“That all things do indeed pass is revealed when a child’s sadness gives way to laughter” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Ben Perrot, March 26 photographed by Joel Robison

Image by Joel Robison

An Interview with Ben

Q. What is your best memory/moment from one of your past birthdays?

A. I would say I’m still making memories to be honest, but my best memories from past birthdays have to be when I was 15-17, around this age I would usually meet up with my friend on my birthday. We would play guitar and try to make up songs and play video games. We also went to London once and watched the film about the teenage guys who can fly; one goes insane from the power he gained, from this foreign energy source they found in the ground. I remember everyone jumping in the cinema at the same time because it was 3D and fancy with effects.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. I don’t really have anything in particular, although I think birthdays where you are in a classroom or doing some kind of test are the worst. I’m pretty sure I’ve had a few where I had to take exams, which is not really that fun. I’m sure I block out these memories to be brutally honest.

Q. What was the present you’ve received for your birthday that most surprised you?

A. I had my first driving lesson booked on my 17th, but the tutor was an angry type. That was very surprising and thoughtful of my family, it’s a shame the guy was a hot head.

Q. Is there one food or dish that you insist in eating during your birthday celebration?

A. Usually pizza of toad in the hole.

Q. What do you believe is the most important aspect of celebrating a birthday?

A. That you have fun, you get to relax and it’s a chance to have things focused on you. Also that you are with family and or friends and that they enjoy themselves equally as much as you do.

Q. Do you/your family/culture have any traditions/rituals/ceremonies that are performed to celebrate birthdays? What is it?

A. We do the obvious blowing out candles, and the birthday person has their favourite meal.