Today I am 26 years and 1 day old and yesterday was one of the best days of my life (I am known for statements like this one, there are quite a few best days and best meals but every time I say it I mean it, I swear).
Mr. J is the birthday king and has been working on changing my attitude to celebrating my birthdays for a few years now. He’s the best at making me excited about my birthdays, something I haven’t done since I stopped having kid b-day parties. When I was little my parents always invited my extended family and friends for the afternoon but when I grew older apart from a little family time with cake and presents I kept my birthdays to myself. I didn’t fancy parties and a big fuss around my birthdays. I guess I was avoiding the pressure from having to have a good time, the same kind of pressure New Year’s Eve imposes upon us.
All of my birthdays with Mr. J have been different but one thing is always the same: I get spoilt rotten. In the previous years he always told me what we were up to or I told him what I fancied doing (and eating!). This year, however, I wasn’t allowed to know anything, the whole day was a secret.
First thing in the morning while waiting for Mr. J “to get everything ready” I opened my emails to find one of the best presents ever (see, I told you). It was a short story written by my dad about the day I was born. As far as I can remember, my mum always told me the story of my birth on my birthdays but it was a completely different experience seeing it through my dad’s eyes! I couldn’t help shedding a few tears. Then after reading a lovely email from my mum, (she’s always the first one to wish me happy birthday, I think she must feel it in her belly button or something) I was invited to come to the living room to find a pile of shiny presents!
I was over the moon with this present. Doctor Martens low patent shoes. I was dreaming about these for so long and here they were!
Such lovely presents, I couldn’t have been happier! Clearly.
Here Mr. J himself. Sipping his tea watching how well he’s done.
We had my requested breakfast of cream cheese & smoked salmon bagels with banana & coconut smoothie.
Ready for more surprises with my new DMs on.
I had no idea where we were going when we got off in Charing Cross making our way through St. James’ park. We spent so much time watching ducks and swans…
…and laughing so much at this little duck that could swim underwater and kept annoying all the other birds for no reason what-so-ever.
It was quite a long walk and my feet started feeling the strange element of new shoes. The typical first day new shoes story that is especially cruel with Doctor Martens. Their life-long comfort is well deserved by the first day torture. My first ever DMs are marked by my blood for the rest of their days.
I was very happy to hear that we were almost there and I was even more happy finding myself in the Ruben’s hotel next to Buckingham Palace! I right away knew what was happening! Afternoon tea! Mr. J must have taken a note of my rumbling about it.
What? A laughing leopard? I couldn’t find the connection of a cartoon-like leopard with the serious posh decor but it actually made me feel welcome.
We spent almost four hours chatting, drinking tea and slowly eating our way through the three plates of delicious sandwiches, scones and deserts.
Difficult decision: where to start?
Very full and very happy we headed home (at least that’s what I thought).
On the train Mr. J started looking at his watch quite a bit more than he normally does when we go to “watch a film at home” but I did not suspect anything up until we took a different train than we would if we were really going home. I still haven’t received a birthday wish from Mr. J’s parents and this train was going close to their house. I put one and one together and was certain we were going for a visit. Wrong turn. What? Really? Ok, I am giving up guessing. When we finally walked into a pub I managed to give it just a quick thought possibly expecting two of our friends waiting for us there before I heard the familiar Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you… I was right about the couple of friends but what I did not expect was the other ten, Mr. J’s parents and brother! How amazing! With a few more people turning up later on, we were chatting and drinking till closing time.
I got so many lovely presents and Mr. J’s mum made the most amazing ginger cake, big enough to feed everybody and still have enough for me to take home.
As I said it was the most amazing day with the most amazing people.