January 9th – Simone de Beauvoir‘s birthday, but she’s not invited to the party. Sometimes you know too much about a person to find them appealing.
Instead, let’s have Aisha bint Ahmed al-Qurtubiyya I’ve no idea when her birthday is, as she was born in Córdoba, Spain in 965 and died in either 999 or 1010. A famous Arabic poet and calligrapher of her time, she rejected a great many suitors, sending one of them off with this delicious poem:
I am a lioness
and will never allow my body
to be anyone’s resting place. But if I did,
I wouldn’t yield to a dog –
and O! the lions I’ve turned away
and never married – I think she’d be better company than Ms Beauvoir.