May 19th 2018, a date I will never forget. It was the day I celebrated my birthday and it was the day that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married. For me it was therefore a double celebration.
This was a very special day for me. It’s not every day that someone gets to share their birthday on the same day as a momentous occasion and I soaked up every minute of that day.
In the run up to my birthday I had been feeling indifferent, to me it was just going to be another day. However, the day before I had started to become really excited. It was going to be my birthday, but I was also looking forward to watching the royal wedding. My youngest daughter said to me “I don’t understand why you are so excited about the royal wedding? You should be excited about your birthday”
My oldest daughter had been planning a barbecue for my birthday and had invited family and friends, so she had started preparations days before. Parcels and big boxes had been delivered. I guessed that one of the boxes was a box of helium balloons.
I couldn’t sleep much the night before due to the excitement! Not many people will get the opportunity to share their birthday on the same day as a royal wedding that was to be like no other, it was history in the making.
I woke up in the morning and lay in bed listening to sound of salad being chopped downstairs. The smell of food was wafting through my bedroom door. (There was not just going to be barbecued meat only but there was also going to be other side dishes). My children were preparing for my birthday. I refer to them as children even though they are adults. As those of you who are parents know, regardless of how old they are they will always be your children.
I began to think about the royal wedding and the food preparations that must have been taking place on a grander scale. It was at that moment that I understood why my daughter thought that I should be more excited about my birthday. I realised that, just as I was excited for Meghan and Harry, so too were my children excited for me. They were going through great lengths to make sure that my birthday would be enjoyable, memorable and a success. Then, in another moment I fully began to appreciate all the effort they were putting in for me.
So, I got out of my bed and went downstairs. My oldest daughter - who was organising the celebration - told me she would need my help to get the barbecue started. Her plan was to start the barbecue early and have everything laid out on the table before the guests arrived later that afternoon. That way she would be free to mingle and talk to guests and if they wanted hot food there was always the microwave to warm things up in. I had a shower and because I did not want the smell of smoke to be lingering on my “party dress” I put on casual clothes.
It was a lovely sunny day (perfect weather for a wedding). After I had got the charcoals glowing, the heat of the sun had made me all hot and sweaty. So, I had another shower, washed my hair and put on my “party dress”. Before going back downstairs I decided to make an effort by putting on some makeup - just a little - so that I still had that natural look. Usually I cannot be bothered, but since it was my birthday and as guests were coming I had a good excuse to spend some quality time on myself.
Everything had been timed nicely. When I went downstairs the balloons had been taken out of their boxes and were strategically placed. There was a "Happy Birthday" helium banner.
There was a glass shaped balloon with "Cheers" printed on it and other helium balloons in round shapes, star shapes and heart shapes.
I was able to watch the royal wedding on TV before my guests started to arrive.
Fast forward to the evening – my house was buzzing with the sound of close family and friends and there was plenty to eat and drink.
It’s lovely when your children are old enough to show how much they love and appreciate you by letting you relax for a day while they do the work.
When we are children we can have great expectations for presents, now, as an adult I do not expect to receive many gifts – if any. I would be happy with just a birthday card and the knowledge that someone had remembered my birthday. My mentality is that any gifts that I happen to receive are a nice bonus. This year it was a good bonus and my presents included:
- A bunch of roses
- A bouquet of lovely flowers
- Fruit scented potpourri
- Ferrero rocher chocolates
- A Sanctuary spa set
- A foot pedicure set
- An aromatherapy diffuser humidifier (which I use with essential oils like peppermint and lavender to freshen up my room, it also changes colour and creates a relaxing ambience)
- A makeup bag
- A bottle of wine
- A bottle of champagne
- A pair of gorgeous Pearl earrings
Now I consider myself to be pretty lucky to have received these gifts. After I had opened my presents my children disappeared into the kitchen. I guessed that they were preparing to bring out a birthday cake with candles on it. Sure enough, they emerged from the kitchen with not one, not two but with three!!! - Three cakes with candles and sparklers on them.
There were two lovely sponge cakes, one coated with pink icing and white stripes, the other was coated with blue icing and decorated to look like a gift. Both cakes were filled with buttercream and raspberry jam.
Cake from Marks and Spencer
The third cake was a red velvet cake coated in soft pink buttercream and decorated with pink meringue shells, pink meringue hearts, a strawberry macaroon, pearlescent pink and pearlescent gold coated chocolate in the shape of smarties, a little pink rose and finished with a gold topper sculptured in the word "Love". Not only was this cake a visually stunning work of art but it also tasted deliciously scrumptious.
Scrumptious Cake from Peggy Porschen
I thought “Wow! What have I done to deserve this?” I couldn’t understand why I was being so indulged. I did the maths - because when you reach a certain age in life you either forget or you just stop counting. No, it was not a landmark birthday I am still a young ... let's just say there's plenty of life left in me yet.
Then I thought, “Well, I don’t know, but I must have done something right - just enjoy the moment” and so I did. I felt quite spoilt and I enjoyed every minute. It’s times like this when you really appreciate those special people who are in your life. I knew it was their way of showing me how much they love me.
Every birthday is special – no matter what the age, and when it can be celebrated with loved ones it makes it even more special and memorable. I felt appreciated, I felt loved I felt special, it was “my day” and I was indulged.
I am thankful to the close family and friends who came together to celebrate “Me”. Much love goes out to my children - I am blessed to have them. I shall be forever grateful and thankful for the work they did and for making my birthday one to remember.