Just gorgeous

Birthday celebrations are truly magical in my family.

Everyone gathers around the birthday girl (or boy, but girl in this case) and slathers them with love.

Presents, cake and cups of tea all feature heavily, as does the traditional game of pass the parcel. Delicious food was shared and enjoyed by all, and the care and attention given to whichever member of the family whose bday it is makes for a long-lasting memorie of warm fuzzies.

Today we had the first really shiny day for a while. The sky was that deep, delicious autumn blue you can’t get at most other times of year – the one which almost sparkles with intensity. And the leaves on the trees at the Hillier Arboretum were absolutely stunning in all shades of green, orange, amber, umber, brown, sienna, red and scarlet.

Neff and I ended up spending most of the afternoon chasing each other around, hiding from and jumping out at each other, tickling, hiding in trees, climbing trees (him) and lying on the floor being pummelled (me). Finally his energy gave out and we all retreated for another cup of tea in the pavillion.

Back at base camp, presents were opened, a game of pass the parcel was held and then we all sang songs together (apart from when Neff covered my mouth forcibly and told me in no uncertain terms “No! That’s a bedtime song”). Neff and my Mum popped a giant sparkly party-popper in the garden then we had sparklers (I took Niece inside after a couple cos she and I were cold, so we watched the others through the window and created a very energetic ‘sparkle dance’)

Eventually the kiddies returned to their home and we were left to watch Strictly Come Dancing and then play Birthday Scrabble (1-1) in front of a coal fire.

Blissful.

A day when I feel truly blessed to be part of such a wonderful family.

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