Today I am the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything

1 year old Vanessa

For years I’ve been telling people that I had my first birthday in Ibiza. It turns out that I actually had my first birthday in Austria. I did however go to Ibiza when I was 18 months old, so you can see how the confusion arose; my memory of that time is a little hazy. On that first birthday, in Austria, not Ibiza, Austria, I had a cake, with a candle. Apparently, after the rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ had been sung, the candle had been blown out, and some cake had been eaten, I jumped down from my chair and walked across the room, and that was my very first time of walking! All it took was some cake, if only they’d known. I believe the above photo is from that actual day. Looking at me there, I’m surprised I managed to even get down from my chair, let alone walk across the room!

Today is my birthday again. I’ve had others in between of course (you knew that right?), but today’s birthday is even more epic than that very epic first birthday. You’ve probably worked out already that I’m 42 by the title of this post. I had almost overlooked the significance of this birthday until I read a post over at Slouching Towards Thatcham. Yes, today, and for a whole year, I shall be the fount of all knowledge and wisdom. If ever there was a time to seek guidance from me on any troubling matters, this is it.

What will I do with all this power? It’s quite a responsibility. Here is a list of things I must prepare myself for:

1) World leaders will no doubt call upon me to resolve political and humanitarian crisises (I should probably learn what the plural of crisis is before that happens).

2) The scientific community will come to me for guidance on how to address the escalating environmental concerns we face.

3) Companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Nokia will want me to test out their new products and gadgets prior to release.

4) International publishers will be competing for the rights to publish my memoirs.

5) My children will realise how lucky they are to have me as their mother in this year of power, and will tidy their rooms without me having to ask (ok, maybe I’m just getting into crazy-talk now).

But for today, I shall simply recreate that very first birthday by having some cake, maybe this time with the addition of some birthday refreshments (hic!), and then once again attempt to get down from my chair and stagger across the room. Happy birthday to me…happy birthday to me…


61 responses to “Today I am the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything

  1. Honey – personal power – let me disabuse you: it was the mice wot done it!!!!! Who needs all that responsibility anyway??!! appybirfday2u! xx


  2. Clearly it was the liquid refreshment that has led you to believe you were in Ibiza!


  3. Many happy returns!

    Much though I also hoped for (3) and (4) to happen when I turned that age two weeks ago, sadly neither did. Spoilsports!


  4. Happy birthday – really enjoyed your post. Nicola


  5. Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, you look like a monkey and you smell like one too. (this is what happens when your 11 and 8 year old siblings sing you happy birthday!) woo hoo! Loving the knee high socks you minx! xx


  6. Happy Birthday!

    As an age I think Life, the Universe and Everything is a good one. If you know what I mean πŸ˜‰

    Have a good one and enjoy that cake πŸ™‚


  7. Very very happy birthday. You’re an adorable baby.
    OK, font of all wisdom. Do I take my very best dinnerware with me or purge and go for new on arrival?


    • Thanks Kate!

      Definitely purge and go for new, for three reasons:

      1) It’s one less thing to worry about breaking in transit.

      2) You could give it to someone you know who doesn’t have nice dinnerware and make them happy.

      3) Because you are going for a new start elsewhere, and eating is very central to what we do, you should start afresh with a new best dinnerware bought locally to where you move. You need a new best to go with your new life! πŸ™‚


  8. Oh, loved it! Happy birthday Vanessa!

    In keeping with the Hitchhikers Guide theme, given that celebrating at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe is a little impractical, invite some friends to a Chinese restaurant where you booked a table under the name Slartibartfast. πŸ˜‰


  9. Ooh! Such a cute, widdle, pudgy baby!

    And happy birthday! I’m hot on your heels for the same age milestone. So please do me the favor of solving all the “political and humanitarian crisises” before November, won’t you? I’d probably just screw things up.


    • Pudgy? Me?!

      I wondered what that warm feeling was I was getting on my heels! Well I can solve all the crisises that are around now, but I can’t guarantee there won’t be more by the time you get here.


      • Well do try to come up with some long term solutions, won’t you? The world will thank you for it, believe me.

        And, well, that baby picture did make me laugh out loud, I must say. I don’t know where the pudge went, but you sure made it head for the hills, that’s for sure!


        • Well ok, I will do my best on the long term solutions, or I will at least hold the fort until you arrive.

          You’re ALWAYS laughing at me! I guess I figured out right from that young age that it’s ok to indulge in a bit of cake (or whatever) now and again, as long as you exercise it off afterwards!


  10. Happy Birthday, Vanessa! I just turned 40 in August, and I am so very wise now. People walk up to me at races and ask me to take pictures of them on their iPhones. Does that count?

    I hope you have an amazing, wonderful year of living dangerously.


    • Thanks Anne, yes I think that certainly does count! Although if you think you’re wise now, just wait till 42, I can feel the increasing wiseness even as this day progresses!

      I will do my best to have an amazing, wonderful year, although I shall try and avoid too much danger…


  11. Happy Birthday. I love getting older. Each day has something new for me and I have something new for it. What’s not to love about that? πŸ™‚


  12. Happy Birthday! Now that you can finally walk, have yourself some more cake, (cake is a superfood) walk over get a glass of wine, sit back and ponder how you can use these new found powers for good not evil. πŸ™‚


  13. I would like to know the answers to these questions:

    1. If someone leads but no one follows… are they just out for a walk?

    2. Why is the Lone Ranger called ‘Lone’ if he always has his Indian friend Tonto with him?

    3. Do you think the Zanussi ZWH6140P is as reliable as Japanese brands? I mean can we trust the Italians?


    • No problem…

      1. No, they are preparing the path for others to follow at a later date.

      2. I have two answers here, you may choose which you prefer:
      a) Tonto did not appear until the 11th episode of the original radio series, and by that time the name Lone Ranger was established, so it was kept.
      b) He is the only one of the two that is a ranger, therefore he is the Lone Ranger.

      3) Hang on a minute…I’d recognise that Zanussi model anywhere! You mentioned it on my ‘Sink with a View’ post! Are you a dishwasher salesman? Well, no matter, seeing as I have some Italian heritage I would say yes, we can trust the Italians. They make nice food too.

      Any more questions, pop back any time.


      • Thank You. I like it when the answers are multiple choice.

        It must be lonely being a Lone Ranger. I mean.. everyone coming to you to ask for money. At rock bottom interest rates too. As well as having to herd cattle. I suppose the banking sector had to diversify back then what with the Wall Street Crash and all that.

        I have another question for you whilst you have this wonderful gift of knowledge.

        Do you think that there could be other dimensions which perhaps we cannot see but which occasionally things can pass from this dimension?

        The reason I ask is the I’ve had a lot of cutlery going missing from my dishwasher recently. It’s strange. I think I might have opened up a portal.


        • I think there definitely could be, yes. I would imagine that the cutlery which goes missing from dishwashers goes to the same place as the odd socks which go missing from washing machines. Somewhere “out there”, is a place full of one-legged beings with good table etiquette.


  14. “I shall be the fount of all knowledge and wisdom.”—Well, if that’s the case, then I shall be forever visiting your site…

    Happy birthday!


  15. Happy Birthday! I’m a September baby, too. Love your ‘power list’. I think if you can get #5 to work, then the rest will be downhill from there. πŸ™‚


  16. Happy birthday, Vanessa and many, many more.

    From my experience, the more birthdays you have (it’s not age-related), the better it gets. Something to look forward to.


  17. I look forward to learning from you this year. πŸ™‚ Happy birthday, Vanessa!


  18. Yes, happy birthday from me too, Vanessa!


  19. Happy Birthday from another September baby! Methinks a lot of parents were having good times at Christmas and New Year’s parties the winter before. (Although, I hope the “creative event” itself took place after the party!)


  20. Happy birthday — there’s something touching for me about your recreation of what you did on your first birthday — it’s a reminder for me of how I am, and possibly all of us are, not really that different in terms of temperament and spirit from how I was (we were) as an infant.


    • Thank you Chris, I almost missed this comment, I replied to the ones below yesterday, and I was just skipping through my recent posts now because I always worry that I might have missed replying to a comment, and I found that my worries were justified. Phew, that was exhausting!

      Anyway, I’m glad I touched you, so to speak.


  21. Vanessa, I’m sure you’ve received this many times, but I just nominated you for a Versatile Blogger Award. Go to my blog at to see my list.


  22. CAKE! Delicioso. This is a great post and it made me chuckle a number of times which is exactly what I needed!!! πŸ™‚

    Thank you and for now, a very merry unbirthday to you! x


  23. Happy Birthday, Vanessa, albeit a little late. Hope you had a wonderful day and we’ll get some stories about all those environmental concerns you resolved, and I hope the kids will clean their rooms. Should I hope for either one? Happy Birthday and many more…just stop counting them.


  24. Happy (belated) birthday, Vanessa. Sweet post!


  25. Pingback: If there are periods of time when I’m not around for periods of time… | Vanessa-Jane Chapman

Anything you'd like to say? Now's your chance...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s