When your week has included a fabulous afternoon tea with close friends, followed by the offer of a brand new lucrative job, what better way to finish it off than to enjoy a belated birthday celebration with the people you love more than anything else in the world; your daughters.
I was presented with a large, shiny silver bag bearing unique gifts and a special card. They fully understand and accept my Steampunk lifestyle and I was thrilled to bits with a spectacular pressure-gauge candle holder and long stemmed candles to go with it. It was the perfect gift for anyone obsessed with the genre and I was touched that they’d taken such care to choose something they knew I’d love. The beautiful card was covered in butterflies, which I adored.
As always, we munched on chocolate biscuits and cake and talked til the cows come home. I brought down the old photo albums from upstairs and we went on a nostalgic trip to the 1990s, re-living birthdays, Christmases, day trips and holidays. I’m so proud that my girls have grown up to be such good people, and I count myself very lucky indeed to be their mum.
I’m extremely lucky to have such lovely friends, especially when I get treated to a pre-birthday afternoon tea at a local 4-star hotel. I was advised against having any lunch as this particular venue provides five courses; amuse bouche, scones with clotted cream and jam, a selection of cakes, finger sandwiches and a fruit trifle!
The place was empty when we arrived so we practically had our own staff, who were kept busy fetching fresh pots of hot water which we used for sampling a range of 6 speciality teas (the amaretto cherry tea was my favourite). The amuse bouche was a delightful shot glass of tiny, mouthwatering melon and pineapple chunks. This was followed by freshly cut sandwiches with the crusts off, and then the massive freshly-baked scones followed by cream cakes and tarts. Already bursting, it was a culinary challenge to complete this marathon eating session, but the mini-trifles were simply asking to be eaten. Not only did we fill our faces, we had plenty of laughs too. As well as being treated to afternoon tea I was also given lovely birthday cards and a birthday cake to bring home.
Tomorrow I shall be another year older, another year wiser, and another year blessed with genuinely wonderful people around me…
It was an old friend’s birthday today and I’d totally forgotten to send her a card in the post, so I decided to just pop round and put the card through her letterbox myself. I had no intention of disturbing them by knocking, but clearly they must’ve seen me coming along the street as the front door opened and her husband welcomed me and invited me in. Due to busy schedules over the past few years we’d only been managing to catch up in the supermarket aisles once in a blue moon, with the occasional text message in between, so it was great to actually sit down and have a proper natter over a coffee.
What was even more special was the fact that her daughter and brand new grandson were visiting, allowing granny and grandad to show off the latest addition to their family. It was hugs and congratulations all round while we somehow managed to cover all manner of topics; everything from hospitals to holidays; in the space of an hour. As we said our goodbyes on the doorstep we promised not to leave it so long before our next get-together, and I’ll certainly make a genuine effort to ensure it happens sooner rather than later.
I was just minding my own business, walking along with my camera down to the local quayside, when I heard the sound of bicycle bells ringing and people whooping loudly. As I turned round I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were a large group of over two dozen men and women riding bikes in various stages of nudity! Instead of boats and barges I ended up photographing boobies and bums – blimey! (Not entirely sure the bell ringing was absolutely necessary in order to gain attention, given that their rude bits were all hanging out in public!)
The last time I saw so much genitalia on my birthday it was a rather raucous affair in a pub of ill repute during my hedonistic youth, so seeing so many dangly bits on my birthday, right outside tescos, was something I never could’ve anticipated in a million years – how fabulous!
Well done to the World Naked Bike Ride people for the birthday surprise. Goodness, that made me feel quite unnecessary, pass the brandy mother…!
The sun was shining, the sky was blue, so off we went on a pre-birthday trip to the coast! As I’m an outdoorsy person there really was no better way to celebrate than to be treated to an entire day of all things boaty and watery. We laughed at novice windsurfers, ate lunch in a fancy restaurant and walked miles along the sand; discussing everything from beach hut colours to wondering what the mini-pontoons were for, while avoiding stepping on jelly-fish.
Being chauffeur driven to lovely places and spoilt rotten all day long was an exceptional treat indeed, and a happy memory I’ll always cherish. I’m so very lucky to have such wonderful friends, and it doesn’t go unappreciated. Sometimes, the best gifts don’t come wrapped in fancy paper…