To be honest I’d been dreading this birthday, not because of the year that I have become, but because of Lockdown. I thought it might just become another dreary day with nothing to do and nowhere to go and if I’m absolutely honest, I fear that my mental well being is not as good as it could be. I feel fragile and emotional and it doesn’t take much to tip me over the edge. There have been some really good sobbing sessions. I know that I am not the only one as many members of my close family and friends are also feeling the strain, so we just cling to the cliff face and hope we can all pull through.
So with trepidation afoot I woke at 4.00 a.m., which was not a great start. I tootled around the internet and at 8.30 a.m. I woke Chef, because Chef had said he was going to cook me a great breakfast. At 9.50 a.m. it arrived. I could have eaten a scabby cat at that point! I’d been awake for six hours. Apparently there were problems in the kitchen, which mostly pinpointed to a half awake Chef.
But when he presented me with this, Eggs Royale, a poached egg with smoked salmon, napped with a beautifully made hollandaise sauce on my own lightly toasted sourdough, all was forgiven. It was delicious.
The day then started gently, Son no.1 arrived (don’t worry he had still been isolating) and hubby had lit a fire as the weather has become cold and damp, and a little fire in the grate adds a warmth and cheerfulness to everybody. Son no.2 found a Christmas candle with a contraption that spins when the candle is lit and all of a sudden I could smell pine leaves and was looking around for the Christmas tree, such was the ambience of our mood.
The boys had sprawled and were eating junk food. Could I hear the sound of Christmas carols in the background, I think I could. There was even the smell of slow roasting meat coming from the kitchen that I’d popped into the oven a couple of hours previously.
Eventually we woke ourselves from our fug and went on down to the Abbey Fields for the now birthday tradition of feeding the ducks. We had such a great time. First a few family snapshots with my phone.
And then the feeding of the ducks.
Laughing uncontrollably as Son no.2 decides he’s going to take thousands of photographs…. It was so funny.
We then played pooh sticks on my favourite bridge, much to the cries of how can you have a favourite bridge, well you can. Then went on a little walk around.
And found two jackdaws nests and spotted a woodpecker. The jackdaws are doing really well, looks like there may well be several nests. You can just see a parent bird and a tiny beak poking out of the hole. I’m going to need my proper camera.
The brook with wild iris caught in sunshine.
A quick spot check on my parents to say Hi and then homeward bound.
At which point we were all starving. Fortunately I had planned a birthday menu that would yield maximum flavour with minimum input.
We started with ribs. These had been slow cooking for about five hours by this point and I finished them with a barbecue sauce.
They went down very well.
Next, pan fried salmon basted with a coriander and garlic butter served with lovely new potatoes and salad. It was perfection.
And to finish a homemade strawberry pavlova. A favourite over the years with the boys and today it made a comeback appearance and was lovely.
So from an unpromising lockdown position I have had the very best birthday of my life. There were cards and presents too of course, but these dim in comparison to the most loveliest of birthdays I think I have ever had. I feel so happy and content and loved. Has something good come out of Lockdown? Do we appreciate each other more? I think we might do.
I think this may well be the blue print for all of my birthdays, no more gallivanting around doing a day out or going to a posh restaurant in a city. Simple times spent with the ones I love and good but simple food is all I really want or need.
Thank you boys, thank you hubby. x