…was perfect. It was a wonderful compilation of everything I love. There is a reason I have emboldened and italicized that pronoun and it will become evident subsequently.
In the meantime, however, excuse my indulgence as I relive my weekend by recounting it here.
I came downstairs to the birthday scene of my childhood: the ‘Happy Birthday’ banner (now somewhat crumpled as it’s just about as old as I am!) was draped across the chimney breast in the dining room; and cards and presents were presented on the dining room table. Even as I child, I was never one to dive in and start ripping open the paper; my brother always did that! I preferred, and still do, to stand back and take in the scene. I look at every detail and see the thought that’s gone into it and I feel its warmth. The fact that Mum dug out from the depths of some drawer the old birthday banner touched me so much.
Breakfast with Mum was Marmite on toast (our staple breakfast choice) and Moet (she knows me well!). I popped my first Champagne cork with no breakages- but I did give a little yelp of excitement!
The rest of the day was spent driving to Aberdeen as we were spending a long weekend with my brother and his girlfriend.
On arrival, after hugs, my brother asked whether we fancied a cuppa or popping into the dining room. Given that the door to the dining room was covered with a huge banner saying, “THE PARTY IS HERE!”, the decision was not a difficult one to make!
I opened the door, peaked inside, gasped and flung the door open as I stepped in! Balloons! Birthday banners! A table filled with party food…and an exquisitely decorated birthday cake along side a bottle of equally exquisite Champagne!
We popped party poppers, we yelped when the balloons got too close to the light fitting and spontaneously exploded, we laughed, we took silly photos, we chatted; we were a family and I was an active part of this wonderful family unit.
The rest of the weekend was the same. It was our family together, with the addition of an extra special member (my brother’s girlfriend who makes the special threesome of Mum, my brother and me, an equally special foursome).
My brother took us on a wild goose chase through Aberdeen to find the harbour because he wanted to see the boats. Under normal weather conditions, this would not be an issue for me, or his girlfriend, but- oh my gosh, it was blowing a bloomin’ gale and freezing cold! Nevertheless, I am (somewhat) glad that I saw the harbour, as it was breathtaking. The white horses were fiercely dancing atop the excitable waves and the sea was dotted with tankers and ships. With my hood pulled up and feeling grumpy at my biting cheeks, even I could not help but be moved by the sheer strength exerted by the forces of nature which I saw before me.
That evening we put our glad rags on and dined out and it was lovely!
I said it repeatedly over the weekend, and I’ll say it again; it was truly a wonderfully unforgettable birthday.