“Beware the Ides of March” a soothsayer told Julius Caesar according to Shakespeare. Caesar was in fact warned that he would be harmed no later than the Ides of March and it was on this date that Brutus and Longinus conspired and succeeded in killing him.
The word ‘Ides’ itself means ‘half division’ especially of a month. In March, May, July and October the Ides falls on the 15th. Every other month it falls on the 13th. The Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and usually involved a military parade of some sort.
So, why am I going on and on about this day? Well, as a child I looked forward to this day with great excitement – not because we worshipped the Roman god Mars or because we celebrated the death of Julius Caesar but because it was my birthday!
I waited in agonizing anticipation until my birthday dinner, my cake and my presents. I’d have parties with all my neighbourhood friends and my Dad would put on a puppet show for us. It was always the best day of the year. Now that I’m ‘over the hill’ the birthdays can just stop. I don’t want to be reminded how much closer to a hundred I am!
Instead of getting presents this year, I thought I’d do something completely different and give something away. For every person who comments today, I will put their name in a pot and draw one lucky winner. That winner will receive a copy of my books, ‘Withershins’ and ‘Spirit Quest’. I will notify the winner to get their mailing address. Good luck, everyone!