To-morrow is my birthday – that is to say, at twelve o’ the clock, midnight, i.e. in twelve minutes, I shall have completed thirty and three years of age!!!! – and I go to my bed with a heaviness of heart at having lived so long, and to so little purpose.
Yes, today is Lord Byron’s Birthday and if we were able to live forever – he would now be 231 years young!
And even though Byron shuffled off this mortal planet many years ago, I always enjoy a large slice or three of a cake in his honour and his 228th birthday was no exception!
For with the candles burning nicely and as I was firing off some images of this glorious confection to share on my Lord B Blog – I spotted a familiar shape out of the corner of my camera lens…
Yes! It was Murphy!
But as he looked so shocked to see me, I didn’t have the heart to be cross with him for photo-bombing this important image!
However as I knew that the feline was no fan of cake, especially one that was covered in chocolate, jam, marshmallow, pink icing and much more besides – I was more than a little curious.
For it was the middle of the day and as he was usually curled up asleep on his favourite pillow by now – I had to wonder why he was creeping around on that slippery cake board?
And, then I realised! I bet he was searching for that little black ball of fluff who has a fondness for anything that she really shouldn’t eat!
And what do you know! A quick glance to my left and there she was, looking sheepish and covered in MY lovely cake!
But with the special candles burning down rapidly, I didn’t really have the time to give her a ticking-off and they both quickly pottered off.
With peace now restored and with most of my cake still intact, I was able to take the last of my photographs before the candles finally blew themselves out and after clearing away – I enjoyed an hour of peaceful solitude with a large mug of tea, a read of the newspaper and of course, a large slice of this cake!
With tea-break over, I made my way upstairs to a cozy study crammed with plants, books and all the other stuff important to me and it’s from this room I write my stories, read about the delightful Lord B, plan the creation of those ‘Small Worlds’ and research my family history AND usually with no one else around.
But no sooner had I turned on the computer, switched on the radio and sat down, I heard a familiar rustle of plant leaves and there they were – again!
This time, however, they were both gazing intently at my special bust of Lord Byron fashioned out of marble and inspired by a portrait of the poet as he appeared in his early twenties in the year 1812 when he awoke to “find himself famous.”
I could just make out the conversation between the two felines as Murphy gently explained to Minnie B the reason for my special cake.
Also with pride of place near my window is an empty can of fizz inscribed with lines from Byron’s famous poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage and I now listened on in delight as Murphy shared these lines with us both:
But I have lived, and have not lived in vain:
My mind may lose its force, my blood its fire,
And my frame perish even in conquering pain;
But there is that within me which shall tire
Torture and Time, and breathe when I expire….
Every Byronian knows that the poet had a special fondness for animals or as one biographer described it as his ‘yapping, screeching, clawing menagerie’ and although dogs were usually his pet of choice, I think he would have enjoyed a chuckle about the birthday cake tribute that nearly never was!