Every year when my birthday rolls around, I find the whole thing a little overwhelming. It’s not the idea of having a birthday itself – I’ve got no problem with ageing and I definitely have no problem with presents. It’s the idea of trying to organise something in middle of high summer, when it’s ridiculously hot and ridiculously busy. Anyone who lives and works in Ibiza and has a birthday in July or August will know exactly what I’m talking about. If you’re here on holiday and having a birthday, it can be the best experience – there’s nowhere better in the world to organise a celebration. That’s how I ended up living here in fact – my very first visit to the island was for my birthday and it was so good I never left!
But I digress – back to those born under the sign of Cancer or Leo who dread their birthdays rolling around in Ibiza each year. Most people I know work crazy hours and there’s no such thing as a weekend (it’s Ibiza! Every night’s a weekend!) so it can be very tricky to get all your favourite people under one roof. Secondly, all of our favourite restaurants are so overcrowded with tourists so it can difficult to get a good table (and can sometimes feel a bit rushed) and thirdly, who wants to eat a big meal in summer anyway? And the last thing you feel like at this time of year is to organise anything in your own home – that needs to stay your sanctuary.
Speaking of home, back in the land down under (where women glow and men plunder, also where I come from, in case you didn’t know), birthdays were a totally different ballgame for me. There, my date of birth fell in the middle of the beautiful sunny winter. Work hours were your typical nine to five and weekends were weekends – it was easy (in fact it was a JOY!) to get a group of your favourite people together in a lovely cosy environment to celebrate. I relished my birthdays. I planned lavish parties, fun breakfasts, cosy dinners and weekends away… until that one fateful year when I planned a European holiday and then birthdays, as I knew them, were never to be the same again.
There’s not a whole lot I miss about Australia to be perfectly honest, but winter birthdays are one thing. Vegemite is another (although these days I have a source so I never run out). Lucas’ Papaw ointment – I don’t leave home without it and ask every single person visiting from Australia to bring me a tube or tub. And Cherry Ripes (if you know you know). And while I definitely don’t miss the good old Aussie twang (I prefer an international Kylie Minogue/Elle McPherson/Nicole Kidman strain of Strayan), there are times when I hear someone from Australia talking – rarely on the streets of Ibiza, more likely on the TV, in a film or on an Insta-story in the case of my all-time celeb crush Chris Hemsworth – and it feels… like home.
Ahh, Chris Hemsworth. The quintessential Aussie good bloke, who leapt into our collective consciousness, not to mention our hearts, via a stint on Home and Away in 2004 (just a year before my fateful Ibiza birthday). If only all Australian men were like the Hemsworths (as I’m sure you all know, there are three!), perhaps I’d still live there. Just a few days ago, when my friend Miss M asked me if there was anything I’d like for my birthday this year, I answered: a housekeeper, a day off and Chris Hemsworth. So you can imagine my surprise when on Sunday – the day of my actual birthday – I discovered that the one and only Chris Hemsworth had jetted into Ibiza (private, obvs) for a birthday party. Could it be the universe was finally going to answer my prayers? Was Miss M so well connected she could hook these kinds of things up?
Close, but no cigar. very obviously no cigar, since Mr Hemsworth is a very healthy person IRL and would never smoke – according to the tabloids, he even avoided pizza and beer during his trip to Ibiza. The man is clearly a saint! And if that’s what constitutes news these days, I am very scared for future generations. Anyway, again I digress. Turns out the God of Thunder was in Ibiza for someone else’s birthday party – his own wife as it turns out, the beautiful Spanish actress Elsa Pataky, who would certainly not have been experiencing the same birthday psychosis as me, since she was holidaying in Ibiza, not living and working here (by the way, I am sure Elsa and I would be kindred spirits if she did live here – I can just feel it, we’re the same star sign, the same age, we love the same clothing brands, coincidentally we love the same man, she could help me practice my Spanish, oh what fun we’d have!), and had a concierge organise all the finer details for her. Which just so happened to include flying in her good pal Luciana Barroso, and her other half, who – if you didn’t already know – is none other than Matt Damon.
So while the Damons and the Hemsworths were glamming it up on a superyacht, eating or avoiding pizza and beer (let’s face it – the tabloids just make stuff up), I was left wondering whether my invite got lost in the post. Perhaps they didn’t call me because they figured it was my own birthday and I’d have better things to do? Maybe Chris was scared that when we met, he’d realise I was the girl of his dreams and he’d have to leave Elsa and the kids immediately and come and live in Ibiza with me and the cats? (Don’t worry Elsa – I promise I would never allow that to happen since we’re kindred spirits and all that). Maybe it was because Elsa was scared I’d throw myself at her husband and he might fall overboard? (Don’t worry Elsa – I’m more likely to throw myself at you in order for us to become BFFs) I guess I’ll never know.
But as far as birthdays go… I’ve been thinking that next year, I need to be more like Elsa. From the looks of her Instagram account, she had a wonderful birthday in Ibiza, while I’m still waiting for my housekeeper to turn up and the aforementioned day off. Perhaps next year (when Elsa and I are besties) we can have a joint birthday party… her concierge (seen below with our beloved) can arrange everything for us, Chris will of course RSVP yes and all I have to do is turn up. Although – I’ve never been a big fan of boats either. I wonder how she’ll feel about having our party on dry land. Anyone got her number so I can give her a call and ask?