Alice and I are both very different and very similar at the same time. Alice is a slip of a woman, who would be easily knocked over in a stiff breeze. I'm more the proverbial brick shithouse. Alice is a divorced mother of one. I've been terminally single all my life. Alice is very defined in her reading habits. I'm a bit more flexible. Alice is English by birth, Australian by naturalisation. I am Australian who's really just a Pom at heart.
She and I lived about a mile away from each other in London in the nineties. We met in Melbourne about 12 years ago, but we more than likely would have passed each other in Waitrose on many occasions, or been at the same bar on any given night.
Alice is the person who drops food around when you've been in hospital. I'm the person who sits people down and I let them talk without judgement.
Alice and I are a bit tragic. We both love The Pixies, Rocky Horror and rock music. She's a brilliant Columbia. I'm more Magenta.
When we worked together, our catch cry was, "Cup of tea?" Before rising in unison and wandering to the kitchen at well defined times.
We're both loud, happy drunks - not that either of us have had a big night for a while. Alice has her son Jasper to think about. I'm normally driving - makes going on a bender a bit hard.
We are both loud introverts - I think I might be a bit more introverted than her, but not by much.
And we are holding a joint birthday party.
Food order: Settled
Cake: Must approach my cousin's wife - if not, we need to find a cake.
Name tags: Ordered in - as geeky as I can find.
Playlist: Getting there - we need another song to go with this:
The party is a few weeks away, but Alice is off to England and France at the end of the week. In a fortnight, I'm off to Bali. This is why all of this needs to be done and done now.
Alice is having a mega-party with her family in the South of France, sharing the event with her cousin, who is twelve hours older than her. It sounds like it will be a hoot.
I'll be spending my birthday, a week later, in Bali, with a group of friends.
As much as I'm looking forward to Bali, the thought of the South of France, in a farmhouse, with family sounds very awesome too.
Not that I have been to Europe for about eight years. Alice goes back to the Motherland roughly once a year to see family.
I've been decidedly dodging my spiritual home, mainly because of one person. However, as I have a funny feeling that he is no longer on the planet, I should be able to ride out this and get back for another round of Shakespeare and Cathedral spotting.
But our party is planned and we can toddle off to our respective other countries and see our birthday's in with our loved ones.
And we're both feeling relieved that this is all organised and hopeful that people will turn up on the night.
Funny that we both have the same fear that nobody is going to turn up on the night.
We're a bit more similar that we'd like to admit.