My birthday, which was last Sunday, has been marvellously extended with each passing day by the arrival of yet more birthday cards and some presents, for which I am truly grateful, and it has been a pleasure opening each card and unwrapping each present. The very attractively engraved glass bowl arrived not half an hour ago, and along with it, a very useful and small manicure set in a box decorated with William Morris’s design, Strawberry Thief.
A life without friends would be all the poorer, wouldn’t it? There is one person with whom I’ve been friends for over 65 years and one whom I have known only a few months, but these and many others have enriched, and are continuing to enrich, my life immeasurably. So, to all those friends, and readers here who have wished me happy birthday, I thank you all very much.
Yesterday I met one of my friends, another writer, and we had lunch together. She even mentioned that although we have little flurries of emails, and then none for a month of two when family life takes over, then another little flurry of emails, and then perhaps lunch, how lovely it is that we could just pick up our conversation where we left off, even if a year or more later.
My first course, from the light lunch menu, was wild mushrooms in a port and Stilton sauce on a toasted brioche
My dessert course, a passion fruit crème brulee
After which we had coffee (which is always served with lovely biscuits)
We had a most enjoyable time, chatting about writing, books, our families, gardens my friend had recently visited on a special garden-visiting holiday, and all too soon it was time to depart, but not before she presented me with a lovely graphite-coloured throw for my little summerhouse, something to wrap around legs or shoulders if using the summerhouse in autumn. What a thoughtful present, for which I am most grateful.
Today I had an appointment with the dental hygienist. I enjoy my visits to the dentist (and I’ve mentioned this in a post before) as the staff there are so kind, gentle and professional. It’s lovely to be able to relax totally and have someone look after my oral health.
We then – for husband had gone with me, or rather I had gone with my husband as he was driving – decided to have coffee in our favourite sea front hotel, where my friend and I had lunch yesterday. The weather has been very changeable, one moment rain, the next brilliant sunshine, and as we drove over the hill to drop down to sea level, there was part of Torbay, looking towards Berry Head in front of us. It always looks beautiful, but unfortunately, a photo taken through the windscreen of the car just doesn’t do it justice.
As the hotel’s main car park was full, we parked at the side of the hotel and entered via the steps to the conservatory restaurant – a few late roses are still in bloom
When we arrived in the hotel, the staff who know us laughed, jokingly, saying that I simply couldn’t keep away from the place (I was there with my friend yesterday.)
Olives and peanuts are always served with drinks, even with mineral or plain tap water
Husband and I decided instead of just coffee we’d have sandwiches, and we ordered beef club sandwiches, which are served with salad and either chips or potato crisps – we chose chips as we only have them when we have sandwiches in this hotel.
We enjoyed our sandwiches with half a pint of beer for me and half a pint of lager & lime for husband.
Yesterday, two lovely things arrived in the post. A book and a birthday card …
I photographed them together not because they are from the same person (they are not) but simply because the colours echo each other. This sometimes happens – a book will arrive and a magazine or a greetings card and the colours are almost identical. Here the predominant colours are turquoise and lime green. The card is from my dear friend who introduced me to my husband and who was also my bridesmaid, and the book is a newly-published one (which I bought) featuring 16 ‘Great Women’ of the 20th century. For ‘Great Women’ read ‘wealthy’. Women such as Lady Diana Cooper, Helene Rochas, Elsa Schiaparelli and Bunny Mellon. Oh, my goodness, I am so looking forward to spending time in their presence, soaking up the atmosphere of their wonderful homes, some styled in what is described as “the grand manner” and some unmistakably bohemian.
The back cover of the book
I wonder what you are reading right now? Do you change your reading material to coincide with the seasons? Or do you still enjoy reading about beach huts, olive groves, or holidays in Italy even if the weather outside has become decidedly chillier and rain clouds are never far away?
Until next time.