Birthday Wishes

Image: Julia McKenzie as the delightful Miss Marple. It took me a while to get used to her – she’s a little too proper and straight-laced looking for my tastes. I prefer Geraldine McEwan – she looked like such a wicked little imp.

I feel like I should write something, but everything is so hectic and stressful at the moment that I am spending all my time watching Miss Marple and Poirot and Midsommer Murders (that probably sounds like a contradiction, but its not. When I develop an obsession with something – anything – its a definite sign that I am stressed or anxious about something else and avoiding it. In this case, I am avoiding my uni assignment; memorising a monologue for the National Theatre of Scotland; going to the doctor about a gammy hand, heartburn, pap smear, and other fun things – he’s going to take 50 Euro of my hard-earned cash! Damn you Ireland and your non-existent public health service! – starting a short story for a competition I want to enter; getting festival entries put together – anyone want to produce a Melbourne Fringe show for me???? and finishing off a script for my director. Its no wonder that since last Thursday I have watched 3 Midsomer Murders, at least 6 Miss Marples, and 2 Hercule Poirots. God, when I think what I could have done with all that blasted time…. ) In fairness, all the Marples I watched last night (a good three of them) were background noise as I finished off my needlework for the creative connections course. Speaking of which, I have to finish my artists book for them. Blast. That’s another thing I’ve been avoiding. I’m avoiding it so much I’m not even bothering to remember it so that I can avoid it.
But, I feel I should update you on some of the things that I have been doing, apart from watching quaint British detective series (In all honesty though, there’s nothing like them. Murder can be oh-so- adorable and pretty when you live in a small, British village and everyone wears hats and gloves. The other person who did it well was Angela Lansbury in ‘Murder She Wrote’, which my bro and I were obsessed with at an oddly young age. If I could be in a Marple or Poirot episode, I don’t think I’d ask for anything else in the world. Oh, wait, maybe a BBC costume drama too. Ok, so, if I were to list the things that would make me feel like I had been a successful actress, it would be to be in a BBC costume drama and to be in either a Marple or Poirot. Oh, and a Spooks episode! Ok, getting distracted again….).
Now I can’t remember what I was writing before I opened those parentheses. Oh! Yes, it was my birthday on the weekend. And it was very nice. The family went away to Killarney as one of their relatives had his holy communion on the Saturday and there was a celebration afterwards (these holy communion days are incredible. They’re holy communion festivals – at the hotel, they had a horse and carriage, a sand digger, a disco, plus a sit-down dinner. We’re getting a bouncing castle (!!!!) for my eldest girls’ holy communion in a week or two). So, anyway I got the house to myself. You may think this would be a sad thing on your birthday, but it was DELIGHTFUL. I’ve always loved having the house to myself. There’s nothing like it. You wouldn’t want it day in, day out, of course, and I did have to leave all the lights on before I went out that night (and bring the dog into sleep on my bed when I got home, in case of ghosts, or robbers, or suspiciously attractive people who have gone missing from quaint 1950s English villages…), but I do so love to wake in an empty house sometimes. The things you can do! I walked out of my bedroom in my underwear! Of course, then I realised that the Bandon Half-Marathon was going on right outside and the participants were running past our glass doors, and I had to hop straight back into my bedroom before they saw me and got distracted/horrified and tripped up and smashed their faces into the concrete.
But, I had a lovely quiet morning and then headed into Kinsale in the afternoon. Then, I was invited over to one of my au pair friends’ house, thinking it was to organise our outing that night, but it transpired two of the other au pairs were hiding out the back, having spent all afternoon making a chocolate cake and birthday card for me. Delightful. We sat in the sun and had tea and cake and it was DELIGHTFUL once more. We then drove into Clonakilty, because I was determined to do something different on my birthday (not just sit in Bandon and drink, because that is too depressing) and was dragging my friends off to see a trad. session. Of course, it was Eurovision night and we got a little distracted by that, but we got to the trad. session in the end as well. It was in a great little bar called, An Teach Beag (I don’t know what it means. I can’t even say it. But its in Irish, so that makes the whole experience highly authentic). We got to nominate songs, and I kept nominating ones that I thought I knew the words to and then it turned out I didn’t. Highly embarrassing (trad. sessions don’t generally come with the words like in karaoke). But, I think everyone liked my singing anyway, because they kept asking me for others. Either that, or they thought it was amusing to see me collapse into my chair, bright-red, mid-song and cover my face with my hands. Who knows. At the bar, a man told me there was a computer out the back if I needed to check my words. He then wished me a happy birthday and asked how old I was. I joked and said I was 16, which means I really am old, because only old people make jokes like that. Plus, I was ordering a port.
Leaving the pub, a very attractive young man called out ‘congratulations’ and claimed I was his neighbour. We had a lovely, flirtatious conversation that the whole pub joined in on (this seems to be the way in Irish pubs – everyone gets involved in any courting that gets done, and either assists or hinders depending on their feeling about the potential relationship), which ended with him asking for my number. As I can’t remember my number, I didn’t give it to him, but then one of my au pair friends wrote it on a napkin and went back inside and gave it to him. This is a guy I didn’t even know the name of. It felt all very ‘Sex and the City’, but with more cow farmers and less investment bankers. Anyway, us being girls, we’d hardly been in the car 5 minutes, when they told me that ‘if we ended up getting married’, they would all expect to be bridesmaids. I thought perhaps we should wait for his call first. Of course, it didn’t arrive, but I now have hope that there are attractive men in Ireland, who are around my age, who I can talk to and have a laugh with and who may even be interested in me. The problem, of course, was that tacky discos attract a certain kind of male, and he happens to be a male I’m not interested in. Hair gel and shiny tracksuits have never been my style (if you’re not convinced, go back to the top of this post and re-read what I’ve been doing with my time recently.)
So, it was a great birthday. I can’t believe I’m 27 (ha. Just typed 17 by mistake. Should have left it).


In March 2011 it was reported that The Walt Disney Company had acquired the cinematic rights to the Miss Marple character, and was planning a contemporary adaptation to be set in the United States. [6] It was reported that Jennifer Garner would portray Miss Marple in the new franchise, and that Mark Frost had been hired to write the script for the first film.



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