Hello world. It’s me. Bernardine. It’s been swell traipsing around the sun with you for another year. What a tough one, eh? Someone smarter than me wrote that no one promised life would be easy all the time. And yet we only get the one life to fiddle around with, so I have to say I’m grateful for the last 12 months of discovery. I’m not going to reflect on it too much, because it seems to me that looking back is the sure way to becoming a pillar of salt. On such a day as this, with so many birthday wishes coming my way, and so many thoughtful notes of support for my sweet Nishi, I am reminded of how precious and precarious all of this is. This tightrope called life. This spinning blob in outer space with all of us like specks of sand thinking we are the centre of the universe. Because we are! I love that you, world, celebrate my birth day with me every year without fail and put on all the fireworks and things. Not everyone is so lucky. I only hope I keep on waking up alive. I only hope I will be brave and deserving and kind on each day. I only hope none of us fall off this spinning blob and go floating away without a safety line but I also hope we can all jump into wonderful things with no safety net. I only hope that all my friends and family know how special they are and how happy I am to finally know if the jack beats the five. Or is it the other way around? Blessings on all our beloved furry friends who give so much and blessings on you, world, for keeping on.