Caitlín (and yes that is an accent on the i – it’s called a foda in Irish and makes the letter long) is 17 today, the 17th. Apparently that’s called a champagne birthday, when your age matches your birth date. But Caiti doesn’t like fizzy drinks or alcohol so not much point giving her any to celebrate the occasion! (I was too young for champagne on mine – I was born on the 1st of August.)

Caiti's First Communion in 2002

I got to reminiscing about her arrival. She was pretty much bang on time, unlike her older brother who was a week late and who has remained that laid back ever since, and her younger one who arrived an impatient and drastic six weeks early. He hasn’t changed much either! Caiti was born at the Victoria Infirmary in Cork, a hospital well past its prime. The foetal monitor was attached to me with sellotape, and when the time came, Chris had to lend a hand lugging me down to the delivery room since there weren’t any porters around. But Caits was none the worse for any of this. Like the two boys, she was delivered by emergency section. The thing to be aware of about sections is that when the doctor is about to lift the baby out, he cheerily says ‘you’ll feel a bit of pressure now’. Don’t believe it. It feels like an elephant is sitting on you – luckily not for too long, but long enough!

Anyway, Caiti was a happy, easy little girl. She just slipped up once. She chewed her nails so we put that nasty-tasting clear varnish on, which she was not happy about. She plotted revenge. She poured some into my night-time glass of water. So when I took a swig in the wee small hours one day, I thought I was dying! I coughed, choked and spluttered for about an hour afterwards. Evil child!

I won’t say any more about because she’ll cringe with embarrassment. But she loves animals, cooking (but not cooking animals) and computing. Suffice it to say I love her to bits and am unbearably proud of her. Happy Birthday Caitlín!

Daily snippets for April 17th

Today’s Saint: St Anicet. Not a great deal is known about him, apart from the fact that he was Syrian and he was martyred when he was Pope.

Famous people born on this day: Caiti, and also a clutch of French politicians – Alain Poher in 1909, Maurice Rouvier in 1842 and François de Neufchâteau in 1750

Famous people who died on this day: two French writers, Aimé Césaire in 2008 and Marie de Rabutin-Chantal in 1696

Today’s word: anniversaire – birthday