“Love involves acceptance of the inexorability of Law” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Gillian Mitchell by ©Lori Maloney

“What a pleasure it is to photograph people who are so enthused with our project!  Gillian, who is a ceramic artist and a teacher, is just as lovely as she looks…fun loving, adventuresome, buoyant, and generous in spirit!  When we met, on a chilly April morn, she was game for anything and I am thrilled to have captured her smiling (as I am inclined to think is her norm!) AND showing off a pair of her fave Crocs! Thanks, Gillian, it was a pleasure meeting you!” – Lori Maloney

Image © Lori Maloney

An Interview with Gillian

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

A. I don’t have a particular moment that stands out as being the best on a birthday but I do have many good memories of past birthdays. But the best being is – every birthday has been spent with my family. Sometimes all my cousins are invited, sometimes only my favourite aunt, and sometimes just my immediate family, but always surrounded by love.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. Never a bad birthday when there is cake and beer around!

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

A. Just before I turned 16 my parents surprised me with my first VW. It was amazing! But at the time I was terribly embarrassed by the 1985, steel blue, convertible, Cabriolet. All I could think was how old it was! Little did I know my parents used to have a white one just like it! But the one my dad found for me was in mint condition, but how many 16 year old girls recognize this car’s beauty? I know I did’t the first time I saw it! That car made me a VW fan for life!

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

A. Oh yes! Sex in a pan is my favourite. I love love love it! Sometimes I’m lucky and my mom makes it on other days of the year too but always on my birthday!

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

A. Spending time with the people you love. Usually my friends and family don’t need a reason to go and celebrate (crack a beer!) but birthdays are always a time to get together and reminisce about the great times we have had together in a year.

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

A. I don’t think we do anything too much differently… food…wine…beer…