There is a place to be alone” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Ellie Catlin by ©Joel Robison

Image © Joel Robison

An Interview with Ellie

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

A. Getting my dog on my 11th birthday.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. Genuinely can’t think of a worst birthday moment. Guess I’m quite lucky to say that the only vaguely bad bit is the end of the day when it’s all over.

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

A. Again, getting my dog; I had asked for a dog in the past but my parents always said no and that I can have a rabbit instead, so I was surprised to get one. Which is funny because earlier that day I had been getting dog related presents from other people, like an “I heart my dog” photo frame, still didn’t suspect a thing.

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

A. Birthday cake!!

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

A. I don’t really know what makes a birthday a birthday, just getting a year older really. I suppose I favour the involvement of presents. It has become less and less of a big deal as I’ve gotten older, as it does with most people.

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

A. I always wake up early and go down to my parents room to open presents in bed with them.