the time difference between here and home has one rather cool side effect. my birthday is at least 40 hours long, effectively giving me a two day party zone. the local greetings began with pernille singing ‘happy birthday’ to me a few minutes after — some would say before — midnight. actually, singing might be an exaggeration; it was more like a gleeful cackle. she seems to take delight in rubbing in my birthdays, and the rehearsals for the song performance begin days in advance. then i’m usually treated to encore performances at intervals throughout the day. this time, however, the celebrations have carried on until late in the evening of the second day, all the way to the US west coast, which is 17 hours behind canberra, or seven hours ahead on the day before if that helps. so the greetings have just wrapped up as the clock struck midnight in california. long day, and boy do i feel older after all that.