Through your columns please allow me to wish all leaplings a very happy birthday next Monday – a Monday as “rare as hen’s teeth”.
I say rare because Monday, 29th February last appeared on the calendar in 1988 and will not feature again until the year 2044.
But leaplings themselves are rare.
In 78 years on this planet I have known of only one person born on 29th February.
There could have been two but, sadly, the other one, the composer Gioachino Rossini, passed away in 1868 and he is no longer with us.
It is heart-warming to read about Plumpton Racecourse’s offer of free entry and a celebratory birthday drink for all leaplings who choose to turn up at their Leap of Faith event on Monday (Sussex. Express, February 19, p7).
This kind of hospitality deserves commendation and it is also comforting to know that someone has given thought for less fortunate people who have waited four years to celebrate their birthday.
But this raises serious questions...
How will the police be able to cope with the sudden mad rush of leaplings on all routes to Plumpton on Monday? Will there be enough room in the car park?
Will leaplings need passports to check their dates of birth? Will there be sufficient staff to carry out this extra work? We must wait to see what happens but I have a feeling these problems may be imaginary.
After all, as any bookie will tell you, the odds of any person being born on 29th February are one thousand, four hundred and sixty one to ONE.
The Street, Firle