Monday, December 17, 2007


This is the actual midwife’s note from when I was born. It has been sitting in my childhood album all these years. I was a healthy little baby who arrived a few days early. The doctors had predicted I would be born on 24 December, but I could apparently not wait that long. I was born at the darkest time of the year, but I like to think of it as bringing the light, because this is when the days start getting longer again. Be positive! Just like my wife tries to convince me to feel happy about the up-coming birthday, not everybody gets to be this age, which is true, I suppose.

As a child I always suffered from having my birthday just before Christmas; all aunts, uncles, grandparents etc always combined my birthday present with my Christmas present, so I only got one when everybody else got two! ‘tsnot fair! I thought. Nowadays I can just about cope with it.

This is a picture from my christening a few months later. There were two more siblings to come.

The money in Sweden looked like this.

One of film’s objects of desire.

A popular Disney film of the day.

And the very first SAAB. Doesn’t it look futuristic!

When I googled the net I found some facts from the year I was born as well as the day, mostly from Wikipedia.


In 1947 Pakistan, India and the CIA were created; Pakistan and India, a messy conflict left behind by the British. CIA – I dare not even comment!

Liz and Phil (Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh) got married on 20 Nov.

In New York City, Edwin Land demonstrates the first "instant camera", the Polaroid Land Camera, to a meeting of the Optical Society of America.

The International Monetary Fund begins to operate.

Saab produces its first automobile.

Thor Heyerdahl's balsa wood raft, the Kon-Tiki, smashes into the reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands after a 101 day, 4,300 mile journey across the Pacific Ocean proving that pre-historic peoples could have traveled from South America.

August 14 - After 90 years of British colonial rule, Pakistan gains independence from the British Empire. While the transition is officially at midnight on this day, Pakistan celebrates its independence on August 14 compared to India on the 15th. Muhammad Ali Jinnah became the first Governor General of Pakistan.

August 15 - After a long struggle India gained independence from British rule. Pakistan splits from India. Rajendra Prasad is the first President of India. Jawaharlal Nehru takes office as the first Prime Minister of India.

American test pilot Captain Chuck Yeager flies a Bell X-1 faster than the speed of sound, the first man to do so in level flight.

The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which is the foundation of the World Trade Organization (WTO) is founded.

November 16 The British begin to withdraw their troops from Palestine.

November 29 - The United Nations General Assembly votes to partition Palestine between ArabsJews. and

Mikhail Kalashnikov designs the AK-47 assault rifle.

In a cave in and around the Wadi Qumran (near the ruins of the ancient settlement of Khirbet Qumran, on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea), several tall pottery jars containing leather scrolls are discovered, which later became known as the Dead Sea scrolls.[1]

Born this year:

Hillary Clinton, Elton John, David Bowie, Ry Cooder, Emmylou Harris, David Letterman, Salman Rushdie, OJ Simpson (oh dear me!), Carlos Santana, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Stephen King, Meat Loaf, Marc Bolan (I know exactly against which tree he died!), Kevin Kline, P.J. O’Rourke, Ted Danson, Farah Fawcett, Dan Quayle (Mr Potatoe Man!), Sandie Shaw (“Puppet On A String”), Mitt Romney, Glenn Close, James Woods, Iggy Pop, Johan Cruijff (Dutch footballer and coach), David Blunkett, Arlo Guthrie, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall (Prince Charles’ wife), Brian May (Queen guitarist), Richard Grifftiths (British actor), Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull), Willy Russell (British playwright), Barbara Bach (Ringo Starr’s wife), Sam Neill, France Gall (French singer), Richard Dreyfuss, Jeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra) and Paco de Lucia (virtuoso Spanish guitarist) same day as I.

21st December

On this day in…

1620 - Plymouth Colony: William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims land on what is now known as Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

1913 - Arthur Wynne's "word-cross", the first crossword puzzle, is published in the New York World.

1968 - Apollo program: Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon, is launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. At 2h:50m:37s Mission elapsed time (MES), the crew performs the first ever manned Trans Lunar Injection and become the first humans to leave the Earth's gravity field.

1970 - Elvis Presley meets with President Richard Nixon to discuss the war on drugs.

(Didn’t work, did it?)

1988 - A bomb explodes on board Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, killing 270.

And then of course, adding to all the famous people above, …. I was born.


Rositta said...

Happy Number 3 grandson was born on December 21st in Yellowknife, N.W.T. It is really dark there. We always make sure he has two presents, we thought it wasn't fair to combine them...ciao

swenglishexpat said...

Rositta - Since I live away from my family in Sweden I am very often travelling on my birthday. I have had a few "Happy Birthdays" from various check-in staff through the years.

christina said...

Happy Birthday to you!

Wow, interesting stuff! I love the note from the midwife. You were a nice fat baby! I know a few people who have their birthdays close to Christmas, including my niece who will turn one year old on Friday, and they (well, she doesn't yet!) always complain that they get the combined gifts. Just not fair, is it?

Eric Valentine said...

Happy Birthday my friend. A very nice post and so interesting reading the history.

I know the feeling over the birthdays. Mine is Feb 14th... think about it LOL.. :)

(Rosita my wife used to live in Yellowknife for a while.) :)

Haddock said...

A very happy birthday to you!

swenglishexpat said...

Christina, Eric and Haddock - thank you all.

Christina - The tape that held the note in the album has disappeared, but not the dark marks, so I stuck it on with "digital tape" to look more authentic.

Eric - I will always think of you on 14 Feb from now on. ;-) Too good to be true! Which came first, the surname or your birth? LOL
I don't blame Rosita for not staying in Yellowknife. I googled it and it seems pretty dark and cold there!