47!

 

Two bottles of bubble bath, next to a stack of books with titles like Segovia September 2012 and India February 2018. In the bottom-right corner is some teal-coloured tulle with tigers embroidered on it.

Another year older, and my first lockdown birthday.

Actually, I had a really good day. I'd been saying to Mr Robot for a while that I really wished we had photobooks of our travels, because hard copies just feel more durable than files on a computer. So he secretly spent weeks putting together a whole set of photobooks for me! Just flicking through them brings back so many memories: the feeling of sun on skin, the taste of amazing food, the scent of flowers or old dusty buildings...we've rather optimistically renewed our passports this week, but whether we'll be able to go away for our 20th wedding anniversary later this year is anyone's guess. At least I can travel via my books.

He also got me some fancy bubble bath (when times get tough, I hit the tub) and lingerie with tigers on it. Not tiger-pattern, whole tigers in the embroidery. Being childish, I did start singing "That's neat, that's neat, that's neat, that's neat, I really love your tiger teats" to the tune of Mud's 'Tiger Feet' because, well, you have to, don't you?

White roses in two cut-glass Victorian vases, standing to either side of a gothic clock.

Later that day I got a flower delivery: he's set me up a two-month subscription with an ethical florist, and I'll be getting a bunch of flowers every fortnight. As I work from home in our living room, I'll get to enjoy these beauties for at least eight hours a day every day. This delivery was big, blowsy white roses and pussywillow. I cut the roses down so they weren't too tall for the Victorian vases on the mantlepiece - they originally belonged to my mother-in-law, and we suspect they belonged to his grandmother originally - but I left the pussywillows long and they look wonderfully dramatic.

An array of pre-packed food, including sauces in tubs, and scallops and lobster in plastic bags.
Usually we'd go out for dinner for a birthday. Last May, when it was Pete's birthday, our options were really limited. it was the first lockdown and I guess everyone assumed it would be the last, so we made a nice dinner at home and that was that. After many more months than any of us expected, lots of really good restaurants now do delivery services. I see the awful times friends in the hospitality industry are facing, and don't mind paying occasionally for something we wouldn't make ourselves knowing we're helping to keep people in work and businesses afloat. So my birthday dinner was from Rick Stein's restaurant! Everything got delivered in a big, chilled box with icepacks in, and was as prepared as it could be. The scallops had been opened, the lobster cooked, the potatoes sealed in a bag with butter ready to boil.

We had scallops with hazelnut butter to start with, then lobster thermidor, and finally a chocolate pave. We'd never cook lobster ourselves, so it was a real treat. The cats, of course, were milling around. They had a little bit of scallop each, because they are spoiled, and Ziggy decided to investigate the empty lobster shells.

A tabby cat sniffs an empty lobster shell on a plate. A man watches him, smiling.

Hopefully by the time May rolls round again we will be able to go out for Pete's birthday. Looking at the government's 'roadmap' (it's a TIMETABLE FFS!) we should be able to eat outdoors, and if he's happy to wait an extra month we might be able to go to an actual restaurant again. But as lockdown birthdays go, I reckon this one was a pretty good one...


Comments

  1. Happy Birthday. That looks like a good way to celebrate, lockdown or not. Such thoughtful gifts too.

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    1. Thank you! It was a really good birthday, to be honest.

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  2. Happy Birthday, Mim!! What lovely gifts from your husband! I love the idea of the photobooks for you to enjoy your past holidays, and the monthly gift of flowers is really thoughtful! Your meal looks superb, and good for you for splurging! I laughed at the kitty nosing at the empty shells - no lobster for you!

    I'm glad you have a schedule - our country/province is woefully behind the rest of the world for vaccines, and I won't be getting mine until July at the soonest. Sigh. Happy weekend, and enjoy your birthday!!

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    1. We had to put the lobster shells outside straight away or we'd have found them on the kitchen floor in the morning. Being rescue cats, Ziggy and Pippin are adept at scavenging from bins.

      My latest flowers have arrived - 50 white tulips. I could get used to this...

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  3. Happy Birthday, Mim! You certainly celebrated in style in spite of being in lockdown.
    I used to make photobooks of our travels but stopped when the software I loved using for them was discontinued. I really should look for a decent alternative, as they are indeed such a joy to flick through.
    Your Rick Stein menu looks and sounds delicious and obviously the cats had to have a little taste as well.
    I've been humming Tiger Feet all day - I was a big Mud fan at 13 - and I had a good chuckle at your cheeky version :-) xxx

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    1. These were made by Blurb. They're not cheap, but they feel like really nice quality.

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  4. Happy birthday, Mim! I am so glad you had a lovely time. Your flowers are beautiful. Mr Robot seems very thoughtful. Definitely a keeper. Xx

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    1. Thank you!

      Yeah, I got a good 'un there. I've no idea how!

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  5. Ziggy's enjoying that feast!
    Happy Birthday, Mim. What wonderful presents, your mantlepiece looks spectacular with those gorgeous blooms, love the vases and clock, too. The undies sound brilliant and what a great idea with the hard copies of your travel photos, Mr Robot is the best with presents.
    I'm so close to booking a flight to Greece for September! xxx

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    1. We've tried to train him that he can join us at the table as long as he sits on his cat tree, but he couldn't contain himself around lobster shells.

      The vases were inherited from Pete's mum - we suspect they were his gran's as his mum never had them on display but never got rid of them. The clock was my 21st birthday present. I saw it in a shop and asked my relatives for money towards it rather than separate presents. I do love the mantlepiece. (It also conforms to Vix's Law that if you put stuff you like together, it will all go together.)

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  6. Oh, that sounds like a fabulous birthday Mim! Happy birthday btw and I'm old enough to be your mum as my 67th is next Tuesday! Tiger lingerie sounds very interesting and as for the photo books; what an incredibly thoughtful thing to do - and practical! The sort of thing you would never get round to do doing yourself...

    I've never had tasted Lobster Thermidor but I always thought it would be a very sophisticated thing to eat.

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    1. Oooh I hope you had a great birthday. I know so many people whose birthdays are at this time of year; clearly it produces a lot of very good sorts!

      The lobster was lovely, packed with herbs. I always think of tarragon as one to go with chicken but it was great in the lobster.

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  7. Glad you had such a lovely birthday and what wonderful presents. I have something for you but the damn shoulder got in the way. At some point it will wing your way or fingers crossed I can hand it over in person. xx

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    1. We are deffo going to meet up when we're able to! I have a list of people I want to get out and see, and you're one of them.

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  8. Happy Birthday!!, totally agree that lockdown birthdays can be a challenge but yours is one of the best ones ever!. Mr.Robot is my hero nowadays, as he took the time to create some wonderful photobooks and also sent you flowers!. So Lovely!
    Also lovely that you had some fabulous food to enjoy. Always in favour of some seafood deliciousness!.
    I miss travelling too and admire that you visited all these places (some fab spanish cities!).
    besos

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    1. Thank you! Yes, we do love Spanish cities - it's always hard going back to Spain and having to decide whether to go somewhere new or revisit somewhere we already love. We really miss Spain right now.

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