So I’m another year older, as they say, but actually, if you think about it, I’m only a day older since age is cumulative.
This time last year we were in Orlando celebrating my 40th birthday (all week I’ve been tortured by this on timehop!) This was my view as I entered my fifth decade.
I loved 40. The second I turned 40 I felt like a whole load lifted off me. All of a sudden I felt perfectly ok with the fact that I don’t want to party till the wee small hours. That a great night out for me involves a meal and a couple of glasses of wine with good company. That a Saturday night in with a takeaway and a box set is an acceptable luxury. I developed a confidence and a happiness that came entirely from within that allowed me to concentrate so much more on the things that matter and to disregard the trivial. I became far less concerned with the opinions of others. I guess this naturally comes with age, but with me it literally happened overnight.
….. but now on to to 41.
My birthday was yesterday, but actually my birthday treats started the day before. I took the day off work and treated myself to a full body Swedish massage to kick the day off. I get emailed offers all the time from Bannatyne Spa but normally can’t manage to get an appointment outside of work time, but this time I managed to get one on my day off. What a great way to start a Tuesday!
Thoroughly relaxed, I slinked off home, ready to be picked up by my Dad to go and choose my birthday presents. Weeks ago I asked if my (now traditional) shopping spree could take place in Webbs Garden Centre this year instead of in a shopping mall. Dad was game for this as he hadn’t been to Webbs since we used to pop in there on our way to my Dad’s when I was a kid (work that one out then, hey!?)
Webbs is AMAZING! It has a Lakeland and a Hobbycraft inside it, and an incredible food hall which, if you’re lucky, gives away free samples to entice you to buy one of their wheels of cheese or pots of chutney or regional wines.
By the time we arrived, our tummies were telling us it was time for a little smackeral of something, so we bypassed all the amazing houseplants and averted our eyes from the Christmas displays and headed straight to the restaurant. Yum, jacket potatoes, not as good as Ted’s (because that’s not possible) but a pretty close runner-up.
Tummies full, we headed outside for a trolley and the shopping commenced. I very nearly succumbed to a bear. It was a lovely bear, and very soft and cuddly, but I managed to drag myself away. Our house has its fair share of cuddly toys already so I left it for someone else to give it a home and I wheeled my trolley off to the greener part of the garden centre.
Look at all my lovely gifts.
There’s a teddy bear! Our house may have its fair share, but what excitement to realise I can continue the bear obsession in the garden!
I’ve been wanting a Cordyline for ages so I made a beeline for those.
This is definitely going to go in my new planter which was my present from my Dad and Carole.
A wheelbarrow of grasses! These, along with Hebes, are my current plant loves. In there is Carex Testacea, Miscanthus Gold Breeze, Stipa Tenuissima and Juncus Spiralis. I love the way they wave at me in the breeze.
I never thought I’d have a wheelbarrow as a birthday present! This actually came from Homebase not Webbs. The ones in Webbs were proper galvanised ones and were super expensive! I needed a wheelbarrow, but Monty Don I am not, so a super expensive one was not necessary.
Juncus Spiralis, as the linguists amongst you will have worked out, is curly. Curly grass! How fun.
I did get one indoor plant.
The air plant in the shell on the end. This is to replace one of the succulents from my brother and sister-in-law’s wedding which didn’t make it. I couldn’t resist the little tropical fish.
I was at work on my birthday so I waited until I came home to open my cards and presents.
Look how well my friends and family know me.
Twelve cards with cats on and a cat mug!
Both my brothers have got my number too.
My friend continued the theme with this lovely Eeyore which I’ve clipped on to my handbag.
And my husband knows how to melt my heart ….
….. with a card from my fur babies (and a Paperchase one at that!) Picasso eat your heart out!
He got me two floating charms for my Pandora locket …..
Tiny and cute, huh? They look great in the locket (I already had Mickey).
And he got me a Newton’s cradle that I spotted in Flying Tiger a few weeks ago.
I got some more gardeny gifts too.
Garden centre vouchers and a Webbs gift card and a trug that contains gardening gloves, rustic plant markers and seeds with instructions on when best to sow them. The cactus card was from a special friend. I take ages choosing cards for other people because I always want to pick just the right one that they’ll love and that is relevant to them, so I always appreciate it when I receive cards that have been chosen with thought.
My Mum sent me a handmade bag.
I haven’t decided what to use it for yet. It’s the right size for crochet hooks but it would be good for cosmetics too. Aren’t the fabrics she used lovely?
This month’s Little Box of Crochet also arrived on my birthday and it’s Oh. So. Good! Gaspworthy! More about that later when I have time to divulge its autumnal contents. The card was from a friend at work and I couldn’t resist including it in the photo because it matches perfectly.
So, my birthday is over for another year and I’ve been so spoilt by my nearest and dearest and, as ever, it makes me so appreciative of all the wonderful people I have in my life who always find a way to make me feel loved and special, not just on my birthday, but always. Thanks guys, you’re the best – big squeezes to all of you.
Oh, and it’s not over just yet. I have a meal out on Saturday night with some of my favourite people in the world and another on Tuesday with some more favourites, my oldest friends (in the chronological sense, they’re not all ninety!) and I get to meet up with my best friend at some point soon which we don’t manage very often.