Welcome to the 29th Day of February!

The sun came up today on a special day for people all over the world celebrating their leap year birthday. So, I wish all the leapers  a Happy Birthday! (Sunrise photo courtesy of Katrina, who lives in the Hunter area, taken yesterday: thank you)

How strange it must be not to have an actual birthday on the day you were born?  It reminds me of being on a cruise ship from Sydney to Hawaii and back. We crossed the international date line and had two Fridays on the way over. There were a lot of people celebrating two birthdays in a row at that time.

On our way back to Sydney, a lot totally lost a Saturday!  I asked about those who had a birthday on the “supposed” missing day and was told there were seventeen people who had missed it. The funny part of all this was, on the lost day, we spent two hours sailing around a Tongan Island called Niuafo’ou Island (Tin Can Island) which had deviated from the international time zone as Tonga is on the other side of the line.  The ship announced that it was Saturday for two hours only and then we’d go back to Sunday! The international line goes around the island. How bizaare.

So, I do understand how you leapers must feel after my strange – but wonderful experience – of missing and gaining a day. Far too confusing! Geoff told me a great story over tea last night which he had heard on the radio in the morning. I have to tell it to you as part of the official “useless information.” I found the story on a website too and it is well worth repeating:      

“In many European countries, especially in the upper classes of society, tradition dictates that any man who refuses a woman’s proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring.”

Ha ha, I have never heard this one before, have you? Don’t think it would work in our society today however, when no one seems to care too much. We seem to have lost our sense of embarrassment about EVERYTHING!

I did see an article in the Sunday papers showing a picture of twins who are celebrating their first leap year birthday as they were born four years ago. In other years, the child who was born first celebrated on 28th February and the second one celebrated on 1st March, not because they were born on different days (although this COULD happen) but just to make it special for each one. This is their first year that they will be celebrating together and they are excited.

Something else you should know is that: “People born on February 29 are all invited to join The Honor society of Leap Year Day Babies.”  You will find out more stories on this website:  http://www.timeanddate.com/date/leap-day-february-29.html

As this blog is covering the 366 days of this year, I thought it only fitting that I should talk about an event that only occurs every four years. I may not get the chance again. Hail the Leap Year!

Now, on to other matters. I had a bit of an experience earlier today. I was planning to visit my favourite Greek fruiterer but I became waylaid at the large shopping complex near my home, so I popped in to Woolworth’s to buy some fruit and vegetables. I must say I did feel such a traitor to my little local Fruiterer but time was of the essence.

As I made my purchases, a friendly young man putting out vegetables, called out to me. I was shocked! Remember how I wrote that no one speaks to you in the fruit section of big supermarkets? Well, this young fellow made a liar out of me. He called out over the shelving: “How are you today?” Taken aback, I expressed my surprise telling him about my Greek fruiterer who said “That is the last of the cherries for the season, love.”  He responded by saying “Oh, that is the last of the lychee for the season, love.” and then “See I can do that too!”

And so we bantered back and forth laughing about it all, but do you know, it really made my day! I became aware that one should never stereotype anyone. And perhaps, there is far more hope for the future of our ‘Gen Y’ young folk than I had given credit.  And … into the bargain, there appeared before my very eyes: BETTER FIGS – and on a good SPECIAL – than my Greek man could ever offer! Who would have thought?

It must be this Leap Day thing affecting the atmosphere, but nothing was going to the script that I had written about large supermarkets! The girl at the check-out was equally friendly.

Happy to be confounded, I left Woolworth’s with a smile on my face, content that our future surely is in good hands.

I hope you all enjoy the rest of this Leap Day …