Monday, February 9, 2009

It's still my birthday in Hawaii... I think.

Isabelle thought she was a gift too.

As most readers of A Puppet Opera know, I turned 35 yesterday. I know. Old. My walker and cardigan are in the closet, and I've got a whole pocket full of Werther's Originals to pass out the next time I see a twinkly-eyed little kid. Today I'm just old; but yesterday I had a great day, thanks to the tireless efforts of Jules, who really puts his (broken) back into celebrating birthdays! From beginning to end, it was filled with special treats. We started with my favorite breakfast (toasted bagels with cream cheese and smoked salmon), then out to lunch at the baby-friendly Station House pub in Chiswick (we both had roasted pork belly with crackling-YUM; Isabelle had her usual milk while playing peek-a-boo with the scarf I cover her/myself with. Thanks, Issy.), and then on to the orchid show at Kew. Afterwards we came home for cake and a glass (well, okay, bottle) of champagne, and then went over to share the super-rich cake with our neighbors Mark, Sushila and their kids Aneeta and Rohan.

Since this is my blog, and not strictly about photos of Isabelle, I thought I'd share some of the pics of my big day. I really wish you all could have been here.

Thirty-five candles would have set off the smoke alarm, so Jules arranged just a few into the shape of an "S". Even with Isabelle's help, for the first time ever it took me two tries to extinguish them. Old.

A celebratory glass of champagne. We luv's the bubbles.

Champagne and chocolate mousse cake. Now that's a birthday.

Now, on to the important part: the presents!

Jules gave me two beautiful party dresses. Now I need to have a party so that I can wear them!

Isabelle, showing a great sense of style far beyond her six months, bought me a handbag to match one of the dresses. Gas blue with lavender beads, like the gift dress in the Great Gatsby!

I got lots of books: a book about roses (and an unphotogenic gift certificate) from Mom and Dad, and three cookbooks from Jules: Nigel Slater (basics), Ina Garten (party), and the Green & Black's chocolate book (ALL CHOCOLATE RECIPES). I hope I can still fit in the dresses afterwards!

After the orchid show, the £20 Jules' dad gave me was burning a hole in my pocket, so I treated myself to two potted phaeleonopsis orchids from the Kew shop.

My new Wellington boots from Richard. Perfect for slopping around in the garden!

After our cake, Jules slipped into the kitchen to mix up this little number: the Sarahtini.Those present at my thirtieth birthday party will remember the lethal mix of brandy, Chambord and Champagne in this candy-flavored cocktail, masterminded by Karen Kawa, who so obligingly shared the recipe with Jules for number 35, thus forcing me to revisit the scene of my past humiliations in a delicious way. Although now that I'm a mommy, I was able to draw the line a just one (instead of 50). Thanks Karen, you really put the "party" in my birthday!

Anyhoo, 34 was a pretty exciting year, so I hope that 35 will be equally thrilling. Thanks to everyone who helped to make my day special, not least everyone who sent messages and presents from far away. xoxo

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