Birthday Blog 2011

15 February, 2011

Let’s cut to the chase and I’ll tell you what I got eh?  Yeah, it was my birthday and it was pretty fab.  The first thing I got was a sunny Valentines birthday day.  I just looked up at the amazing blue sky and the beautiful white clouds and felt happy.  Not just happy, but bursting with happiness – I had just dropped Asha off at nursery for the day, which may have contributed.

Then, (well in real time it was before the then) I got a bunch of lovely presents.  I think one I have to mention was an original painting by my friend, the talented Laura Middleton.  If I find my camera I’ll include a photo of it and if I find my way around the web, I’ll include a link to her site.  Honestly, I would have been really, really, pleased with even a print, but to get the real thing was so amazing. Thanks L.

The kids woke me up with shiny parcels.   They had in fact wrapped everything in purple sticky back plastic – you know the stuff you cover books with?  Anyway, it made opening the presents last a lot longer.  We managed to unpeel them from their wrappers,  each one still coated with a light sticky film.  Nice.  I damn nearly gave up on the lip gloss altogether, but luckily Sami took over and prized it out.  Good thing too, as it has proved doubly useful;  I now have amazing looking lips and a clever device to remove all the fluff from the bottom of my handbag.   Amba gave me chandelier earrings, which in size and weight, are the identical to real chandeliers,  just no light bulbs.  Asha, kindly gave me a bottle of alcohol-free ginger wine.  Funny that, because I don’t remember ever ordering that in a bar or restaurant, but I do remember it being one of Sami’s favourite drinks.  Sami ran downstairs and opened it for me before breakfast.  Then Asha made a special presentation of “Xmas wood for you mummy”, and offered me a slat from the base of his bed.   Thanks.  I briefly enacted my favourite scene from the Blues Brothers where a nun smacks a stick between Jake and Elwood’s heads.  Asha and Sami took the lead roles, until Asha confiscated my Xmas wood and hid it under his duvet.

For breakfast I dropped into Hacketts, a local café bar for breakfast, on my own. It was just fantastic;  me, a magazine, good coffee and something on toast.  No kids, nobody else, no worries, just a great feeling.   As I paid my bill, I mentioned to the waitress that it was my birthday and she said “Well, you’re lucky if you live to the next one”.   Now, I don’t want to come off as a complete narcissist, but it wasn’t exactly the reply I’d been expecting.  Perhaps this showed on my face, because she started to spontaneously explain what she meant.  Her explanation was a list of all the people she knew who had died, ever.  Now, she is 55 (she told me last time I was in there), so, what I’m hinting at here is that there are quite a few people she knows who have taken the, er, last taxi home.  Specifically, her best friend in November last year, then her best friend’s son who has leukaemia at 30 (and two young children), her best friend’s mother and sister who died the same week (but that was when waitressy lady was 21).  I heard it all, the litany went on and on.  I got the funeral arrangements and everything.  What to speak of the full monty on the woman who worked in the pub down the road who had an aneurism age thirty five, just a few weeks ago.  I kid you not, this went on for ten minutes (but it felt like an hour).  At one point she looked down and I had a chance slip one of my inappropriate laughs out without her noticing.  She did that thing where she’s halfway through doing my bill transaction and then she just stands there engrossed in (one-way) conversation, but physically, totally frozen.  My change dangling like a hostage, just above the open till, while I prayed it would make it across the no man’s land bar, back to my pocket, so we could escape her together.

I made my way into Waitrose. I thought I’d get a birthday cake that I actually wanted to eat this year. Which meant choosing it without the kids around. The patisserie lady showed me a few expensive, frankly stupid, looking cakes, all pastel icing and little flowers. Hardly a reflection of my character. Laughing, I said to the woman, “Ha, I’ll just go and get a Smarties one, shall I?” she look at me dead seriously and said “They do it in medium and large”.

I had lunch with my Mum in Moran’s in Cheltenham.  Towards the late afternoon I found myself in possession of an unfeasibly large box of chocolates and in the company of three uncharacteristically helpful children, fighting to carry it for me.  As an act of random kindness, I took the little darlings into Costa and lifted the lid. As it was my birthday, I went first and took all the hazelnut pralines.   (No arguments, they don’t like nuts).  Then they ate all the ones they liked, by a process of elimination.   Instead of reading the little choccy menu that comes in the box, they followed Asha’s failsafe methodology. It went like this;  pick up a chocolate, bite it in half, then decide if you;

a) like it enough to finish it,

or

b) dislike it enough to return it to the box.

This went on for about half an hour.  Then, I scooped up all the half eaten ones and threw them in the bin and put the Turkish delights back in the box.  (Turkish delight aren’t veggie so we’d shoved them on the side to avoid confusion).  Amba carried the box down the street and offered a chocolate to all the old ladies we passed.   They responded with total delight at this charming five year old girl saying “Happy Valentines”.  I smiled graciously at them; yes that’s me, the wise parent out teaching her child what real “love” means on Valentines Day.  I knew they’d be too polite to spit the apricot parfait out on the floor once they’d bitten into it.  And that’s how we got rid of the horrible ones left at the end.

Oh go on, be my valentine

Bye xxxx

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2 Responses to “Birthday Blog 2011”

  1. Jessy Says:

    What a way form the lady to tell you happy birthday! hahaha The other day a neghbour walking his dog around smiled at me I smiled back and that was it: chat-chat-chat within minutes we exchanged information about local schools if they are performing or not, about each ones children and so on, right until I decided to ask about his children’s university choices and my heart sank went he told me that his son graduated with honours but died on a motorbike accident the nigth of his graduation party 2 years ago… Needless to say I didn’t my mind was between running away or just plain smiling!!!

  2. rebecca Says:

    I’m pleased you pointed out that the ‘pastel icing and little flowers’ weren’t really you! Fantastic reading as ever! XXXX


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