent greetings from my dad: “in case he hadn’t been able to get through directly,” she wrote. I wrote back that he’d been popping up in sessions with my clients over the past several weeks, and in particular in the presentation I did on Friday on HSCED, which I introduced by acknowledging his contribution to the development my thinking about the uses of legal models in psychotherapy research. But it was still good to hear it from her. Thanks, dad, wherever you are! The birthday number game was always something we played at each other’s birthdays, so that’s you popping up there also. You’re in my head and heart too!

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