A week before my birthday this year I caught the world's worst dose of flu and was feeling pretty sorry for myself with aches and pains and coughing. The house was in a mess and a sea of spent tissues littered what seemed like every surface. I'd had my fair share of birthday phone calls and email messages and the day was winding down into night. It was quiet and I was tapping away at the computer. From outside I heard a faint rendition of the happy birthday song and through the gauze of the screen door I could see a lit candle coming closer. It was Dee - my lovely next door neighbour. She had brought over a single cup cake. The neighbourliness and thoughtfulness of such a gesture brings tears to my eyes.