But despite the cards and the presents - not to mention my own Mum's presence - for the first time in my life someone else took precedence over me on 3 November. No prizes for guessing who. Yes, the little chappie pictured above in his own birthday cardigan (bought by his Grandma literally on his birth day). Not that he was any particular trouble. He was just Louis being Louis, with his usual mix of smiles, laughs, cuddles, goos and, okay, the occasional little grumble when he had buggy fatigue/hunger pangs/shopping overload. And that meant that his needs, of course, came first. (Except, that is, when his tea got delayed so we could nip into Trader Joe's for a bottle of Prosecco.) He even stopped me from watching the pre-election edition of the Daily Show that I'd stayed up especially late to catch because he decided he fancied a midnight snack. I'm guessing that birthdays will have a whole new significance from here on in with his, not mine, taking centre stage.
Talking of men overshadowing my big day, I can't help but mention another. Yes, that would have to be Mr Obama, the reason I just watched CNN on my birthday instead of Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, which I'd been saving especially, and who has just wrapped up his last rally before America goes to the polls. It was only down the road, in Manassas, Virginia, and much as I'd have loved to be there I'm not sure Louis would have thanked me for taking him. He looked exhausted - that's Barack, not Louis - but as ever it was stirring stuff. I know I'm not American and I know I can't vote, but oh, how I do hope that he wins. For Louis's sake as much as anything; just think of the kudos in years to come if he can say he was here when America elected its first African-American president and put its first black first family in the White House, just down the road from where we're living. Go Obama! Go America!