When the planets align


“Let me guess, you’re a Virgo, no, wait, hold on, you’re a Libran. You are, aren’t you?”

The strangely high proportion of Virgos and Librans is massive in our ranks. At last count we have seven Virgos and five Librans. I don’t know how seriously you take astrology, but that is, by the charts, a dramatic combination. 

Virgos, in short, are ultra organized pragmatists who value function and efficiency and extreme order. Librans, on the other hand, are dreamers who drift at their own pace. Fixating on the details and the aesthetics means that prompt decisions don’t happen very easily.

Somehow, it sort of works. It actually works like a dream. Frustrations? No shortage. Bourne & Hollingsworth has been built on the collective ability of Virgo and Libra. Logic and magic.

There are other birth signs in the company.

They don’t do nearly as much, however, as those of us born in September and October.

virgo constellation.jpg


The obvious answer is to say get together with your friends, dinner, too many drinks and a bunch of presents. But what if you simply don’t fancy socialising? Maybe, like us, you’ve done nothing but celebrate other people’s big day so by the time yours rolls around you just fancy doing, well, something else. What then?

Well, if nothing else, you need to have a special breakfast. Forget about whatever diet you’re pretending to be on. It’s your birthday. Ready! Nice pile of birthday cards and presents. Pot of coffee - stove top on this day. Then, the decision to make on eating: Eggs Benedict on muffin, orange juice, almond croissant on top. It’s only once a year after all.

Breakfast done. Obviously, today you’re not at work. Nobody, however much you love your job, should work on their birthday. That’s a given.

The luxury of a day off. Watch a film at 10 in the morning. Try it. You’re not quite fully awake. This has a similar effect to watching a film on a plane. The altitude shifts your judgment. Have you ever come off a flight raving to friends and family about an amazing film they absolutely must see? At high altitude, four hours into a long flight, it can be easy to find deep significance in Get Him to the Greek. Like those records you hear in a basement club at three thirty in the morning then rush out to buy the next day. You run home with it excitedly. You put it on and…..well, it doesn’t quite sound the same. Wonder why that is.

It’s now lunchtime. Here’s another rule: if you have breakfast at home you must go out to lunch. Or vice versa. Alternate between eating in and eating out. Simple. Whatever day of the week it is you are allowed a lunchtime drink on this day. Take your pick. Choose your venue carefully. We suggest a favourite rather than a new place. A bit like Christmas Eve, play it safe.

You’re probably thinking that because lunch is eaten out then dinner is going to be a home affair. Then you’re forgetting afternoon tea. Critical to a birthday. Sandwich, cake and a pot of good tea. Take this alone. Enjoy being the only person in London with a day off.

You now have the luxury of a couple of dead hours. Haircut? Maybe. Spot of clothes shopping is always a nice way to conquer the afternoon. Obviously, if you buy something that means you must go out to dinner really.

Of course you’re going to go out for dinner. It doesn’t matter that you’ve been to five birthday dinners in the last 10 days. They were other people’s birthdays. This is your day. Trust us, you will be dampened with regret tomorrow if you stay in tonight. We don’t care if it’s Tuesday.

Something cosmic happens on a birthday. However rough you have been looking recently, and yes, the celebrating other people’s days can take its toll, on your birthday you will, magically, be transfigured into a picture of health and desirability. Make the most of it. Maybe this is the real gift of your special day.

Do you opt for the intimate dinner for two or the all-out show of telling the world how many friends you have? It possibly hints at a character trait on our part but for us a birthday is an excuse to get everybody we even tenuously know in one place to raise a glass to yours truly. The FedEx man: of course he’s invited. Hairdresser: rude not to. Girl from coffee shop: she’d be really offended if you left her out.

That moment when it all clicks in. You push the door to your favourite watering hole. They’re all there. So what if you don’t recognise the FedEx guy out of his uniform. The important thing is they all came. In the same way that you look great on your birthday there is another physical mystery at large. How come you can drink so much on your birthday and remain lucid, witty, charming and attractive?

And to think some people say they hate their birthday. Give it to us, we’ll have it for you!


Megan Burroughs