What a day. It was filled with emotion and joy. I can only liken it to how I must have felt as a small child. By the evening I was pretty much wiped out from feeling completely overwhelmed. All the messages, cards, phone calls, zoom chats and even socially distant curbside cake eating were amazing and made me feel so loved. As you can imagine after 8 weeks of almost hardly any contact with people I went to bed exhausted. I will look back on the day with fondness. It was so special and certainly one I will never forget.
I woke up early and made my way downstairs to open the cards that had been appearing on my doorstep throughout the week. I always love this quiet time of the day before Steve wakes up, normally reserved for life admin and numerous cups of tea.
With Prime Minister Boris Johnson easing lockdown protocols the week before, I felt very fortunate that I was able to organise a socially distanced cake date with my good friend Serena in the morning. We managed to squeeze in a slice before my Zoom ballet classes started.
Later on in the day, I had another curbside meeting with my stepdad Tim planned. Knowing that I was going to see the two of them lifted my spirits no end. I had felt the excitement rising in me all week from the moment Tim phoned saying that he was going to pop over. Not having seen him for about 9 weeks or so it was a lovely way to spend an hour in the sunshine on my birthday.
Serena had baked me a rather gorgeous raspberry and rose celebration cake which we sliced and ate sitting outside my front door with morning coffee. She arrived at 9.30am so the cake was enjoyed pre 10am! The weather was a delight. The skies were the brightest blue and the temperature was beginning to rise even that early. I couldn’t have asked for better weather.
After cake and some much-needed sunshine, I took myself indoors to ready myself for my Zoom classes. The students were an absolute pleasure to teach with many of them wishing me “Happy Birthday” which made me feel very special indeed plus having that outside contact is always so welcome.
After class and a spot of lunch prepared by Steve, we took ourselves back outside to await Tim’s visit. He arrived with a goody bag of cakey treats, cheese and presents. It was so odd not having hugs but we soon got over that with more tea and cake. Steve and Tim enjoyed a cold beer. It was a fleeting visit really, but so lovely. We even had the chance to have a quick Zoom call with my sisters Estella and Juliet.
Once Tim had made his way, Steve and I took ourselves out for our daily walk. During lockdown, I have spent many hours walking and discovering new areas of Exeter that I had no idea existed! There is an area at the very top of the city that I have discovered that has become my favourite place. The views are outstanding, there is wildlife aplenty, a ruined old farmhouse and a selection of horses of all colours. It’s a rather special spot and one I will revisit long after lockdown. We walked there and looped around through another recent find, Mincinglake Park. With the weather being so perfect the views across the valley were spectacular.
Once home we chilled in our little courtyard with the cats and I caught up with some of my many birthday messages. A bottle of Dalwood 2018 was opened to toast the day whilst we relaxed listening to music.
Supper was ordered in. A real treat indeed. Fish and chips from Hook, a recently opened fish and chip shop in Exeter. I can’t tell you how good it was to enjoy proper fish and chips again. Real chip shop chips and crispy batter all served with a lemon wedge and homemade tartare sauce. The Dalwood 2018 paired so well with the fried fish and saltiness of the chips. I was in heaven. Of course my naughty little kitten Dustin is never far away when there is food involved! He is such a greedy guts!
I can honestly say that this year’s lockdown birthday was everything I could have hoped for and more. Having the opportunity to see visitors from afar made it really special. The social interaction made such a difference. Had my birthday been a week earlier things might have been a little different.
I’d like to take this opportunity to say a huge “Thank You” to all of you that sent birthday good wishes. It meant the world.