Birthdays are never something I particularly relish, especially now I’m fully aware I have far more behind me than ahead of me, however, when your grown up babies visit with fabulously thoughtful gifts and a beautiful card that IS cause for a celebration.
Along with the posh dark chocolates (my favourites) and proper Steampunk sunglasses (with a leather case, drawstring pouch and cleaning cloth), I had a lovely long chat with them, as always. We passed several hours within the blink of an eye while munching on chocolate coated malted milk biscuits and jammie dodgers along with the customary cups of tea, with Mr Kipling French fancies as a special treat.
Despite me waving a tearful farewell to 54 and resentfully accepting 55 my twin daughters always have the knack of knowing exactly how to put a great big smile back on my face. I’m so proud of my girls, who have grown up to be beautiful, talented, kind and generous young ladies – I love them to the moon and back…
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.
It’d been a while since I last went to a Quiz Night, so when an opportunity arose to spend the evening with my mates helping to raise funds for an animal charity, while enjoying a decent quiz, I was more than ready to accept. The venue was a nice little village hall with plenty of tables and chairs to accommodate all the teams.
We’d been told to bring our own food and drink, although hot beverages were provided, so tea and posh cakes were the obvious choice. My sweet treat was a mixed berry mousse; fresh berries and whipped cream mousse on a vanilla sponge base, with a berry glaze, and was delicious. The questions were quite challenging, especially the anagrams, but we didn’t think we’d done too badly until the results were read out. It appears we came last, although we did get a ‘special‘ prize of a tube of smarties each so all was not lost.
The evening included a raffle, of course, and there were a decent amount of offerings on a table at the back of the room. Amazingly, I won and chose a lovely, ornate picture frame to go with my Steampunk theme at home. Well, what a fabulous night out. I spent the evening amongst friends having a great laugh, I won sweets and a prize and I was fed and watered like a queen. Not bad for a Tuesday!
Well, the past 12 months have been another roller-coaster ride but thankfully there’s been decidedly more ups than downs. With rather more medical woes than I could ever have imagined, 2015 was, at times, both a physical and emotional challenge, but thanks to the support from my wonderful family and friends (and a wide variety of NHS specialists) the year has ended with a more positive outlook for the future.
Socially, I’ve been to so many new places that my geography has improved enormously. I’ve enjoyed lots of day trips here, there and everywhere, and been treated to the fabulous Britishness of ‘afternoon tea’. Further afield I’ve travelled to Wales and enjoyed my seventh holiday in the Canary Islands! I’ve been introduced to the concept of pub quizzes and have been fortunate enough to have been on the winning team on more than one occasion. I’ve accepted awards on behalf of a local community project that I volunteer for on two separate occasions and I’ve also discovered a new and exciting genre that I can merrily indulge in – Steampunk.
Financially, things have taken a dramatic turn too, with a brand new job in addition to the freelance work I was already doing. Technically I’ve successfully completed several DIY tasks all by myself and have finally dragged myself into the 21st Century with a new smartphone. I’m pleased that I managed to achieve everything on my ‘To Do’ list for 2015, so for 2016 I’ve set the bar even higher. I now begin a brand new year full of excitement and anticipation, wondering what wonderful new adventures the next twelve months will bring… Happy New Year!
When first you get into Steampunk, you very swiftly learn that absinthe plays a large part in your new hobby, so in order to fully embrace the genre it’s essential to partake of the aforementioned liquor. However, at 55% abv absinthe is to be partaken with extreme caution!
Christmas Day seemed as good a time as any for my first dalliance with the Green Fairy, so after the conventional festive revelries were all done and dusted I tentatively poured myself a large tot of the decadent emerald booze. Obviously, I’d researched the appropriate serving suggestions and although my modern kitchen is sadly not furnished with a traditional absinthe glass and spoon, a wine glass and a tea strainer seemed to suffice. As I gently dripped the ice cold water onto a heap of sugar (no cubes in the cupboard) I witnessed the ‘louche‘ and mentally prepared myself for this new experience.
Quite what happened a short while after that remains a mystery, but I woke (regained consciousness?) on Boxing Day with a stonking headache and a strong licorice taste in my mouth. I’m not entirely certain whether or not I enjoyed myself, but it was something I’d never done before and I can now tick it off my list of new things to try in 2015. Here’s to many more firsts in 2016!
I’m not generally a very ‘with it‘ kind of person and have never really been into the latest fads or fashions, however, since I got my first proper understanding of Steampunk I admit I’m utterly hooked. I’d originally heard the term over a year ago on a tv show about bespoke cakes (a couple were having a themed wedding and wanted a Steampunk cake) but at the time I just didn’t ‘get it’, but I do now.
I’ve always liked Victorian clothing, and paraphernalia, and I do like anything a bit quirky or eccentric, so it was only a matter of time before I discovered something that’d be right up my street. Only time will tell how long this new obsession will actually last, but for now I’m enjoying sticking brass cogs and keys everywhere and trawling charity shops for anything vaguely appropriate that I can wear, which is in keeping with the genre but doesn’t make me look a complete fool in tescos. Ah, the utter joy of finding a brand new hobby it quite exhilarating…