Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Birthday to Remember

I wasn’t looking forward to my birthday this year. Not because it felt so ‘old’ but because my two daughters (plus partners) were flying out to Florida on the same day. I understood they had to take whatever they could find in cheap flights, so that wasn’t really a problem, but I did wonder what I would actually do on my Big-0 birthday.

 In the end, I had a fantastic two day birthday celebration. On Friday (the day before) I had a pub lunch arranged with about 10 friends. Thanks to one of those friends, 22 people turned up to help me begin my celebrations. There was a pile of cards, helium balloons, flowers, and a birthday cake.

In the evening, we had a family celebration – drinks at a local pub, then back to my daughter’s for more drinks, nibbles – and champagne too. Lots of presents, more balloons and flowers, and finally it was revealed what they had planned for the big day. A trip to London with my younger grandson (aged 19) and tickets for ‘Wicked’ (the musical).

And here's the 'computer' cake! The screen is an iced cake, and the keyboard is a large chocolate block with the letters piped onto it!

8.15am on Saturday saw us at the railway station to catch the train. Just over two hours later we arrived at Euston Station in London. On the way, we’d discussed what to do with the 4 hours we had spare until the matinee performance of the show.

We decided a boat trip on the Thames would suit us fine, so we caught the ‘Tube’ train to Tower Hill. My grandson was impressed by my knowledge of the London underground system! There was quite a long queue for the boats, but eventually we were aboard, and enjoying the sights of London, as well as the humorous commentary from one of the crew members.

We arrived at Westminster with plenty of time to grab some lunch before the show. We intended to flag down a taxi on Westminster Bridge – but no! All the roads in the area had been closed to traffic as there was a ‘Ride London’ event taking place i.e. thousands of cyclists riding around the city! We had to walk past the Houses of Parliament and down towards Westminster Abbey before we reached a road that hadn’t been closed, and then of course the taxi had to take a circuitous route to get to Victoria.

We still had plenty of time, so headed for a street near Victoria Station where I knew there were several pubs and cafes. Ah – another problem. All the old buildings along one side of the street had been demolished, and replaced by a building site! Fortunately it didn’t take us long to find another pub in an adjoining street.

At 2.30 we were in our theatre seats (Stalls, Row D), waiting for the show to start. And what a fantastic show. Great characters, great songs, fabulous costumes and amazing effects. We thoroughly enjoyed it.

Then it was back to Euston for the train home, after a super day out. And when I got home about 9pm, my neighbour came round with yet more flowers that had been delivered for me during the day!

It was certainly a birthday to remember!


  1. What a wonderful celebration, Paula! I am so happy it was a great day for you. You deserve this--and many more.

  2. I'm so glad you had such a lovely celebration, Paula! It sounds like everyone went out of their way to give you a wonderful birthday. Congratulations again.

  3. That sounds just amazing! Isn't it wonderful to be shown love and appreciation rather than the usual quickly spoken, "love you"? Not that I would give that up, but the actual effort to show it, just awesomeness.

    You so deserve a day that's all about you. 😀

  4. Thanks, Ana, Jen, and Jo. It was the best birthday I've had for a long time - and I'm still eating my way through the chocolate 'keyboard'!

  5. Happy Birthday, Paula! It sounds like you had a wonderful celebration.

    I saw "Cats" when I was in London and LOVED it!

    The computer cake is so fabulous...glad you are still enjoying it!

  6. Thanks, Debra. I've seen a lot of shows in London over the year, but would you believe I've never seen 'Cats'?

  7. I'm so pleased that your birthday was so wonderful! I'm so envious. And I thank you for reminding me that growing older doesn't have to be a bad can be fabulous! Hugs!

  8. This was a good one, Tara, most of it organised by my daughters. Not sure about the growing old, though - but, as they say, it's better than the alternative! In my mind, I'm about 30 years younger :-)

  9. Thanks for sharing your day, Paula. It sounds like such fun and the photos were beautiful. I feel as if I've been to the celebration. Wish you'd taken a photo of the grandson but he was probably camera shy?

  10. Congratulations on your Big-0.
    I'm three years ahead of you, and wonder all the time how I got to this age.
    Your birthday was one to remember, for not many people get so much attention. In our family, it's a card or phone call. We've never made a big deal out of birthdays as most people do.
    But my friends group, those I taught with and still go gambling with, and get together with--they're awesome, but we mostly play jokes and tricks on each other.
    We have a "Granny doll" to pass around when one of us turns 70. It's an old hag, with a big chin and a few hairs growing out of a wart on her nose. Now, isn't that a lovely sight?
    But, lord, we have fun. And that's the point...have fun, fun, fun, and never say you're old.

  11. Isn't it wonderful how, just when you think there's nothing, there's everything? It looks to me like the universe came together just to celebrate your special birthday. We can all act like we don't care, but down in our little girl hearts, we do. I am so happy for you that your day turned out so special and memorable.
    Hey, I loved the computer cake with the chocolate keyboard and that would have sufficed for me.
    Happy birthday, Paula and many happy birthdays ahead.

  12. Linda - I should have included the photo I took of Jordan on the train!

    Celia, we normally don't make a big deal with my birthdays, but in this case, my daughters really did pull out all the stops! So glad you have friends to celebrate your birthdays.

    Thanks, Sarah. It was the best birthday I can remember!

  13. Glad you had a Happy Birthday, Paula! Thanks for sharing your wonderful b-day pictures!