Tuesday, 8 July 2014

My First Ever Birthday Flowers! And a Monster Birthday Cake!

Sorry to harp on and on and on about my birthday, but if I don't write this up now, it'll be stale news and I will kill off thousands with boredom. So I crave your continued indulgence.

Although I have emphasised that I don't like a fuss, and certainly don't want presents, I'm only human. And if people will go to some effort to make me feel special, I will fall about with delight. And I was delighted with these blooms. Here they are, the morning afterwards, arranged in a vase in my lounge at home:

But let me tell the story in its proper sequence.

Well, after seeing my poetic friend Alice early in the afternoon of my birthday, I visited V---'s daughter Lily's new shop called The Dropout in St James's Street, Brighton, off the Old Steyne, just up from Morrison's, which I highly recommend (if you don't object to the barely-concealed plug). Here are a few shots:

I met V--- herself there by arrangement, and then we walked over to K---'s in the North Laine. K--- was hostessing a little late-afternoon-and-on-into-the-evening gathering. Not a birthday party. A gathering. Not in my honour. Just to show off K---'s new decor, and to play old French records. You know, Edith Piaf, Charles Trenet, Maurice Chevalier, that kind of thing. In fact after dinner I expected to be shown the DVD version of the 1968 cult horror film Witchfinder General, starring Vincent Price (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witchfinder_General_(film)) To celebrate, of course, the discovery that there had been a real witch in my Mum's family. No such luck. I was ambushed with flowers and cake. But again, I'm getting ahead of myself.

So: I arrived with V---, who was clutching a large carrier bag that clearly contained Something That Musn't Be Dropped. Not plates; I supposed it was something to eat, a dessert maybe. On arrival, we admired the new paintwork and sofa, and checked out the various bears that K--- had thought might be suitable as a Clare Bear (we need not digress into that):

Out came champagne. That was entirely usual. A toast to me, as hoped for. Right; celebrations over! K--- busied herself with cooking. I chatted with K--- in the garden. N--- arrived. We all chatted. Then I--- and B--- turned up, to complete our little party. And then these flowers were produced, with a witty card to go with them. Of course, I was completely taken by surprise!

My very first Birthday Flowers. I'd never been given personal flowers before. I found it a beautiful experience.

At length, we went to the big table and tucked into K---'s lovely food. Guinea fowl, chicken, lots of vegetables. And wine to wash it down with. Cheers!

I wondered what the dessert would be. And then this was produced:

You can gauge how large it was by comparing its size with the surrounding champagne glasses and water tumblers. Slight evidence of crushing under the 'Lucy' methinks, but it had survived its journeyings very well. I was overwhelmed.

One candle. Very wise. Sixty-two would have been a roaring blowtorch of a cake, and you can imagine the entire North Laine turned into a charred wasteland in a matter of minutes! Now: was I woman enough to blow the candle out in one puff? Borrowing a phrase from elsewhere (see my post Suck it creep! Butt out, punk! Eat sh*t and die! of 26 April 2014) I summoned up the proper up-and-at-'em-take-no-prisoners attitude and did indeed extinguish the candle flame, which, as the reader may know to their cost, can be a remarkably stubborn survivor, a bit like a cornered rat refusing to give in. Not that I would ever corner a rat myself, you understand.

So there you have it. A birthday to remember!


  1. It's not the diameter of the cake that amazed me - just look at its height! That is four layers I count, isn't it? Just as well you had friends to help eat it. Truly an amazing birthday party, and well deserved too.

    The only time I've been given flowers was a bunch of daffodils in church on Mums' Day. My observation that I'm not a mum fell on deaf ears.

  2. I hate surprises. Nice cake though. I hope you all didn't eat it at once!

    Shirley Anne x


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