So, friends; a super-special edition of my Things of Thankful, because today I am 30.
Born the day after a massive thunderstorm, I’ve had a tempestuous life, but been blessed with a tempestuous character and resilient spirit to match. I’ve also been blessed with utterly marvellous family and friends.
1.Yesterday, EmmaExplorer and I shared a picnic with Husby, went for a walk in the deliciously mirrored atmosphere of building storms, and got far too hot (needing to dunk our feet in cold water afterwards!).
|2. The shock of cold water was hilarious|
3.We later tried Joy’s recipe for Amaretto sours (they were delicious), watched Wreck-it-Ralph (loaned by Neff some time ago and he’ hoping it’ll be back with him soon – it was very good).
4. I waited til 30 seconds past midnight to open my presents and they were LOVELY.
5. Then some royal chick had a baby and the internet was lit up with it. Which threw me sideways onto a rather large, upset fluctuation of mood (in spite of all my new-found peace, the idea that my baby should be 20 days older than hers was enough to set me off). 2 Sours, 2 Rum and cokes, 2 Archers and lemonades and a vodka and orange later, I found myself (or, rather, Husby found me asleep on the bathroom floor at 3am, having been disgracefully ill) crashing sideways into my 30s with a hazy grin on my face and vomit in my hair. But I think I can be excused. This time.
6. *SO* thankful for Husby and his help last night. Also love that he got me exactly what I wanted – an iTunes card and a money tin for shoes (with a little (alright, big) something in it already). What a guy 🙂
7. Richard from That’s Life…Sometimes sent me a musical birthday greeting yesterday and I’ve not stopped listening to it yet. I love it.
8. In spite of the threatened storms, the bad weather did not manifest and it stayed resolutely sunny through the whole day
9. Mum and WonderAunty took me on my Magical Mystery Surprise Birthday Day Out to Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway, which was SO much fun.
10. Husby and I went for a little walk while waiting for the main part of the surprise to start and saw a stunning, massive damselfly. I’ve never seen one like it before.
11. The main part was that I got a SUPER SPECIAL birthday steam train ride on the Birthday Express.
12. The train was pulling the Royal Carriage (last used by such elites as Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles, Prince Michael of Kent and the Japanese Ambassador. No plebby trainwagon for MY family!
13. But not for me. I was too busy up front with the Driver John, who showed me all around the cab and how it worked (incidentally, this is where Her Majesty the Queen prefers to sit when she’s here)
14. Then, on the return journey from the halt, Driver John loaned me his ‘Greasetop’ and let me DRIVE THE FREAKIN’ TRAIN!
For my birthday I DROVE A STEAM TRAIN! THAT’S RIGHT! 😀
15. Then we went to lunch, which was in an exclusive part of Exbury’s restaurant.
|So hungry I couldn’t wait for food|
16. And I got given my first present – a (possibly) antique enamelled koi necklace, with hinges down it so it really moves. Utterly, stunningly beautiful, and the first of 30 presents from Mum and WonderAunty!
17. I found a postcard in the shop with a picture of ‘my’ train on it, and wrote about my experience on the back so I can keep it forever. Then Husby and I had a little post-lunch nap under a delightfully shady tree (he in the shade, I in the sun).
18. Then we went for a SECOND train ride, and I GOT TO RIDE UP FRONT AGAIN. And keep doing the whistle. This time in front of Other People. It rocked. Then at the halt, the nice Lady Guard got them all to wish me a happy birthday 🙂
|*I* think it’s beautiful, that whistle. It sounded awesome, too.|
20. As we were riding, we saw a baby deer (still with its spots) leap onto the track ahead of us, canter down a little way, then leap back into the woods. Then Driver John asked whether it was my sister I was with, who was so enthusiastic (it was WonderAunty, he was referring to) and asked if she’d like to ride the return journey in the front, so I swapped with her and she LOVED it.
21. Mum bought me a lavender plant to remember the day by, and later gave me a bunch of roses, so my flat looks really pretty now. We drove home and WonderAunty put on a special 30th Birthday Mix CD with some of my favourites on it, and we boogied all the way home.
22. The family gathered round at the ‘Family Home’ and Sis, Niece and Neff joined us for the rest of the 30 presents, tea and cake.
23. Sis found me a gorgeous card with a gorgeous poem and added a verse herself for me. It was hilarious, sweet, and very, very thoughtful of her. She’s a gorgeous person inside and out. But she’s sneaky, too, because she filled the card with glitter, which all dropped out on my lap when I opened it, leaving me looking like I’d accidentally vijazzled over my clothes! I caught some of the glitter and later dumped it over Neff’s head, leaving him with a shiny behind-the-ear (he thought this was hilarious).
24. Neff was a wonderful, sparkly Birthday Fairy (he’d gotten a *teensy* bit hyper about all the presents and fun) and brought me each present, dictating the order of opening them, telling me to wear the ribbons, and putting the wrapping on my head as a hat. He was a lovely bundle of fun and our excitement knew very few bounds.
25. Then Niece, Neff and I danced in the garden, with me trying to sing the Beatles song (above)
26. When I got home, I phoned Dad and we had a lovely conversation. His card arrived in the post today (perfect timing) and we chatted about the trains, the birthday, the family, everything. It was super 🙂
27. I decided that since I was now 30, I was old enough to modify my clothes and acted on a very missed-out teenage phase by turning a round-neck David Bowie t-shirt into a V(ish)-neck by the addition of one swift slice to the centre of the neckline. Looks a ton better.
28. I wore it out to the Mexican restaurant Husby and I went to for the evening. The same one we went to the night we got married. Brought back wonderful memories and the food was AMAZING. More amazingly, because I had a valid student card on me, we got 50% off!
29. On the way back home, the sun was setting and the sky was FILLED with beautiful crepuscular rays, beaming across the backs of some rather ethereal, fluffy white clouds. It was stunning.
30. I am so thankful for my wonderful, gorgeous, awesome family for giving me such an amazing surprise, and for my lovely friends (both far and near) whose best wishes, sent at intervals through the day, resulted in a birthday that made me look like this:
From the bottom of my delightfully soot-coated heart, THANK YOU.