Last Saturday, I attempted to take a picture of an illustration of Alfred J. Crocodile — a most distinguished crocodile in the annals of literature; but looking most unfortunately, in a floral blue print, more like alien ectoplasm than anything else on earth — and today, when I tried to turn my camera on, it had gone completely berserk: so Lauren will have to take it on trust that the snow leopard is wearing his best cravat, and sipping most politely at a cup of her birthday tea, entertaining the rest of us (the baby lion is also present) with anecdotes about the curious habits of Northern Animals.  We are having a beautiful Red Rooibos tea (the baby lion can’t have anything else) and little salted almonds.  I have told R. Aloysius and Baby L that the salted almonds are dried wildebeest spleens, because you know they are carnivores.

Dear Lauren, you are much loved, and so celebrated today, as a very special effect of God’s goodness.  May our God bless you this year.