22 March 2010

Luckiest Girl ...

This was the scene that greeted me on Saturday morning ...

Because of this ...

Quite an unbelievable milestone reached - not too sure how that happened!

(According to one of my birthday cards I was born the year that the VW Camper Van and the Kenwood Chef  made their debuts and Andy Pandy made his tv debut; it was the year of the first British F1 Grand Prix at Silverstone; Labour won the General Election with a 5 seat overall majority; Sainsburys first self-service grocery store opened in Croydon and I share the year with Karen Carpenter, Richard Branson, Jeremy Paxman, Julie Walters, Suzi Quatro and Stevie Wonder, to name a few)

My wonderful family had organised an amazing surprise weekend, and it turned out to be exactly what I would have chosen for myself if I had had any say in the matter!

It all began with this ...
Click on the image (my dear daughter calls me Soosan these days - such disrespect!!!!)

So we set off on Friday afternoon in pouring rain! I was allowed to know I was to drive to Dorchester and from there directions were given to me by my co-pilot, although he forgot to mention one key factor and we had to phone the owners of Tincleton Lodge to find out where to go (but don't tell him I told you)!!!

Hannah and Rob were already there, the woodburner was lit, and we were sent to look round the most beautifully-appointed house with low beams which Rob had already come into contact with numerous times. Pauley and I were given the master bedroom (which you can see if you click on the link above), and despite it being a 5-bedroomed property I was amazed when, at 10.00 pm a car arrived and my bestest friend Bozena (who lives in Nice) arrived with her daughter and daughter's significant other.

Not only had BA upset Bozzy's flight plans, but they'd also had a disastrous journey from London in the rain. Apparently there had been endless secretive text messages between Han and Amanda as their arrival had been timed for 6.00 pm! We had just finished our meal when they arrived. They were, of course, supposed to have been included, but we continued sitting round the table imbibing while they ate in between all the shrieks of excitement and catching up that took place. Having not seen Bozena since Han and Rob's wedding there was much jollity, especially as neither of us has ever behaved when together in company!!!

This is the card Boz gave me! No-one else realised this is really how we see one another!

To think that we were Chairman and Secretary of Northampton High School for Girls PTA together in the 1980s beggars belief ...

After everyone else had gone to bed, Boz and I sat up until 2.30 am catching up on the nitty-gritty of "life like wot it is led" (how our girls ever grew up to be so level-headed and articulate is beyond us of course), by which time we thought it would be sensible to get a few hours' shut-eye before 'the day'!

We were all up reasonably early, greeted by more drizzly rain which continued until Sunday morning, but a breakfast of scrambled egg and smoked salmon, washed down with Bucks Fizz meant our enthusiasm wasn't dampened in the least!

I was instructed to sit down with eyes closed and after much rustling I was allowed to open them and this is what I saw ...

SIXTY red roses from Pauley, beautifully arranged with twigs and eucalyptus.

How lucky was I?

They had been prepared by Han's florist friend Jo (Flowers by Passion) and transported by Han and Rob and hidden in their bedroom overnight. Needless to say I was reduced to tears, but that soon turned to laughter (and then despair when I saw some of the photos they'd taken of me - seriously REALLY need to stop eating and I won't be showing any of the photos here!).

Sadly nearly all the photos I took of everyone were either blurred or I took them at the wrong moment where everyone was looking serious, but there are one or 2 that are 'showable'.

Only 10 weeks to go until the bump becomes a grandchild!

The day was planned to be free and easy with everyone doing what they felt like doing. Pauley stayed at the house and had a snooze, Han and Rob went to Lulworth Cove and I took Boz and Mum to Lulworth, too, via Wareham and various other places as Boz had never been. In 1980-something Pauley and I took Boz's other daughter on holiday with us to West Lulworth, so it was nice for her to see it. It continued to rain, but undaunted we walked down to the Cove and then up the hill.

There must be a suitable caption to go under this photo, but I can't think of a printable one!!

Don't you love Boz's rain hat? You can see why no-one else wanted to come with us!!
Mum spent the whole weekend grinning, despite the weather, and despite the fact that her daughter
had reached such a ripe old age!

We all reconvened in front of the woodburner later in the afternoon to watch the rugby. Everything was so relaxed that it was almost better that the weather was poor. If it had been brighter we would  have stayed out longer and not enjoyed the lovely house and each others company quite so much.

Apparently the evening meal was to be another surprise - every New Year's Eve when we all lived in Northampton, Boz and the girls would come to us, and we always had a fondue. So, to carry on tradition that's what we had. Rob wasn't impressed, not being a fondue lover, but was told the weekend wasn't about what he wanted! Hannah was determined everything was to be just so, and it was ... even to the extent that once the meal was over I was told there was one more surprise ...

Has anyone ever played the game "Farming"? This always followed on from the fondue, and Saturday night was no exception. Rules were not adhered to - were they ever? - and by 2.30 am we all agreed that we would have to stop mid-game, otherwise we'd be there all night. No photos at this stage - they would most certainly have been blurred if I'd thought to take any!

On Sunday morning we awoke to brilliant sunshine! We pottered around a little, but were all ready to vacate at the required hour full of happy memories of a wonderful weekend. I had such a lovely time and am so pleased for everyone's sake that nearly everything went according to plan.


I had some lovely gifts from friends, too! Look ...

An orchid in a felt watering can!

Very yummy choccies ...

Green bead bracelet, shiny pewter butter knife with a cow on the handle,
silver pendant, beach huts tile, button necklace, scarf, lovely lily-of-the-valley cushion ...

This beautiful handkerchief embroidered by a prisoner of war for his sweetheart ...

More gorgeous flowers

Thank you everyone for your birthday wishes - I received so many cards (I don't think blogger could cope with more photos though) and lovely blog comments. This birthday was certainly one I shall never forget! I've been so lucky and have loved every moment.

Sue x


Jewels and Finery said...

Sounds like a great birthday, congratulations.

Best wishes from another Sue. This one is nearly the half a century very soon!

Anonymous said...

Best Wishes to you!! I too will be 60 in October 2011. You are right....How did this happen so quickly???
Happy Birthday!! Many, Many more for you in good health!!
Have a Wonderful Week!!

twiggypeasticks said...

Glad you had such a lovely birthday and here's to many more of them :)
twiggy x

hensteeth said...

Sue.. well, it doesn't get any better than that! I am so pleased you had such a wonderful birthday.
A very special year for you. x

BusyLizzie said...

Sue, that looked like a fabulous weekend, the weather certainly did not put a damper on proceedings did it! Glad you like the "watering can". Lizzie xx

Kissed by an Angel said...

What a fantastic birthday weekend!! You won't forget your 60th birthday!! Congratulations!! it looked perfect!!! Happy Birthday!!!

Nostalgia at the Stone House said...

Hi Sue,
What a lovely blog post and such a fabulous souvenir for you to keep as a reminder of a perfect Birthday. So pleased that you enjoyed your weekend with the special people in your life - you are very lucky to have such a caring and thoughtful daughter. (Best of luck to Hannah on the other big forthcoming event!)
Pauley looks very happy eating his meal and I think his present of the gorgeous red roses to you was a triumph (no wonder you felt tearful!)

Glad you liked the pressie from me too.
Have a restful evening...but if I know you correctly, you'll still be grinning! Happy Days...
Niki xx

tracey @ the vintage bothy said...

Sounds like a fantastic time, and The Saints made it for you! (Unless you support the other side like our household does!)
Tracey X

Hen said...

Happy (belated) birthday, Sue, it all looks wonderful, especially those stunning red roses.
Hen x

Country Cottage Chic said...

Happy belated birthday Sue....what a lovely & very special weekend you had!


elegancemaison said...

What a lovely birthday treat - just the sort that I have enjoyed myself. Intimate family celebrations with nearest and dearest, so much better than those overblown celeb type 'do's'. You are loved and cherished and that is beyond price. Best wishes, Cx

Vintage to Victorian at Dairy House Antiques said...

Thank you everyone for your lovely comments and good wishes. As Viv said, 'it doesn't get any better than that'!!!


winnibriggs said...

Congratulations on your special birthday. So glad you had a wonderful day and were spoiled as you should be. Hope you have ordered your bus pass! Best thing I ever did as I don't drive. Grow old disgracefully, the kids hate it but Oh so much fun.
Jenny x

Cowboys and Custard said...

Oh what fun Sue.. and such a gorgeous surprise. I am so glad you were treated so specially on your very special day !!

Sixty is definitely worth looking forward to!

Michele xx

OhSoVintage said...

Sue, what a wonderful birthday surprise. You are truly blessed to have a family who organized such a treat for you. No wonder you were moved to tears at those roses. I love the hankie. thankyou for sharing all this, I really enjoyed reading all about the weekend.
Ruth x

Donna said...

I'm sat here in my PJ's tears rolling down my face! What a wonderful way to celebrate your big birthday Sue. You are truly blessed to have such a wonderful loving family and friends and they are blessed to have you.
love you

D x

Tamsyn said...

Ah that sounds such a perfect birthday weekend! So special to be surrounded by friends and family. Love the roses I think I would have cried too:)
A huge Happy Birthday Hug xxxxxx

Elena said...

I am new to your blog, but enjoy reading it and wanted to wish you a late Happy Birthday! It sounds like the most perfect weekend!

sharie said...

What a wonderful birthday you had. All the best for the future and Happy Birthday!

Lois said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate. Perfect, family and friends, memories and hopes yet to come! Have a great year, Lois xxx

Lucy Bloom said...

How lovely Sue, I'd never have guessed, hope you have a whole wonderful year of 60!
Lucy x

Louise said...

I'm so glad you had a great 60th, spent with family and friends, and you got to do what you wanted to. I like the idea of balloons on the table, saves balancing on a chair to string 'em up! Many happy returns to you Sue. x

Shirleyanne said...

What a wonderful surprise! Definitely a very special Birthday!
I'm sure you had a very enjoyable day.

galant said...

Belated greetings!
Margaret Powling

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Benjamin said...

Hi Sue!

A very happy birthday to you!

Please keep up the excellent work on your blog!

Myself and family love the Victorian era and have a passion for restoringVictorian Lampposts and lighting, if you ever need anything just let me know!

Take care!