I was walking through the woods with Barney dog, watching him chase squirrels in the sunshine, and it just felt good to be alive! And this a day after I turned 50 years old – something I thought I might find a bit tough!
Looking forward to the big day
In fact, I'd been looking forward to my big day, but great expectations can often make the reality fall a little flat. Yesterday, though, was all good.
I'd taken the day off work so I could be thoroughly spoiled, but of my three children, only Billy was at home. He presented me with a gorgeous, colourful bouquet of exotic flowers (photo) and a handmade card – the effort he put into making it, especially as he's in his exam week at school, was really touching. A great start!
It wasn't long before Charlie rang from his Geography field trip in North Wales to wish me a Happy Birthday, and then a call from Bex, before she started a busy day of lectures at medical school.
After opening some lovely cards and presents from friends and family, Olley and I enjoyed a walk along the river with Barney, basking in warm sunshine before it was smothered by advancing clouds.
We had to laugh at the antics of the ducks – I think they must have been suffering from spring fever in preparation for the mating season, and there were many more drakes than females, all competing against each other. Then they all lined up on the edge as though they were about to have a swimming race! (see photo left).
My birthday lunch
As I reached my exact half century, shortly before 2pm, Olley and I were enjoying a delicious meal in a Michelin-starred pub restaurant in Marlow – the Hand and Flowers. It's only just down the road from us, but this was the first time we'd eaten there and I didn't regret choosing it for my special lunch. The food was simple and elegant, posh but not pretentious or too pricey. Perfect, in fact!
Later, Billy helped me choose my present of a push bike – a 'town and trail' model is just what I need to encourage me to get on two wheels rather than four. I'm looking forward to making use of the good summer they seem to be promising us again – let's hope they're right this time!
When we arrived home it was to a real surprise – Bex had come home from university and was baking a carrot cake for me! (see photo top left) I really hadn't expected her to be able to get home, so there were lots of hugs and kisses. She said, simply, 'I couldn't miss your 50th, Mum.' That was a real treat, and finished the day perfectly. The whole day was lovely, and it made me realise how lucky I am.
I'll extend the celebrations a little though – when Charlie is home we're all going to see Les Miserables in London's West End - a musical I've always wanted to see. (Although Ali K tells me I'll cry all the way through it!). So even more to look forward to.
I'm enjoying the summer of my years
I'm sure, when I'm 50 and a bit, I'll have days when I feel old and tired, and that life is rushing past me far too quickly. For now, though, I'm full of the joys of spring and planning to enjoy the summer of my years!
What have you done for a special birthday?
I'd love to hear about how you celebrated a special birthday – the best ones aren't usually about having lots of money spent on you so much as spending time with the people most important to you. Have you had any lovely surprises?
Finally, thanks to you for all the cards you've sent to wish me Happy Birthday, many of them handmade – I so appreciate your kind good wishes.
Do take care,