I'm really sorry not to have written to you sooner, but as you may have seen from a few of the comments I had time to post, Colin and I headed off to Morrocco for spot of sunshine, and although I brought my trusty iPad with me, the WiFi at the resort was sadly less trusty!
I did though enjoy reading all your lovely comments at the airport whilst waiting for the flight home, particularly your suggestions of where you would choose to spend your birthdays!
And so having just returned from a very lazy and sunny time in Agadir I've left my unpacking and washing until later on, so that I could finally let you know where I ended up for my birthday weekend, and what Colin had planned
You may remember that March 14th was a beautiful day and before we even got up he had told me that my surprise was two nights in a country house hotel, and Friday at the Cheltenham Gold Cup Races! We'd been to Ascot a couple of years ago, and had a ball, so I was thrilled
Having dutifully packed the few things Colin had suggested, plus the usual overnight clart, we headed off in the direction of the M3 and ultimately Stow on the Wold! What a stunning part of the country it is! Our journey took us through some beautiful English villages and countryside with blue skies and bright sunshine, and before long we were at the hotel. Just lovely, with a fabulous room, open log fire in the reception, incredible views from the dining room, and an Elemis Spa!
Apparantly years ago they held huge annual fairs with as many as 20,000 sheep being sold at one time! Infact talking about wool, after a pot of tea and a cheese scone, Colin bought me a pair of luxurious cashmere socks which are sooooo cosy!
As the sun dipped down behind the hills, we headed back to our hotel, and got ready for dinner. I have to say the food was exceptional, and having eaten our fill of fabulously prepared fare, we headed for the log fire and rounded off the evening with a glass of port – perfect
Friday dawned, cold and wet, but we wolfed down a huge breakfast (extra black pudding for me as Colin doesn't eat it) donned out hats, padded jackets, and headed off for the Cheltenham Gold Cup Races to make our fortune!… By crikey it was cold!!!
We picked up some warm and free yellow scarves from a certain Turf Accountant and they were the saving of us. To be honest there were sooooo many people in there we had to rely on watching the races on the big screens as we only made it down onto the terraces a couple of times because the whole place was rammed! That said, it didn't spoil our enjoyment, or disrupt my ability to follow the form… Anything in a purple or peach coloured outfit had my backing, but clearly I had lost my touch!
We made our way back to the hotel by taxi, and spent the rest of the evening chatting to other guests including Lord and Lady Greenwood – no relation to our Debs, but should be as they were delightful
As we were up past midnight, once we returned to the room I was allowed to have my presents, and what a spoiled girlie I was. Colin had put together a really thoughtful collection of things including shoes, champagne, a book, a fab bag, make up, bath goodies, a bikini (see it makes sense now chocolates, frillies, and a copy of Fab 208 magazine with Donny Osmond and David Cassidy in it – result!
He had also tried to book me in for an Elemis facial but as the hotel was fully booked 'cos of Cheltenham they squeezed me in for a mini treatment at 10am. Bliss…
We packed and I thought were due to head home as Lucy and the boys were coming round at 6pm that evening… But no, another surprise for me as Colin supposedly set the sat nav wrongly and we ended up at Lucy's new home in Swindon! I wasn't sure that we should just decend, but Colin said he knew she wouldn't have left already so we popped in… to find Lucy with a buffet lunch all laid out ready, and her brothers hidden in the kitchen!
Tickets had been purchased for the Chinese State Circus and so after we'd eaten all my favourite foods, we headed into Swindon town centre and were then duly entertained by the most talented group of gymnasts I've ever seen. It was fabulous and they took jumping through hoops to a whole new level
We went to an 'Eat All You Can' chinese buffet for supper and the children treated me to a rather alarming amount of food, finishing off with banana fritters which I love. As we headed for the car park I thought of the last time I'd been to a circus with them, Jack was just six years old and the four of us had had a magical afternoon watching all kinds of magic under canvas in the pouring rain… Good times…
As I have had throughout my somewhat extended birthday weekend, and I have to thank Colin and my three children for making it such a special one…Thank you so much for all your wonderful birthday destination suggestions… may you all be as spoiled as I have been
I hope too that you will have had a Happy Easter and that you enjoy the blog and the photos.
Next stop Agadir!!!
Much love Ali xxxx