Birthdays. Good for the soul; not so good for the bank balance, or the waist line…
My birthday weekend started at around 5:45pm on Friday. It would have been earlier, if our ‘time management’ training had begun on time. A-hem! I drove home singing along (badly) to Pink, which blasted from the car stereo.
Come on… and raise…your…glass…
Yup, my extended weekend had landed. Chase and Status (played as loudly as is socially acceptable in an apartment block) was my soundtrack when I arrived home and waited for hubby to return from work. We ate homemade fish, chips and mushy peas, whilst watching Moulin Rouge for the umpteenth time. It doesn’t matter how many times I see that film, every time it makes me a.) blub and b.) want to become an Absinthe-swigging bohemian. Although ‘b’ might be partly due to the amount of JD and coke I swigged whilst watching the latter half of the film. The JD might also explain why I decided to stick my Warrior’s Dance by Prodigy DVD on afterwards, when I should have really been snuggled up in my PJs.
Saturday morning kicked off with housework duties, pleasantly punctuated by a visit from an old childhood friend bearing birthday gifts. I then headed into town to get my hair cut and came out with a hair style, rather than just a hair cut. I’m still getting used to my fringe, but overall I’m liking it. Post-haircut I tried to find something scrummy for my birthday-eve dinner. Town was a frustrating mix of low stock levels, rude middle-aged women and waiting in queues for no other reason than the cashier wants to chat to the customer in front of you. Needless to say by the time I’d purchased the ingredients to make dinner my patience had been pushed to the limit. Still, I had the best Sirloin from the butchers, which I would serve with potato wedges, sweetcorn and tenderstem broccoli. I also had creme brulee for dessert and a nice bottle of Shiraz to wash it down.
That nice bottle of Shiraz was not meant to be. I arrived home, craving a sit down and a cuppa. Half-way through unpacking my shopping the Shiraz tumbled off the work top, smashed on the kitchen floor and promptly decanted its entire contents. As I cleaned up the red mess with kitchen towel I was reminded of a scene from CSI. And as soon as the clean up operation was completed I treated myself to a coffee, a Toffee Crisp, a flick through the latest copy of InStyle magazine and a watch of an episode of Come Dine With Me. At least that way I couldn’t do any more damage.
Nail painting and more housework was followed by scoffing our scrummy dinner whilst watching 127 Hours. And then to bed, ready for the big day…
The alarm sounded on Sunday morning, my 33rd birthday, and was promptly followed by hubby singing Happy Birthday to me. I then enjoyed breakfast in bed and opened my cards and some of my presents, before going out for a family meal at the place where hubby and I got hitched. The food, service, atmosphere and company were brilliant. We then headed back to our apartment for coffee, cake and more present opening, before retiring for the night in preparation for another big day.
Our Monday morning journey to London on the Chiltern train was made more enjoyable by a.) delicious coffee and pastries from the GWR Cafe in Moor Street Station b.) the latest copy of Easy Living magazine c.) my iPhone d.) Snuggling on hubby’s shoulder e.) the woman behind us telling the two girls who sounded like extras from Made in Chelsea and insisted on talking at a ridiculously high volume (and about really inane things Yah, I lidderally had to down two pints of water) to keep their voices down.
Stepping off the train in London always fills me with anticipation. I love London and lived there for a couple of years. Everything from the smell, the hustle and bustle, even just the amount of security cameras and ticket gates makes me smile. Our original plan was to grab a bite to eat at Paul at Marylebone station, but it’s not there any longer. It’s a good job we didn’t as when we headed to get the tube hubby realised he had dropped his ticket. We retraced our steps and managed to find it (if we had of eaten in Paul we wouldn’t have realised the ticket was missing until after it had been swept up by one of the station cleaners). Phew!
We took the tube to Covent Garden. I loved every minute of standing on the right of the escalator, the musty smell, the rush of wind through the tunnels and the way that Londoners never, ever make eye contact on the tube. Taking the lift to the street level of Covent Garden tube station always fills me with excitement too. We headed to Thai Square on The Strand for a delicious lunch before hitting the shops. Orla Kiely was the first stop and hubby got me, what I thought was, the bag I wanted. It wasn’t until I was in Banana Republic later waiting for hubby to emerge from the changing rooms in some chinos that I realised I’d purchased the wrong one – oops! Fortunately we returned and the lovely lady exchanged it for me and was super nice about it. If you’re into all things graphical and Orla Kiely I highly recommend the store, it’s full of 60s luxe-kitsch. I could have spent a fortune.
By this time the rain was literally pouring and the skies were a depressing grey hue. We trudged around the shops, before deciding enough was enough, we needed a coffee break. There was no room at the coffee shop at Starbucks, which led me to having a lightbulb moment and seconds later we found ourselves in the Tea Rooms at the Laduree Cafe. Oh my. It was sophisticated. I’d originally planned to sup bubbles in a bar with a view, but, thanks to the rain, there was no view so Laduree was a great glamorous alternative. We shopped some more (I’ll do a separate post about my purchases) before heading back to the Midlands.
And then today. Well today has been infinitely more chilled. We had a man come to measure up for some blinds in our kitchen this morning and then headed to Merry Hill, our local shopping centre. We ‘hit the hut’ for lunch, indulged in some more retail therapy and I tried on a million and one pairs of glasses in search of my elusive new frames. We also checked out the furniture we’d seen on the M&S website and were sadly disappointed – chipped, cheap and titchy comes to mind.
Wow! It’s been a busy, indulgent and lovely weekend. I’ve just stuffed my face with an M&S Fuller for Longer ready-meal. Hubby is playing Tomb Raider and I’m just about to start preparing for the three-day work week which lays ahead of me.
Thank you to everyone who made my birthday lovely, especially my wonderful husband. I loves you lots monkey!