Birthday Bonanza

If you’ve ever met me, you’ll probably know that birthdays are a big deal. As children we always had a lot of traditions around birthdays- birthday breakfast, presents hidden behind the curtain and opened on mum and dads bed, the birthday bears hung up over the Aga…the list goes on!
For the first time ever this year, Mum and Dad were away for my birthday, but I still wanted to wake up at home (as dictated by my inner child). Adam and I therefore stayed at my parents house for the weekend and had some chilled plans – I love weekends when you’ve got stuff to do, but it’s not too rushed and you can just lounge around and relax in between getting stuff done.


In the morning I woke up super early with excitement (yet again my inner child!) and unusually for us it was me being impatient to get up and Adam that was sleepy and wanted to stay in bed! (the photo of the cake was made by one of my colleagues Jon as he and Tom came over for dinner on the Friday and brought me a gin and tonic cake with additional icing animals, plus gift of a “universal bag sealer” which is basically a little machine that seals open crisp packets…yep!).


We had a lovely morning with Ned and the dogs, opening some lovely presents, drinking strawberry milkshake and green smoothie (though not together) and eating up some traditional birthday/Christmas breakfast of scrambled egg and smoked salmon on toast. Yum!

I did some crazy birthday dancing and singing around the kitchen and got dressed up in my lycra ready for an afternoon’s cycle for a cream tea. Except it is obviously not that simple…

…first of all my bike (actually, it’s Ned’s!) that I’d been cycling to work all of last summer needed a pump up of the tyres, which after about half an hours search for the pump was sorted – only to discover that the brakes were seized (no wonder I found it so much effort!). Onto the next bike and all of the tyres were also flat, but we didn’t have a pump to fit so I ran around to our neighbours to borrow one, and then brought it back only to realise they’d given me a football pump instead. Off I went again to find another pump and instead she said I could borrow her bike but it was at her parents farm down the road so we bundled her little boy into the car and set off, only to find that her bike also had flat tyres. Eventually we found the correct pump and Adam and I set off on our way. Pheww that was a long and potentially very boring story…


It was a beautiful day, and I was wearing a very garish birthday banner but it was actually really nice as everyone kept wishing my happy birthday as we cycled past them. The 11 miles there didn’t feel like it took very long at all, the swans were nesting and the sun was shining…until we got to the cream tea barge and it was closing! Yet another annoyance, but the kind lady let us have a quick drink and we got to watch the shire horse pull another barge in for the evening which was fun.


On our way back it had got much chillier and I was really starting to get hungry, but yet again fate was against us and about 6 miles from home, Adam suddenly got a puncture- without an inner tube we were stuck. Ned was at work, Mum and Dad were on holiday and I couldn’t think of any friends that I could interrupt on a Saturday afternoon in time to come and pick us up. So we started walking, pushing our bikes along next to us. Admittedly I had massive hanger at this point (does anyone else get that?) and halfway home we had to stop for a drink and some cheesy chips in a local pub so I would cheer up a bit, but after that we actually had time to just walk and chat and enjoy the tiny last bit of sunshine that had crept out.

Just as we were into the last half mile of the journey, my other brother Harry rang to wish me  happy birthday and we chit chatted for a bit, only for him to then ask why we weren’t home yet when it suddenly clicked that he’d come back from university as a surprise and would have been able to pick us up all along! He’d spent 4 hours waiting for us to arrive back but obviously had no idea why we’d taken so long! The whole time we’d been walking and we could have had a rescuer!


The next day was call for even more celebration as I took my brothers, Adam and some of my best friends Rach and Kate canoeing with Kayak Hub up the river to the pub for lunch. Sadly it wasn’t quite as sunny as the day before, but it was still such a great day out – and we’d got a bargain for the hire of the canoes on Groupon (for other bargains online take a look at this post).


A late birthday evening consisted of munching on as many homemade crispy duck pancakes as we could possibly indulge in, more presents, and then a few cheeky shots of Génépi (don’t ask me why, it was all I could find in the cupbaord!). A rather unexpected birthday, but still one I will never forget…but it beats my 3rd birthday where I was (apparently) furious and refused to speak to anyone, or my 5th birthday where I spent the whole time that my friends were having fun on the rides at Crealy, in the first aid tent as I had an ear infection and had burnt the side of my leg and arm going down the death slide…

What’s your most memorable birthday (for good or bad reasons)?