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My Wife’s Birthday

My wife's birthday
Owen Jones


My Wife’s Birthday

Today is my wife’s birthday. People started to arrive at nine am, but that was only to help cook the two pigs’ heads she had promised Buddha the day before and prepare food for tonight. The monks must eat their last meal of the day before noon, so they were delivered by eleven, and they generously gave one back for my wife’s birthday party.

So Neem and her fellow female cooks, didn’t really start partying until about midday. It is now five thirty and I have popped out for an hour for a little sanity.

They are all (much) younger than I am too, although I usually last to the end at about midnight.

I am in my bolthole, Jem’s shop, two hundred yards from home, but I can still hear my wife’s birthday party.

I use Google alerts to track mentions of me about me and my books. They are very rarely triggered, so it was a nice surprise to see one of my obscure books, ‘The Eternal Plan – Revealed,’ flagged. I clicked on the link and it was in Japanese (I think). At first, I thought pirates, but upon much closer inspection, I saw the word Rakuten and then Kobo. It was one of the books I put with Kobo yesterday, and now it is on sale in Japan as well. In fact, God knows where Rakuten does not have any influence.

The bit that I don’t understand though is, CreateSpace, Lulu, Smashwords and XinXii put my books with Kobo years ago, but apparently did not get the same amount of coverage as having one’s own account does.

Now if they would only translate the books into the Oriental languages as well, I may sell some.

I rejoined my wife’s birthday party an hour later, but I was asked to sit with the men, for the first time in ten years. It is normal at Thai get-togethers for the men and women to sit apart, however, I usually stick to Neem, since more women speak some English than men, and my wife helps me by translating the important bits of the conversation. She translates for me too.

I didn’t speak more than a hundred words in six hours and half of them were to the dog. I went back to work when the party split up at midnight, but Neem stayed chatting with a friend in the garden for a couple more hours.




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