Happy birthday to me!
That is all. Thank you.
Happy birthday to me!
That is all. Thank you.
My birthday! Happy birthday to me!
I’m one of the few people who can truly say is British since my Mum was Welsh, my Dad was a Scot and I was born in England on St Patrick’s day which of course was on Monday of last week.
We do birthday’s in a big way in our family so of course, in true Boofuls Towers stye, the celebrations started early with a party last Staurday for close family and friends. Funnily enough, it’s never crossed my mind to have a St Patrick’s themed party.
Instead we had a pirate themed party to get us in the mood for May’s pirate festival in Brixham. Aaaaaaar. The pirates’ provenance was a bit mixed with sea shanties from Cornwall, (miserable dirges they were, they lasted about two minutes before I put something more cheery on), Caribbean inspired food, cake, costumes and drinks along with a few eye patches, swords and hats and a lot of “Aaaaaarrrrrrr, ye scurvy dog” completed the theme.
One day we might put on a sophisticated soiree and surprise everyone. Nah, only kidding!
Sunday was a recovery day for most of the party goers. Me? I was annoyingly chipper having spent most of the previous evening on soft drinks. Boofuls and I went out to get some new curtains and rugs to give the house a bit of a lift for spring.
Monday. The big day! The day started with Boofuls bringing me a cup of coffee in bed and Douggie the doggie jumping on the bed and giving me a big sloppy kiss. Two minutes later I was holding his head ( Douggie’s not Boofuls’) over the waste bin to catch his vomit and prevent it going all over my brand new cream coloured bedroom carpet. I don’t think the vomit was anything to do with the big sloppy kiss he gave me. I hope not, anyway.
Next up was lots of pressies and brekkie at at the new eating and drinking emporium in town with my bestie. Full English breakfast? Don’t mind if I do! WE were absolutely gobsmacked to see people drinking actual achohol at 10.00 a.m. The venue was split into two definite parts. One part being the ladies who meet for coffee and men who meet for beer – and never the twain shall mix. We all stayed at our own end of the pub and looked across disdainfully at the other side.
Monday night, Boofuls went out to his club and I met some clients at work. Oh well, can’t have everything.
On Tuesday I went with Douggie the doggie to a choreography session at our club. We are doing an exhibition for a local-ish charity soon and the club has been asked to do something special, so we’re doing formation dancing for dogs. Cool!
Wednesday. Oh Wednesday. What a grim start to the day. The light at the end of the tunnel turned out to be the taxman’s torch. Sigh. A nice tax demand took the edge of my celebrations but not for long.
On Wednesday afternoon I went to see a medium. Whether you believe in it all or not, I do. Fervently. Difficult not to when if you have to put a title onto yourself that title would be ‘spiritualist’.
I’m not going to share anything that was said there – yet. I’m saving it for a big announcement to come soon (ooooooooh, exciting!!). All I will say is: Bloody hell, has she been stalking us and bugging our phones? This woman is gooood.
One of my birthday gifts from Boofuls was tickets to see Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace in Dance ’till Dawn in Manchester. Funny, entertaining, amazing dancing, obviously. It was fabulous. Go and see it immediately! What? I now you’re at the other side of the world. Don’t make excuses, go and see it. It’s worth it!
Thursday was a recovery day.
Friday was the day I’ve been waiting for. Lashes and I went to a spa for the day. It was a Christmas pressie from Boofuls and I’ve been saving it. What a fantastic day. I can cope with massages, facials, long, leisurely lunches and a bass or two of wine. What a fantastic day we had. Made even better by the fact that Boofuls dropped us off and picked us up o there was no driving involved. He and Len picked us up at the appointed time and then they took us to The Clog and Billycock for dinner.
What’s theClog and Billycock?
It’s a restaurant, not too far away from here that is owned by the well known chef Nigel Haworth. I’ve been wanting to go for some time, so we did.
You must go there, immediately. You can do it when you come to see Dance ’till Dawn. With it’s deceptively simple menu and homely surroundings its a lovely place to spend and evening. I thought it would be a bit pretentious, I expected to see beluga caviar served on a sturgeon’s fin nestling on a swan’s left ear but it was exactly the opposite. Lovely simple, tasty and wholesome food. Good grief. I was so full I could hardly move.
You know the food is good when you are stuffed to the gunnels but when they ask if you want a dessert you say yes and eat every last bit of it. Last time I was that full was the ‘nine puddings’ incident in Hong Kong. I’ll tell you about that another day. Here are a couple of photos for you. One of my Lancashire hotpot and one of my dessert, a lovely, light lemon possett.
They’re alright these birthdays. Weeks like this I can deal with. Happy birthday. It certainly was. Thanks to everyone who made it all happen. Now then. Where are my elasticated trousers?
We have the first wedding of this season today. It’s always extra exciting, the first one of the season.
I spend most of the week looking at the weather forecast, I don’t know why. It’s not like I can get a different weather if I don’t like the one we’ve been given. I also do lots of test shoots to make sure all the kit is working correctly even though I’ve been using it constantly all year. Having checked and double checked everything twice I’m relatively happy that everything is in order.
If only the clients knew how keyed up I get before a wedding. I mean, it’s not like we can redo it if it’s wrong is it? No second chances here!
Once we get to the venue I’ll be fine, adrenalin kicks in and I have a ball. Until them I suffer from photographers’ stage fright and feel physically sick.
So. Altogether now:
Happy birthday to you etc etc
It’s my birthday today. Happy birthday to me. Isn’t it funny how social networking changes things in your life? Dozens of people who wouldn’t dream of sending me a birthday card or a text message to say happy birthday have been a bit quick off the mark this morning and sent birthday wishes via Facebook. What s a lovely start to the day.
Well, actually, my real start to the day was walking the dog, Velcro, round the moors at 7 o’clock in the rain. Not a bad way to start the day, I do enjoy a stroll in nice soft rain when the rest of the world is still asleep.
Since I’m now officially well into my fifties, I decided to join the nifty fifties zumba class at the gym.
Oh deary me.
I think they should have called it the knackered nineties.
It’s fair to say I felt and looked a teensy bit out of place in the sea of grey hair. The instructor came over to me, looked me up and down and asked me what she needed to know about me, did I have a pacemaker, bad hips or arthritis? At this point I was beginning to feel decidedly geriatric. I did mention an old shoulder injury which means I can’t fling my right arm round like I used to. ” There’s no flinging of anything in this class.” I was informed tersely.
The class started at a gentle pace, leaving me thinking it was going to be a very long hour but at least the music was good. The instructor shouted out the moves along with occasional warnings, “HIP ISSUES HERE Don’t let your foot go over the centre of your body.” Then looking at me and realising I wasn’t even breaking a sweat. “YOU! Work to your normal pace!” So I did and thoroughly enjoyed my little (not so little) self.
Proper made my day, being too young and fit for the nifty fifties zumba. Think I may sign up for the armchair aerobics next week. It’s so good for my ego.
Happy birthday Pebbles!
Our little black cat, Pebbles, the very Pebbles who inspired the name of this blog after I once again tripped over her in the middle of the night, has reached the grand old age of twenty. We don’t know her exact birthday but we believe it to be somewhere around new year.
I remember the day we got her, and the reason why. Let’s take a walk down memory lane together, dear reader and I’ll share my story with you.
Lashes, little more than a curly haired and hazel eyed toddler suddenly and out of the blue developed a profound fear of cats. Hardly able to walk down the street without screeching like a banshee every time she saw one, we decided action was needed.
” We’ll get a little, cute kitten, everyone likes little, cute kittens, don’t they?”
“What? To scare her with every time she misbehaves?”
“No, love. To help her over her fear of cats.”
So started weeks of trying to find a cat. The RSPCA had none, neither did the Cats’ Protection League. After a long trip out to a cat sanctuary, they told us they’d heard of a place near where we lived that had cats they wanted rid of.
We drove all the way back to visit the people with the spare cats.
It transpired that they already had dogs but had taken in a cat out of the goodness of their hearts. This cat promptly had kittens, and before they’d got rid of them all, one of the kittens had had kittens. These people were all catted out. If they never saw another cat again it would have been too soon. Their lives had been a mess of yowling, barking, fighting, pooing smelly animals ever since they’d done their good deed.
In we walked, “We’d like it to be a boy.”
“This is a boy.” they said as they thrust a bundle of black fur at us. To be honest if we’d have said me wanted a martian they’d have told us it was one.
For about a nanosecond, this little, black ball of fluff sat trembling in the palm of my hands. “We’ll take it.” I said, assessing the sadness of it’s situation rather than it’s suitability as a pet for our darling daughter.
As soon as the words were out of my mouth this harmless little kitten turned into a whirling dervish of the grandest magnitude. It launched itself from my hands onto the sofa, bounced of the sofa and ran round the walls at lightning speed like Evel Kneivel riding the wall of death. Off the wall it finally came, by taking a flying leap halfway across the room onto the curtains which it used as a springboard before finally coming to rest – hanging off the tv. It only came to rest there because it got a claw stuck and couldn’t move. I think that the poor thing had had to fight to not end up as a dog snack from the moment it was born and had learned how to make a quick getaway. Certainly it’s survival skills had been honed to perfection and it was definitely nippy on it’s feet.
I walked over and plucked her ( Yes, her. Not him as requested) from where she was dangling helplessly in front of the television screen.
By now the owner had given up trying to tell me what a lovely wee thing it was and just looked at me wordlessly, imploring me with her eyes to take it away but obviously thinking we wouldn’t after it’s display of ‘cute kittenness.’
Of course we did take her, although we spent the whole drive home wondering what the hell we’d just done.
So that was the inauspicious way Pebbles came to be part of our lives. I’d love to tell you that she was the perfect pet, loving, friendly and relaxed but it would be a lie. I do think she appreciated us for giving her a peaceful and dog free home but she has never got over her nerves and she continues to be neurotic, anti social and aloof but we love her.
Happy birthday, Pebbles.
With all the lies I’ve told over the last couple of weeks I’m likely to get the door slammed in my phizog when I trap up at the pearly gates.
I’m not terribly good at lying. Actually, I’ll change that. I obviously am good at lying because I’ve got away with it for the last few weeks but as an essentially very honest person I’m not terribly comfortable with it.
So why have I been lying through my teeth for the last few weeks?
Gembolina’s birthday, that’s why.
The Rev, Lashes and me cooked up a plan to give her a surprise 30th birthday party. The Rev, being an even worse liar than I am, pretty much left Lashes and me to our own devices as we plotted, schemed and planned the party, working on the basis that if he didn’t know anything he couldn’t give anything away. Casual comments and cakes I’d seen at recent wedding sparked conversations with Gembolina about our perfect birthday cakes. Ha! Gotcha! I must admit I was a bit surprised when she told me about her perfect cake. Little, shy Gembolina?!
Lashes did the bulk of the work, ringing round venues, arranging menus and making the magnificent eye watering cake. I just organised the guest list and told lies.
A totally ficticious engagement party was cooked up by yours truly. There was a teeny semblance of truth to the story, the neighbour’s daughter, (Miss Yappy’s family) has just got engaged.
I used the very successful, never fail, emotional blackmail technique: ‘I really think we should go at least for an hour to show willing’ to counter any ‘don’t fancy it’ cropping up.
Admittedly I had to do all this bit by text as I didn’t think I could carry it off face to face. We even sent her out to buy an engagement card to add extra verisimilitude to the story.
I avoided Gembolina all last week, dropping Miss Woofy off at the house with a cheery, “Here’s the dog. See ya!” as I scuttled back to the car before invitations for coffee were issued. My nerves have been in tatters.
The venue was was where she and The Rev got married. A pretty little place deep in the woods next to the river. The weather was perfect, warm(ish) and dry. The planned bouncy castle, another item on Gembolina’s perfect party wish list, failed to show up but that was the only thing that went wrong and as she didn’t know about it anyway (we think) she wasn’t disappointed.
Here re a few photos from the evening. Don’t expect professional quality – the camera was being passed around all night and there was lots of alcohol involved.
Didn’t she look terrified? When they arrived she opened the door a bit, saw people she didn’t expect to see and stood there frozen like a rabbit in the headlights. Poor Gem.
I loved how everyone, young and ahem, older, joined in and had fun together. What a brilliant night. I think it was worth all the lies. Do you think I might get past the pearly gates because all the lies were in a good cause?
You know that saying about not worrying about being careful in life and ending up in heaven all pristine, instead you should roll up in a sports car, skid in sideways and say “Wow! What a ride that was?
“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a ride!’”
Yes, ok, it says it so much better than I did.
To be honest I’m too knackered to think straight. It’s been a FAB few days. Just like the saying goes, we have been ‘burning the candle at both ends’, ‘ larging it up, Baby’, and ‘ carpe diem -ing.’
Thursday (happy birthday to meeeeee) was brilliant, apart from the fact that I woke up stupidly early at ten past six. It must have been because I was excited at being 50 again (I’m counting backwards now, remember?).
Boofuls had, as normal, excelled himself in the pressie department with tickets to go and see Ghost at Manchester Opera House in April.
A cracking dance lesson followed. Not a lot of dancing went on but there was a lot of laughing. We are going over a particularly tricky bit in the waltz and it’s causing more brain strain than is acceptable. The brain understands exactly what is supposed to happen. If only I could get it to tell the feet!
Posh coffee with Lashes and Munki, a nice brisk walk with Mrs Woofy and then I popped into work and Peewee Winklepop surprised me with a bottle of my favourite wine, Chateauneuf du Pape.
Not only was it a lovely surprise it was made all the sweeter because she doesn’t drink wine and knows little about it other than it comes in three colours. She’d put a lot of effort into finding out what I’d really like. As if she hasn’t enough other things to think about, thanks Peewee. Big bunch of vitrual roses for you.
An evening of hilarity with Boofuls and my sister rounded the day off nicely.
All in all not a bad day.
Friday was even better.
Apart from the photoshoot I had booked in for 4pm, that is. The shoot went well enough and I’m chuffed with the photos but I had far more important things to be getting on with:
Our Caribbean themed party!
The chicken was jerked, the lamb was stewed, the rice was pea-ed (by The Rev) the sausages were honeyed, the beef was roasted and the stupidly strong rum punch was mixed by yours truly. Lashes made a brilliant cake:
All the times I’ve tried to put on interesting and varied food when I’ve done a buffet. Tsk, well haven’t I learnt a valuable lesson? What a waste of time that all was. All I really needed to do is give the buggers meat – and lots of it.
Not a lot got wasted ( though a few people did – teehee).
The family, the inlaws – and couple of outlaws turned up for food, drink and karaoke. Even the dog got in the spirit of it all:
It was off the silly scale, the whole evening was one of those that wouldn’t possibly have worked unless everyone knew each other well. Oh how we laughed. Do you want to see a video of our ‘choir’?
It’s not for the faint hearted so don’t watch it of you’re of a nervous disposition.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
It could have been worse, we could have been singing “Chocolate Salty Balls’
Lashes asked me for copies of all the photos I have taken of her and for her over the last few years so I’ve been going through the archives.
How many photos?!? I couldn’t believe how many there are. It’s a long and arduous job but one I’m glad to be doing as all these photos need to be got off dvd’s, or dvdbees as Munki calls them, and onto a hard drive for safer storage.
I’ve only done a couple up to now. While I was doing them I have laughed and cried, often at the same time. So many memories, so many things we’d forgotten about. What a treasure trove. Here are my favourites from today’s batch of photos.
Lashes and her dance partner at the time.
This was a project for college when I was doing my degree. We had to design an advertisement from scratch, shoot the images for it and then ‘post’ it on a billboard using the magic of photoshop. What a hoot.
Take a bunch of close friends and family, feed them, ply them with alchohol, put Bohemian Rhapsody on the karaoke machine and what do you get? An outbreak of air guitar and headbanging!! What a fantastic night that was.
Every time I see this it makes me smile, especially as Gembolina (out of the frame) and the chap lounging on the chair on the right just watched in amazement as all the oldies went nuts. Even Big N joined in!
Hahahaaaaaa I’m still grinning from ear to ear while I’m looking at this photo. Fantastic. I think the occasion was my birthday party. It’ll be rolling round again in a couple of weeks. I think we might have a Caribbean theme at this year.
As it’s Lashes’ birthday this weekend and baby Bunting was away for the night last night we decided that it was high time we had a family get together.
The request from the birthday girl was for baked camembert and tapas followed by banoffee pie. That’s easy, I thought. Not much cooking going on there.
How wrong can you be?
Most of the afternoon was spent boiling condensed milk to make the toffee for the banoffee pie. Why didn’t I just buy it in ready made?
I made baba ganoush – shouldn’t have bothered, it looks and tastes horrid.
I made pesto – forgot to put the pine nuts in till just before I served it, Ha! I thought it was very ‘basily’.
I made houmous, birthday cake, cranberry sauce, huge platters of meat and fish and vegetables, umpteen kinds of bread – ok, I didn’t make the bread I bought it but still.
Big N made a tiramisu, very nice indeed.
Not much got wasted, greedy sods that we are.
Surprise failure of the night was the camembert, it was way too rich and filling for a starter and they are huuuuuuuge, Boofuls and me had one between us and it was still too much.
I don’t think it did much for the sparkling wine I was drinking either, it made it taste like onions, to me anyway, everyone else thought it was ok. Onion wine – hhhmm not sure it will catch on.
There was much hilarity and totally inappropriate conversation going on. One of those evenings where everyone just relaxed and had fun.
Everyone left relatively early as Lashes and the clingons needed to be up and ready for their dance exams today. The latest news is that the clingons did fine, haven’t heard from Lashes yet.
So now, all the debris from last night has been cleaned up, the sun is shining and me and Boofuls are off out – don’t really know where yet but it’s a shame to waste a nice day like this. Hope it’s nice where you are.
So Boofuls has reached the ripe old age of 56. There have been times, if I’m honest, when I didn’t think he’d make it. But make it he did and our plan to have a small family bbq ended up as one of the best parties we’ve had for a long time.
The party was still going strong – even though B was nodding off in a chair – when I heard a resounding ‘CRACK’ and realised that dawn had broken.
Blimey, last time that happened was when we were with our ex friends in Wales (too long a story, that one).
The remaining guests were had the microphone forcibly removed from their hands, because they weren’t ready to finish singing, were shoved into a taxi and sent home and we stunbled (staggered, more like) off to bed.
But I’m getting in front of myself. lets start at the beginning.
The rain from earlier in the day decided to bugger off, the wind dropped and the evening was lovely and balmy with a gentle refreshing breeze. All the family arrived in good spirits and we were halfway down the first jug of Pimms when a deep rumbling sound alerted us to the arrival of M & S on their trike. Boofuls had got the bbq all fired up and the sausages were a sizzling and smelling delicious.
We kept the food really simple for two reasons. 1. It was nearly a spud pie supper due to the weather and 2.It gets bloody pricey feeding 16 people if you get too ambitious in the catering department, so it was a down to a multitude of different types of sausage and a mixture of bought and home made burgers along with my favourite, caesar salad, tomato salad, some spicy couscous and a ton of assorted breads.
All that was missing was my sister and her daughters. The food was all ready to eat, the guests were all starving so after I found one gnawing away at a table leg we decided to eat without them, they were after all more than an hour late. By the time they arrived it looked like a swarm of locusts had attacked the table, I think it’s fair to say there wasn’t a lot wasted.
I’d bought some peri peri chicken. I’d never had it before and it had been lurking in the freezer for exactly an occasion like this. Now I’m not one to blaspheme but JESUS H CHRIST, that was HOT!!!!
Everyone who sampled it was running for glasses of water or milk. There was steam coming out of my ears as I bravely chomped my way through a piece. Most of the adults put theirs in the bin. Little Liv on the other hand managed to get through hers. I truly don’t know how. She deserved a prize for that. It’s fair to say that I won’t be investing in it again.
Bezzie mate was busily going round taking photos of all the goings on, the garden, N walking home from work, the hills, anything, really. The picture above is one of hers. This is still from quite early in the evening and it was already getting a bit giddy.
Next doors dog must have heard the noise and pulled off a ‘Great Escape’ style stunt, arriving in our garden all excited looking for food and poochie. I could tell she was disappointed when she realised that poochie wasn’t there. The neighbour’s daughter came teararsing down the track in pursuit of the dog, panicking as it ran into the field in case it chased the horses. They take a dim view of that round here. The dog was running round like a loony, the neighbour’s daughter plonked herself on our garden wall and burst into tears.
At this point I’d love to say that a dignified and sympathetic silence fell over the crowd of people at our house but oh no, they were as raucous as ever, oblivious to the weeping girl only feet away from them. Eventually with the help of some of poochie’s scooby snacks the dog was captured and led home, I’m certain to have it’s arse kicked by a very pissed off teenager.
Son P was on top form. Irreverent, funny and downright coarse he had the place in an uproar. I only hope that most of it went over the heads of the kids. I was laughing and cringing at the same time as covering the ears of the kids who were hovering nearby. I was a bit surprised when son P and C’s beau got up first to sing on the karaoke. ‘Hhhmm, that’s not like him’ I thought as he began to sing.
Tappping my feet along with the music and tuneless singing I suddenly realised that the words they were singing didn’t match the ones in my head AT ALL!!! Oh. Dear. Lord. It was pure filth. B had loaded up dirty karoake and the crowd were loving it.
What happened to my vision of a sophisticated evening of Pimms on the lawn, classical music and intelligent conversation? Oh yes, that was only in my head.
As the evening wore on, the weather was kind to us and so were the midges, we had the doors wide open as various people crooned or belted out their favourite songs. The Pimms flowed as did the beer, wine, vodka and the girly sweet drinks and anything else they could lay their hands on.
Around 2 a.m. me and C decided it would be a good idea to open up the bottle of expensive champagne that I’ve been saving for a special occasion. We waited till in between soongs on the karoake so we could make an entrance with the bottle, all the glasses and candles on a tray, singing Happy Birthday to Boofuls.
In we went singing as loud as we could, ( I’m always amazed at how much better my voice gets when I drink alcohol and it seems the more I drink, the better I sound. Amazing!). In to the lounge with the fully laden tray. W e looked left. No Boofuls. We looked right. No Boofuls. Crapcrappitycrap. Where the hell is he?
Eventually we found him outside having a fag, it did kind of spoil the grand entrance we’d planned but never mind, the champers was nice.
Here is is trying his best to look suave and failing dismally. Probably not the best photo ever taken of him.
Here are a couple more pics of the evening as it descending into total nonsense as things things have a habit of doing.
I’ve got more photos to post as soon as I can get them off Booful’s iphone. We’ll also be having a caption competition, heheee.
We had a fantastic night and I loved every minute of it but thank God it’s only once in a blue moon, I couldn’t stand it any more than that. It took me all day Sunday to recover as it was.
Not peeing up the side of the police car wheel? That surely implies that you were supposed to pee up the police car wheel.
Confused, dear reader? So was I.
This was how the conversation went with hairdresser this morning.
The story went like this: Having spent the day in the pub watching that abysmal and embarrassing World Cup game when England was well and truly trounced, my hairdresser, his girlfriend and her brother were just about ready to leave. On the car park were a crowd of about 30 people, all a bit tanked up but no signs of any trouble. The police arrived, leapt out of the car and went straight round to the back of the building, no one knew why.
While they were away some wag decided to pee up the wheel of the police car, much cheering and hilarity followed. My hairdresser, having seen it happen while he was leaving, walked past the police car and thought it would be funny to pretend to do it as well. More cheering. The police, came running back, saw the pee, saw the hairdresser, put 2 and 2 together and made 70.
10 hours in a cell, 2 broken ribs later, the hairdresser was allowed out on bail, till Monday when he’s up in court. Is this an example of British justice? Seems a total over reaction to some drunken, if inappropriate, high jinks to me.
Bloody, sodding, fecking, winged creatures. I’ve been bitten in places no self respecting horse fly should even be approaching. Vast quantities of anti histamine and hydrocortisone are keeping the allergy to said winged critters at bay but only just. What the hell is going on this year, I’ve never known anything like it.
Why not just put on clothes that give more overage? I can hear you asking. I did! The blighters are biting me through my clothes!!!
Busy weekend this weekend. It’s Boofuls birthday tomorrow and we have a few family and friends coming round tonight for a bit of a knees up. The plan was to have a bbq but it’s piddling down at the moment so I might have to resort to that old standby, good old spud pie.
And Other Observations From My Soap Box.
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