Bad birthday planning is the norm on my part, which is why I have let Jay plan the last 3, and this year, sans Jay, it was a logistical nightmare. We couldn't even work out what time to get to the theatre. So the 4 of us missed it (the wrong play as well it must be added) and went out instead to Edgware Road where we spent the whole night with a Hookah (no Cez, I mean a bong, not a cheap whore), smoking away late into the night in an arabian bong-joint.

Yeah it was a chilled an relaxed evening which was well cool and I'd like to say thanks to Suze, who always makes me smile, and Hieu and Gerry for being consistently brilliant.

Someone else brought a completely unexpected smile to my face this birthday though and I have to give her a mention because it was so amazin, and so out of the blue I am still reeling from it. Z, top honours go to you babe, for actually makin me a birthday card.

I acknowledge that my e-mail confounded a great many of you, as materialism is an accepted paradigm which many of you ascribe to unquestioningly (yes you know who you are), and the concept of someone who has chosen the path of non-material conquest of self is perhaps as alien to you as getting mugged on the streets.

I am happy that the post this mornin contained nothing that people had trudged through the streets deliberately looking for, and that someone had understood the e-mail so thoroughly that I got a handmade card. But I didn't expect it to be you, Z and for that I am unwaveringly yours.

A success then, as success is measured in the currency of affection not the monetary value of presents recieved.

One of my recent projects was an art project of other peoples work around America. I carried my sketch pad around the states with me and spoke long and hard to people, who ended up drawing for me. There is nothing that you can give me that is more valuale than your art, as to give me your art is to give me your heart.

A handmade card and any work of art is an abstract concept, signifying time spent with your thoughts and feelings. Expression of feeling through art is the most personal act you can perpetrate, it's an individual feeling and the struggle to conceptualise and materialise your thoughts and feelings is reflected in the time spent on a piece.

The final piece in all it's glory is a combination of the artists feelings at that moment, expressed in their own action. The time spent making the piece reflects the dedication to the pursuit of expression. In total art represents everything that I desire, time and affection and many find their art as difficult to part with as their heart. Because in art is an expression of raw emotion.

For me to recieve a raw piece of emotion is an honour and one I do not take lightly. Emotions cannot be bought.
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