Friday, March 24, 2006

Hipy Papy Bthuthdth Thuthda Bthuthdy

So Owl wrote... and this is what he wrote:
Pooh looked on admiringly.
"I'm just saying 'A Happy Birthday'," said Owl carelessly.
"It's a nice long one," said Pooh, very much impressed by it.
"Well, actually, of course, I'm saying 'A Very Happy Birthday with love from Pooh.' Naturally it takes a good deal of pencil to say a long thing like that."
"Oh, I see," said Pooh.
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne

It was recently Mark's and my birthdays. For each of us, it's another year older and another year nearer to the big 40. Mark says that he's looking forward to being forty. I try and tell myself that if it can't be stopped, it might as well be embraced. One spends the first 20 years wanting to be older, then the rest of one's life trying to apply the brakes. I realised years ago that there are no brakes. Anyway, the girls absolutely love birthdays, so in our family they are always big occasions.

My Birthday

Mark walking by the lakesideI awoke to Lauren coming into the bedroom to wish me a happy birthday. After everyone was up and ready, there was a present and card opening session. Emily and Lauren had each bought me a mug. Mark had bought me a new 4 megapixel digital camera (Canon Powershot A520), which I took great pleasure in trying out (see photos). It'll take me a while to familiarise myself with all its gadgetry. He also gave me some comic books that he'd picked up in our local second hand bookshop. Mark and Me, by the lakeMark took the day off work, so we went out to a Japanese restaurant for a sushi lunch. After lunch we went for a walk in the woods near a local lake. After school was finished, I took the girls swimming. We arrived home and Mark had cooked a lovely dish of steak in port with roast vegetables.

It was such a lovely day that I was almost able to forget that I'm one notch nearer 40.

Mark's Birthday

Mark and the girls at the Mexican restaurantI awoke at about 6am to the sound of really loud meowing. To explain -- when we got the cats, we bought them some cat toys (all part of the fun) that included several coloured balls with little bells in them. It turned out that Rosalind absolutely loves chasing these balls. When she catches them, she walks off, carrying them in her mouth. If we're watching the telly or are on the computer, she finds one of these balls, drops it at our feet, then meows really loudly until one of us throws it for her. Well, this morning, she had brought a ball up to me while I was still asleep and meowed very loudly until I woke up. Then the alarm went off and Lauren got up on the wrong side of the bed shouting, "Can someone switch that stupid noise off?" A quick reminder that it was Dad's birthday changed her countenance immediately and the Birthday-proper was able to begin.

In keeping with tradition, as soon as everyone was ready the present-opening session began. Emily had bought him a one litre beer tankard. Lauren had bought him a set of four glass tumblers. I had bought him a small vacuum cleaner (a bit of a joke present), which turned out to be broken (thanks Walmart!). His main present was an MP3 player (Creative Zen Nano Plus) that he can wear while jogging or whatever.

Mark and the girlsWe tried out a different Japanese restaurant for lunch. This one was much better than the one that we'd been to for my birthday. The food, service and general ambiance were excellent. In the evening, we went out to a Mexican restaurant. Again, this was excellent. It was a small place in a basement, below an antiques shop and was actual Mexican -- run by Mexicans. Again, the food and ambiance were very good. The portions were far too huge. In the UK, this would have been a negative because I dislike waste; but here in the US, we've noticed that people tend to take their un-gnarled leftovers home with them, which is what we did. This means that we can look forward to a lovely Mexican meal tomorrow as well.

I think that Mark really enjoyed his birthday too.


Ren said...

Well, happy birthday!
Large portion sizes are blamed for the high obesity rates we have here in America.
Some studies have shown that if more food is served, people end up eating more than they would otherwise. I just experienced that fact first hand as I left the portion of my napping son's lunch at the table while I was reading this blog, to only go back and see that my 3 year old had eaten it all up! :-)

Claire Williams said...

Claire said...
Happy Birthday to both of you. We were thinking of you as your birthdays are close to mine. This year was my 40th!! It was a great weekend spent with family and friends.
I love reading your diary and hearing how you're getting on out there. The recent family photos are lovely.

Lorraine said...

Happy birthday to you both! And really and truly, 40 is the new 30. So far it has been my favorite of all my decades.