I don’t know what it is with me, but the older I get, the longer my birthdays last. I don’t know if it’s something to do with the fact that my birthday falls on the summer holidays and so, as a kid, there was no school on my birthday and the excitement leading up to it – and for a couple of days after, while playing with my new toys – meant my birthday glow lasted around a week. Somehow, I managed to keep the ‘no work on birthday’ rule going and always took the day off when I started work and since the kids were born and I’ve been working as a freelancer, it’s even easier to linger over birthday celebrations.
My birthday fell on a Monday this year, and everybody knows that Monday is never a good day for a birthday because no matter how old you get, Monday always has that first-day-back-at-school-after-the-weekend vibe. So, I decided to start mine on the Saturday and was happy for Stressed Husband to take over. We started our birthday-fest at Embankment in time for breakfast coffee where we sat outside a cafe, watching the world go by. I love people watching, it’s one of my favourite things – I love looking at what people are wearing, how they’re behaving and eaves dropping on conversations even if I don’t understand the language being spoken – I simply enjoy revelling in the differences in the human race. It always amazes me.
Next stop was checking into the fabulously stylish and modern Nadler Hotel which was our home for that evening. What excited me more than the luxurious faux fur throw across the bed and the hustle and bustle of the location, was the incredible photographs in Tim Flach’s coffee table book, Dogs Gods in reception. For dog lovers like me, this will be on your pressie wish list for Christmas 2013. Stressed Husband pretended that he had had it placed there especially for me, but I know he didn’t
The next part of my birthday surprise didn’t quite go to plan as SH had booked The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time for the wrong date! I felt sorry for SH as he was more upset than I was that I wouldn’t get to see the show I had banged on about for ages. Luckily, he knew that a few cocktails and a spot of retail therapy would numb the disappointment! Besides, we’ve managed to change the date so we get to see it at the end of the month – something else to look forward to.
We had a fantastic dinner at Itsu in Chelsea and were served by a beautiful waitress who was none other than my eldest daughter, Teen Queen! Makes a change for us to be waited on by her, I can tell you! A complimentary bottle of Moet & Chandon made SH forget – almost – about the money he’d spent on my birthday weekend.
I had wanted something in particular for my birthday, but SH decided that instead, he would surprise me with our weekend in Soho so we could spend time catching up with each other as husband and wife rather than mum and dad. The fact that the weekend cost more than the item I had wanted for my birthday wasn’t lost on SH but, did he grumble? A little. But he summed it up brilliantly when he said “The excitement of your present would’ve lasted a few hours; the memories we made this weekend will be with us forever.” True.