Well, my birthday was three weeks ago, so this post is well overdue. But ‘better late than never’ is a cliché for a reason, so enjoy!
Birthdays are all about little treats… and big ones! I started off the celebrations by making some cupcakes that I could take into work the day before, and, naturally, painting my nails to match them. It only seemed right.
My birthday fell on a Friday (yes, Friday 13th, but if I were superstitious I would say that I’ve always found them lucky! And if it’s good enough for Taylor Swift, it’s good enough for me!). Stuart and I took the day off work and he promised to spoil me rotten… which he succeeded in doing!
I was ordered to go to bed before him on the Thursday night, and there was plenty of rummaging around to be heard. I woke up in the morning to a Stuart much more cheerful than he usually is in the morning (good to know he can be if he puts the effort in!) and this birthday display:
Which, was quickly followed by this glorious breakfast of smoked salmon and scrambled eggs! I should also say that Stuart did get up at 6:30am to bake some bread so that I could have fresh birthday toast! If that isn’t true, sacrificial, love then I don’t know what is!
I was also gifted with lots of beautiful presents from various friends and family members, but nobody really wants to read about that – such things are only of interest to the giver and the receiver. The worst kind of party is a third party. It’s the little things in life that always make me smile, things like painting my nails to match my cupcakes and little notes like this:
One of my most favourite presents was one of the smallest, and was certainly the most shared around, as I took it to work to show it off. I’m not quite sure how Stuart managed to find such a thing, but I’m very impressed that he did. This is a gift that will keep on giving, as I’m sure many of you will be receiving such a stamp on your Christmas presents this year! Yes, more hand-knitted gifts, please pretend you’re happy with them.
After breakfast we went to Thorpe Park! I had been pestering Stuart about going there for some time, as the place of all my childhood dreams is slightly less than an hour’s drive away from our home, as opposed to the torturous two-and-a-bit-hours’ drive when I was a young teenager. Being a term-time rainy weekday we were hoping that queues would be kept to a minimum… and they certainly were!
I am that person that is super excited about a roller coaster while they’re waiting to get on, and suddenly gets into the seat and decides that they don’t want to do it as it’s far too frightening. Which, of course, adds to the enjoyment and to the adrenaline, as I get off and decide it was the best thing I’ve ever done. This proved to be true even in my adulthood, although the suspense was somewhat hampered by the fact that there were no queues. We queued for ten minutes for two of the rides… everything else we hopped straight on!
(photograph from www.thorpepark.co.uk)
I think the queueing time is important though, both for suspense and to give your stomach a time to rest! By 3 o’clock we’d been on everything twice and were feeling really quite sick. As we’d definitely got our money’s worth, though, in terms of number of rides encountered, we decided it was fair enough to come home for a bubble bath and some birthday wine!
Out of all the roller coasters, we decided that The Swarm was the best (pictured above), with Stealth coming a close second. The first time we went on these I was terrified to start with, and we were both thrilled whilst on them and when we came off, running to queue up for the next one. The fact that we long to fly, to go fast, to experience thrills, I think points to the fact that we were created for excitement. We long for new experiences and to get high, so to speak. However, second time round they didn’t seem quite so thrilling. The element of the unknown had worn off, and the novelty of going from 0 to 80mph in three seconds soon, believe it or not, gets old.
Which leads to the conclusion that we were made for something more. We have desires that are partially fulfilled in this wolrd, but such things (be it roller coasters, food, fame, sex, money… whatever) cannot ultimately satisfy. The fact that no person living on earth is ever fully satisfied shows that we were made for something more, that our destined home isn’t here, but is in heaven.