The Days of Our Birth
A humorous novel celebrating the birthdays of two people over twenty years; A masterful novel that will keep you smiling long after you have put it down.
by Charlie Laidlaw

Theirs was the most important relationship of their life…

It was a perfect relationship until time pulled them apart. A beautiful story sensitively told about how love and friendship can conquer everything, including time, to a point.

“The Days of Our Birth” delves into the intricate bond between Peter and Sarah as they navigate their formative years. Spanning from their sixth birthday through two decades, the narrative unfolds against the backdrop of Sarah’s placement on the autism spectrum. With a blend of humour and poignancy, the book intricately weaves together themes of love and friendship, unravelling the tale of two individuals who grapple with their emotions for each other, even though they remain unacknowledged.

5 out of 5 fairies

A sweet, poignant book that will take you on a journey that spans decades, and has so much depth within it. Raised together, right next door, yet so different. Ever wish things worked out as smoothly, seamlessly, and as black-and-white as the movies and TV shows would often have us believe? Me too. This book is more reflective of reality – how different people can view the same incident, how their views can change as they grow and change, and gain new experiences and meet new people. So many things go into shaping us, and our reality, and Laidlaw has done a superb job of capturing it all. I’m trying really hard to not turn this into a rambling review, but I found myself struggling to really convey the nuance and brilliant representation of being human. If you enjoy stories that will capture your heart, might make it ache a bit, and really make you ponder over how different shared experiences are, depending on the unique being living through them. 

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I was born in Paisley, central Scotland, which wasn’t my fault. That week, Eddie Calvert with Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra were Top of the Pops, with Oh, Mein Papa, as sung by a young German woman remembering her once-famous clown father. That gives a clue to my age, not my musical taste.

I was brought up in the west of Scotland and graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I still have the scroll, but it’s in Latin, so it could say anything.

I then worked briefly as a street actor, baby photographer, puppeteer and restaurant dogsbody before becoming a journalist. I started in Glasgow and ended up in London, covering news, features and politics. I interviewed motorbike ace Barry Sheene, Noel Edmonds threatened me with legal action and, because of a bureaucratic muddle, I was ordered out of Greece.

I then took a year to travel round the world, visiting 19 countries. Highlights included being threatened by a man with a gun in Dubai, being given an armed bodyguard by the PLO in Beirut (not the same person with a gun), and visiting Robert Louis Stevenson’s grave in Samoa. What I did for the rest of the year I can’t quite remember

Surprisingly, I was approached by a government agency to work in intelligence, which just shows how shoddy government recruitment was back then. However, it turned out to be very boring and I don’t like vodka martini.

Craving excitement and adventure, I ended up as a PR consultant, which is the fate of all journalists who haven’t won a Pulitzer Prize, and I’ve still to listen to Oh, Mein Papa.

I am married with two grown-up children and live in central Scotland. And that’s about it.

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