Sorry for the delay in postage, but I’ve been rather enjoying my timely escape from the inner sanctum of Harefield for a fab 3-day birthday.
Saturday was spent mostly with K’s parents, who took us out for the day around a couple of nice local spots, including a great little farm shop near where they live, which has all kinds of great home-made farm-type stuff, plus a load of great, fresh produce of the sort I’m not allowed to eat any more, which made me very jealous of all the people picking up fresh black pudding and some tasty looking soft/blue cheeses. That said, I did have a very tasty bowl of soup with crusty French bread for lunch, which went down well.
A light lunch was all important as the evening was spent with my parents, my brother and my bro’s best mate and his girlfriend (who I’ve not seen for ages) at The Birch, a really nice restaurant just outside of MK. It does the most amazing selection of fresh, seasonal vegetables and prime cuts of meat, alongside a full menu of great seasonal dishes. I’m not a big fish eater, but I had the most delicious fillet of sea bass, one of my faves, which was cooked to perfection.
Sunday, my actual birthday, started slowly after the late night the night before, but I was soon up and about, opening the myriad cards K had laid out for me all nicely, then chilling out a little with S&S who came over to say hey and show off their engagement ring, which had been presented whilst they were away on holiday in the lakes (the less said about which the better, seeing as everyone had a great time while I was locked away). It’s very cool for both of them, though, as they are clearly deliriously happy, despite having come to the dawning realisation that weddings actually cost money.
Around lunchtime we headed over to the ‘rents again to grab a BBQ with my Aunt and a selection of her troupe – some of whom had better things to do and others of whom tried using the excuse of being in Africa at the time, which I felt a little lame. Of course, being post-op, BBQ is now off the menu for me, but I still had the same grub in the same delicious flavours, only it meant a little more work for Mum, having to bake mine instead of passing them off to Dad for the barbie, as is the usual Lewington bat-plan for weekends.
You truly find out who your friends are when you’re forced out into the rain to cook people a nice barbie (and my dad is an awesome BBQ chef). Not a pleasant thought for Dad, who spent the entire time outside on his lonesome cooking up a storm, which everyone else seemed only too happy to eat.
Still, he didn’t seem to object too much and we had a great get-together. For me, celebrations like these are all about the family – getting together, catching up, laughing, enjoying each others’ company. I’m very blessed in having such a close-knit family who actually enjoy spending time with each other. All too often I hear people moaning or complaining about having to spend time with people in their family “because they ought to”, but in our family we spend time together because we want to.
It’s also great to know that the other family I’m being assimilated into feel the same way – their just as close as us, even if the age-range is slightly more strung-out, but they enjoy seeing each other and spending time together.
I love the fact that my family relationships are more like friendships, things you actively keep going and people you want to keep in touch with, rather than a familial devotion to keeping abreast of what’s going on and meeting up only for the enforced holidays of Christmas and such. It’s nice to be part of something where we get so much joy from each other in such simple things.
Sunday night, K and I got back home and just chilled on the sofa with a movie, before Dazz turned up completely unannounced from Leeds to surprise me. It’s an unbelievably awesome gesture for someone to travel this far to see me just for my b’day when petrol costs what it does and he’s still to find a job up there (well, still to look for a job up their…). It was great to see him and, although it rather spoiled my plans for an early night, we had a great evening sitting chatting and playing Buzz.
In the morning, after rolling out of bed a little later than planned, K and I hit Borders to find a way of spending the vouchers I’d been given. I picked up an awesome Indiana Jones book, but struck out on DVDs as all the ones I usually want to pick up when I’ve got some cash weren’t around and all the cheap ones in the sale were either already in my collection or just plain rubbish (or both).
After we’d mooched about for a while in the heavenly B, we headed off to the pub we affectionately know as Old Spoons and settled in for a drink or two, being joined at stages by S&S, Cliff, Dazz and his fam. It passed a couple of pleasant hours before we had to excuse ourselves to the awesomely exciting task of hitting Tesco, which we did at speed, before returning to the flat, collapsing on the sofa, grabbing some dinner and catching a movie.
Three day birthdays rock so much more than regular, plain old boring single days. It’s the advantage of being born at the end of May when you nearly always wind up celebrating on a Bank Holiday weekend. Hooray for May birthdays.
I’ll be back later in the week with a summary of my incarceration and let you know how I’m getting on.
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