The arrow of time moves swiftly forward and yet another birthday has been ticked off.
I knew in advance that, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I would be on my own for my birthday this year, therefore it was going to be an entirely self-indulgent day. Regular readers will not be surprised to hear that it would centre entirely around the consumption of food.
Out of the door at 9am, the first destination for the most important meal of the day could be none other than Browns Brasserie in George Street. No need for the menu as I am a creature of habit and know exactly what satisfies me: eggs benedict with extra béchamel sauce on the side, a stack of various toasted breads, freshly squeezed orange juice and lashings of tea. Very content, I passed the first two hours of my day surrounded by this gastronomic miracle, occasionally watching the world go by and reading my favourite BBC magazine, Focus.
By midday I was sat comfortably in the Cineworld cinema waiting for Matt Damon's latest offering, The Adjustment Bureau, to start. Due to the early hour I had the entire cinema to myself and settled back to be entertained in my personal cinema. The film had been billed as "Bourne meets Inception". Well, I guess it starred Matt Damon, so there's that connection, and it was a little confusing, so there's the Inception angle, but that was about it I'm afraid. A cheap marketing tactic to get bums on seats I reckon. The film was, well, fun I suppose, but that was about it and Hollywood still can't do endings.
Back out into the brightness of the day and to Starbucks for coffee and cake. Not the greatest coffee in the world but the closest coffee shop to my next destination, the Odeon cinema.
Yep, that's right, movie number 2. This time it was to see Never Let Me Go, based on an original story by Kazuo Ishiguro, who gave us Remains Of The Day. The film was directed by Mark Romanek who had previously written and directed One Hour Photo, starring Robin Williams in one of his best performances. This film was another winner, with outstanding performances by Keira Knightley, Andrew Garfield Carey Mulligan, who in my humble opinion are the megastars of the future, and this is the film we'll remember them all being together in at the genesis of their careers. The film follows the three main characters in the first ten years of their life and from beginning to end is one of thee most enjoyable films I have seen in a while. The main story, a controversial subject of live organ donation, is used as the backdrop to the unrequited love between Mulligan and Garfield. It superbly manages to find the right balance between the love story and, well, the elephant in the room. This makes for a chilling and emotional end. If you're not feeling in a positive mood then I'd wait until you're feeling a bit more chipper before seeing this.
My self indulgence continued with a little retail therapy, first buying bits and bobs of outdoor gear in Tiso and then treating myself, again, to a bottle of my favourite wine, Penalolen.
To round my evening off perfectly I spent it in the company of one of my best friends, Andrew, and you guessed it, more food. This time in the form of Chinese crispy duck with all the trimmings while watching my 3rd film of the day on DVD, an Angelina Jolie film called SALT. All I can say is, oh dear, Angelina, what have you done?! Aptly named, it left a sour taste in my mouth and I can only imagine it was just a pay-cheque to Ms Jolie. However, sometimes you need to see the rubbish to appreciate the gems.
Altogether now: "Happy birthday to me".