Friday, 29 February 2008

29th February


Hurrah for 29th February!

You see, I am a ‘Leapling’ and today is my birthday, my first since 2004. I have to say that being born on a day that doesn’t generally exist is a little disconcerting. It feels a bit science-fictiony, like I emanated from a parallel dimension or something that only co-exists with the real world once every four years (and according to the Gregorian calendar, every centenary divisible by 400 for you pedants). Some people would say that actually, it would explain quite a lot. Mystery writers love the concept and even the comic opera ‘Pirates of Penzance’ uses it as a plot device.

Having no actual birth day has its advantages. On a non leap year, I can choose which day my birthday falls – either 28th February or 1st March – depending on which day falls on a weekend, for example, although I believe in legal terms Leapling birthdays are deemed to fall on 28th February. Just to be contrary, I generally opt for 1st March; the logic being that it is the day after the 28th February although I do get people asking me whether I’m Welsh.

Despite their only being a 1 in 1,461 chance of being born a Leapling, I’m not the only one. In fact there were two of us in my year at secondary school and if you look on Wikipedia there is a whole list of Leaplings, although I can’t say I know any of them except for actor Joss Ackland (born 29th Feb 1928) and the composer of the ‘William Tell Overture’, Gioacchino Rossini (born 29th Feb 1792). Other than those two, we are a fairly undistinguished lot.

I am also waiting with baited breath to see whether I get any marriage proposals, as custom allows women to propose to men on 29th February (or is it the whole year, I can never remember?) But I think my wife might have something to say about that these days.

All that remains now is to choose which birthday song I shall play to celebrate this momentous day. Despite being an Altered Images fan, I think I’ll give their ‘Happy Birthday’ a miss and the Smiths’ ‘Unhappy Birthday’, although much better, doesn’t really feel appropriate. So, I may go for The Sugarcubes’ ‘Birthday’, being more fittingly quirky bearing in the mind the slightly supernatural flavour of the occasion. Either that or I’ll go for a full rock out with The Beatles’ ‘Birthday’.

It’s quite fun being a Leapling.

7 comments:

TR1-Guy said...

29th February? Oh, yes, we Americans screw up everything including calendars! February 29th doesn't exist except here in the ol' USA... but I digress...

One, Happy Birthday. You're like, 12-1/2 now? :) Being a person born in February as well (5th) I'd probably opt for the 28th as the alternate birthday, but your logic of March 1st is very cool as it IS the day AFTER the 28th normally.

I don't know any other "leapers" except for Sam in "Quantum Leap" and that's a whole other story... So for now, welcome to our dimension in this Leap Year and enjoy the day (that's a bit used up by now!)

Cheers, mate!

PS: Anything but the Beatles song as I think we've all heard that WAY too much, though a good rocker!

musicobsessive said...

Thanks Byron.
You're, right - it'll have to be the Sugarcubes.
And actually it's nearer to (ahem) 13 this time around!

Jennifer K said...

Happy Birthday to a fellow Pisces!

Jayne Ferst said...

Happy Birthday! It does sound a little Stephen King to be born on a day that doesn't always exist. I bet those years that do have Feb 29th in them feel a little more exciting - an actual birth 'day'! Hope you had a nice celebration whatever you did.

musicobsessive said...

Thanks to everybody who sent Birthday wishes - all much appreciated!
Now, when's Christmas...?

Adrian said...

Happy Birthday!! (belated)

I've been under the weather for the past month, and just now surfacing.

May your Leapling celebration be the best!!

cheers, Ad

musicobsessive said...

Thanks Adrian
Hope you're feeling better now and ready to take on the music industry...again!