Does a birthday celebration always have to be better than the last? Considering I can’t recall how I spent it last year it really shouldn’t make any difference, but the simplicity of today’s proceedings didn’t escape my attention. We went to one of our usual spots in Blaricum for our regular Sunday brunch and was thankfully blessed with rare weekend summer-like weather. What made this occasion extra special was the presence of a certain wacky Syrian transplant and inter-generational kindred spirit. Over an unfussy hamburger and fries, the meal proved to be short, sweet, sunny, and filled with spicy conversation. The celebration wasn’t over as it was off to Santpoort to another favorite spot at Duin & Kruidberg. The castle provided a nice walk around the grounds, a cold dessert by the popular lakeside garden terrace, with just the right amount of busy and endless R-rated conversation. Simplicity may have been the theme of this occasion but I’m almost sure I came out of the whole experience far richer than before I came in.