Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Sixth Happiness For My Birthday

No photos from yesterday so here's one we made earlier.
Yesterday was my birthday. It wasn't a big birthday although no one can say that the number is small anymore so I suppose all my birthdays are now big birthdays. It was the day I don't teach in school, and college hasn't started yet so I did have a less hectic day than would normally be the case.

Whatsapp messages from family and friends mostly either wished me a great day (fantastic, amazing, wonderful, etc...) or asked what I was doing to celebrate. I answered truthfully. Grading papers, preparing lessons, supermarket. I treated myself to a delivery but then I do that every month so not really fair to count it as a birthday thing.

Facebook was marvelous as it always is on birthdays. Thank you to all my friends and even my "friends" and my cousins, who left birthday greetings. I tried to answer each one with a personal thank you but after a while I just 'liked' as many as I could. But, seriously, big LIKE to all of you.

Two e-cards all the way from Canada and California. Thank you, you know who you are.

And now enough of this Oscars acceptance speech  and back to the day itself. I also popped into college to do a few things, I went to sign DD up for gymnastics club, I did some housework. That's it. Until the evening.

This is where you expect me to say that I let my hair down and went clubbing all night. Wrong. DD had been asking me what I'm doing for my birthday all day. She was annoyed that I wasn't doing anything. I think she wanted to go out for waffles but as she didn't even bother to make me a card, I wasn't inclined to break my diet for her to have the treat. She did give me a big hug and say, "Happy Birthday Mummy, I love you so much." She's clever like that - no money or effort involved.

Anyhoo, I felt a bit guilty (Why? Just why did I feel guilty?) so I asked DD to watch a film with me for my birthday. It was my birthday. Mine. So I got to choose the film right? Wrong again. Well I refused to watch some pre-teen Hallmark TV movie this time so DD refused to watch anything with me.

As I was choosing for myself I revisited my childhood and watched, "The Inn of the Sixth Happiness" on You Tube. Remember? Ingrid Bergman and 100 Chinese orphans escaping the Japanese invasion. I was surprised to find that the bit about escaping with the children was only the last half hour of a 2 1/2 hour film. I'd remembered Gladys Aylward secretly reading her employer's books about China and saving her wages to pay her passage to China. I remembered her adopting Sixpence and then I thought the whole film was about the orphans' journey across the mountains. Not so.

It was a bit like when I watched Jane Eyre again decades after reading the book (because I had to at school) and seeing the movie and the BBC TV drama. I'd completely forgotten that half the story is about her life before going to be the governess at Mr. Rochester's house.

Btw, I read Wikipedia about Gladys Aylward and the film was very romanticized. The real Aylward never kissed a man in her life and didn't abandon the children in the end to go back to her  boyfriend. I didn't mind that so much but I'm sorry I read the article before seeing the end of the film because afterwards I could only think, all that scenery is actually North Wales not China. It lost some of it's magic I'm afraid.

Still, I found myself blubbering through the last 20 minutes so it was a fantastic choice of movie and a great way to celebrate my birthday.


  1. Well, it was certainly a busy day! :-)
    I remember reading Inn of the Sixth Happiness and seeing the film - and while I loved the book better - I did cry over the film too!

    1. It was unexpected as the film was quite old fashioned and stilted by today's standards. I didn't expect to be so affected.

  2. Belated birthday wishes. So glad you got to do something that was just for you x