For most of us, the arrival of 29 February means one extra day at work, another day on the mortgage and 24 hours’ delay in the arrival of the pay cheque. No wonder a leap year is universally regarded as unlucky. This is particularly the case for those unfortunates who can only celebrate their real birthday once every four years. For some reason, musicians tend to be born on 29 February – they include Rossini, the late avant-garde trombonist Paul Rutherford and the rap artist Jah Rule – but the most eminent UK leap-year baby is Joss Ackland, who will be 20 next Friday, though he has been on this Earth for 80 years.
Only in America is any attempt made to redress this gross injustice. Tomorrow, leap-year babies will be “honoured guests” at the Sixth Worldwide Leap Year Festival at Anthony, New Mexico. Celebrations are to include a chuckwagon breakfast, hot-air balloon rides and a huge birthday cake (“These people have been waiting for four years!”).
Pizza companies are offering leap year birthday folk free pizza. On the work front the National Trust are giving their staff the day off as you aren’t technically paid for it or at least it’s kind of unfair. But they are meant to be home lagging boilers and doing energy saving work on their homes. As I’m self employed and about to do a very long day at an exhibition (One Life, Live It! to be precise about changing your life / career / taking up voluntary work etc) I’m quite happy as it’s an extra day of money.
Don’t forget that women can ask your commitment-shy partner to marry you tomorrow… STOP PRESS my friend did this and was accepted!