Stirring slowly on a Sunday evening, the best antidote to end-of-weekend blues I know. The twilight sky on my 26th birthday, muting slowly to a pale violet. Heartfelt wishes from far and wide (the nicest bit about birthdays, don’t you think?) – emails from Germany and South Africa, from Seattle and Singapore, a pile of parcels, handwritten snail mail. Fancy coffee from my deskmate and a round of candles to blow out, to the tune of sweet colleagues, in our cubicle. Root vegetable dhal and homemade tortilla chips and Dishoom’s spicy, bottomless chai. Quiet nights reading in a lukewarm bath, candle flickering on the sill. My sister’s sweetness and birthday cheer, and the cakes (x2!) she baked to celebrate me. Faces from far-distant lands lit on blue screens and wishes echoing down the wires. Saturday antiquing in a sleepy seaside town and the day he planned, crisp tickets clutched in our fists as we boarded the high-speed train to the coast for a birthday to rival them all. It ended us two, bench-bound on the seafront with a box of fish ‘n’ chips, battered and crispy, and a side of a mushy peas, inhaled in the salty bite of the breeze, watching that violet sunset waltz and whisper before us.