Thirty three can be read sanzan.
Sanzan means awful, disastrous, hard.
Therefore it's considered yakudoshi in Japanese.
I checked the English for yakudoshi and the quite poetic 'year of calamities' came up.
Well, one day in and it has certainly been that.
Woke up to find that the fox we had been warned about and had checked the chook cage against and smugly congratulated ourselves on 100% protecting our chooks from had not followed the rules and done in all four of our chooks. We were devastated. And I feel guilty for not protecting the chooks better and also severely unjustly dealt with as we love our chooks and treat them as pets and spend a lot of time and effort making life good for them while many of our neighbours keep them as simply primary producers. Why did we get targeted by the fox and not them????
Still reeling from that shock and Amy had a 40 minute meltdown over a banana. After piffing it in indignation at being offered a lowly banana instead of the watermelon that she desired (and we don't have) it was removed from her. Of course this action served to convince her that her life would not be complete, liveable or even bearable without that half banana. She is a very stubborn kid but, worse luck, I'm more stubborn and she eventually headed to kinder banana-less and desolate.
Feeling depressed and now drained as well I headed back inside for a much needed coffee. I'd given K the last of yesterday's pot (he really doesn't mind) and was looking forward to a fresh brewed coffee. Nope. Not for those in the year of calamity.
No coffee. That is no way to start a birthday morning. Seriously.
Depressed, drained, glum and now caffeine deprived I was contemplating doing something rash and driving to the nearest starbucks for some birthday cheer (what's an hour round trip for an overpriced beverage?) when there was a 'hello?' from the front door. Ooohhh! A parcel delivery perhaps? Nope. Neighbour over the road with a message for K. Well actually he said it was a message for Dad but as he doesn't know my dad from a bar of soap I'm sure he meant K. The very important and serious tomato research bus tour K is taking a day off work for tomorrow? Would he please bring his towel for the onsen and don't worry, all the alcohol is supplied. Hot springs and beer? and K has been moaning and groaning and woe is me about having to go on this compulsory agricultural study tour? Poor K my butt!
Depressed, drained, glum, caffeine deprived and now miffed I headed out to the garden and kept being reminded of the lack of chooks. Oooh! Have to feed the chooks. Ohhhh.... Oooh! An over grown cucumber, a rotting zucchini, a huge snail- just go and give it to the chooks. Ohhhhh.
Sad all day.....
Far too hot to consider baking a cake so I decided we'd have ice-cream parfaits for birthday dessert.
Asked M and A to pick some blueberries for the dessert and they were both too busy. Poor me.
K was also busy. He was mowing the lawn. He is pretty fabulous for coming home early so we could have a family dinner but his 'hey, I'm home while it's still light, let's make good use of the time!' mowing jag? Minus points, honey. Any day but today and I'd be singing his praises for taking on the arduous task that is mowing an uneven and unevenly seeded lawn with a hand mower but not today.
Then the ice-cream had frozen into an indestructable brick, the caramel sauce split- serves me right for substituting skim milk for double cream I guess but seriously, who has double cream in their fridge?? The blueberries never got picked, we had 30 minutes until my JHS tutorees would arrive to eat, Meg turned her nose up at parsley and garlic crusted panfried fresh sardines, Amy caused a kerfuffle by eating all the beans and on and on it went.
Probably the most archetypical image of the day was when we were eating our rock hard icecream with split sauce and no blueberries and Meg turned the lights out to sing Happy Birthday. And no-one even got the candles out. Yes, I could have done it but hey, I just shopped for, picked, cooked and served my own birthday meal with no help from anyone. So we sat there sweaty, hot, frayed at the edges, tired and tetchy in the gloomy kitchen and a raucous and out of tune rendition of Happy Birthday was sung.
It was a duet as Amy had already started in on her icecream.
Someone pointed out this morning that yakudoshi is counted on the old calendar where you end up being a year older than you are by the modern one. In that case I have left my year of calamities behind me. I really hope so. I would much rather think today was my year of calamities going out with a bang rather than coming in with one.
Oh, and the remedy for yakudoshi? Having a baby.
Ha ha ha ha ha!!
So not going to happen.