Yup - I had my birthday middle of last week - my first Winter birthday! Fortunately, the weather, which has been lousy for about the last fortnight, cleared up spectacularly - the sky was bright blue, the sun was warm (hot enough for me to go and sit by the sea for fifteen minutes at lunchtime), and the air was so clear that I could see all the way to the Rimutakas, which are a range of bigger-than-hills, smaller-than-mountains at the far end of the Hutt Valley, and were glinting with fresh fallen snow (the road around the Rimutakas had been closed due to snow overnight). Just a shame that I didn't have the camera with me - I realised later on that it was the clearest that it had been since I'd started work! And the weather has been downhill again ever since - the gas fire is on pretty much all the time we are at home now.
There are three of us at work who have our birthdays around the same time, so we have each had a little mini-celebration, with everyone on the team bringing in things to eat. I've made good use of the building's oven, and I now make my bite-size cheese scone mixture at home, cut them out, pack them up, and then take the raw pastry to work to cook. This works really well - having the scones warm is just glorious!
As we had our Phoenix sci-fi meeting on my birthday (so the usual meal out couldn't *really* be termed as a celebration itself - that's my excuse), we also had a takeaway on Friday, which involved us going over and trying our local Indian. The CurryStar is just the other side of the train tracks, so about a ten minute walk door to door - reasonably priced for a curry house, and with a really good range of dishes (all, aside from the traditionally spicy ones, with a range of heats; mild, medium, Kiwi hot and Indian hot...). The dishes were a brilliant size, and the Peshwari Naan was so full of fruit and chopped nuts that it looked a bit like a bready mince pie! I definitely think we will be going there again...
Hockey has been interesting this week - I caught the ball on my knee in training after the ball was flicked at close range (I blame the coach who was telling me to run out towards the attackers!). Fortunately, after an initial "is it broken?", I was able to get an ice-gel pack on it, and, whilst it did swell up that evening, it had gone back down again by the morning, and I only have some reasonably spectacular bruising for my pains (not nearly enough given how much it hurt, but better than none at all!) It was definitely ok for me to play with on Sunday, which was a good thing, as we won 4-1. We've finally got a positive goal difference, and we are sitting at third in the league after four games (with only one point between us and the leader). Unfortunately, we haven't yet played either of the teams who are ahead of us, so we've still got a way to go!