“I am the point at which two lines intersect” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Laura Dobbie by © Jeannette Breward

“Knowing of Laura’s love for all things lilacs (and the colour purple!) I knew exactly where I wanted to shoot her Birthday Book portrait. This huge, beautiful lilac bush is one that I walk by daily and I’m always excited to watch it come into bloom for its brief time in the summer.  Once I saw the sea of purple, Laura and I headed down to capture the flowers in all their beauty before they were done for another season. I love how the final image turned out!” – Jeannette B

Image © Jeannette Breward

An Interview with Laura

Q. What is the best memory you have from a previous birthday?

A. My best memory from a previous birthday would have to be my 30th birthday. My husband and I had just gotten married, and on my birthday my parents and sister came to visit us, and my husband’s family came over too. We ordered pizza and spent the night hanging out on the deck. It was the best feeling to have our family together for the first time. Also, my Mom made us a cake (her birthday is on July 7 so we share celebrations) and she decorated it with these plastic flamingo decorations. When we lit the 30 candles, the flamingo decorations started melting and then caught fire! It was the funniest thing, and we cried with laughter as we doused them with water in the sink. It still makes me laugh when I think about it!

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. The worst birthday I’ve ever had was when I was a kid and I got very sick with laryngitis. We were visiting my Grandparents in rural Nova Scotia so my parents had to take me to the ER, on my birthday, to get anti-biotics. I remember everyone being so sympathetic and nice but there’s really nothing worse for a 7 or 8 year old than being sick on your birthday! I couldn’t even eat the cake!

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

A. The DSLR camera my husband bought me for my 30th! He knew I had always loved photography and that I was very interested in advancing my photography skills. I really wasn’t expecting such a big gift, and I was so happy.

Q. Is there a food or dish that you insist on eating on your birthday?

A. Strawberry shortcake! Strawberries are my favourite food, and while I like cake I LOVE strawberry shortcake. On my birthday there is usually a cake, but there always has to be strawberry shortcake as well – with a Nova Scotia style tea biscuit, of course.

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

A. Beyond spending time with your family and friends, a birthday is a good day to celebrate another year on the planet, and to reflect on what you want for the coming year.

Q. Do you have any traditions or thing you always do to celebrate a birthday? What is it?

A. Every year I have a joint celebration with my Mom. Her birthday is on July 7th, and my birthday is July 6th. She makes the Romans family birthday cake, which is a chocolate marble layer cake with chocolate orange icing. The recipe is an old one handed down through my Mom’s family – it was originally Henry Romans’ birthday cake. It’s really my Mom’s tradition for her birthday, but because our birthdays are so close I get to claim it as my own!