This week saw one of my big birthdays. I'm not someone who worries much about the numbers I see it more as a time when I can legitimately say it's all about me, me me. Himself is good at feeding my birthday me-ness. For one thing when we see a big birthday coming up we don't just focus on the single day we see the whole year as fair game and as an excuse to do stuff. For the last big birthday in 2010 he went all-out. He booked an overnight trip on the Orient Express between Rome and Venice, followed by a self-drive tour around some of the most gorgeous parts of Italy. We both love Italy, with Venice probably being my favourite city in the world. Venice is all about history, theatre, tradition, celebration and living. You can stick to the busy bits, but just wander off without a map and you find a quieter beauty. You see, this is what Venice does to me...I get all nostalgic.
Anyway, back to the 2010 trip. Ma and Pa arrived in Cornwall to holiday (their view) and cat sit (my view), as we headed off to Bristol airport. Himself was driving and as is my want, I stuck on a CD and sang all the way from Porkellis to the airport- lucky, lucky man. In blissful ignorance we sauntered into a very quiet Departures. I can tell you it took more than a minute or two for us to really get to grips with the fact that all flights were cancelled due to a volcanic eruption in Iceland. Iceland! We didn't want to ruin either Ma and Pa's holiday or my cat's (this was the particular holiday when Ma decided to up the ante on what we fed Mrs Kitty, which ended up costing us a fortune). So we hired a canal boat on the Thames. It was low key, but bliss.
Scroll forward ten years and the next big birthday arrives. As usual we decided on doing various things throughout the year: Pompeii and Venice, long weekend in London with the folks, and a trip to India. Early February we flew over to Italy and spent a few days going to Pompeii and Herculaneum (see photo of himself pretending to sell me olives, I have no idea why; and sunken floors in Herculaneum).
Let me tell you it's a good time of year to go. There are few tourists and you don't sweat your way around the sights. Then we headed off to Venice for the opening weekend of the Carnival. Most of the celebrations were on the following two weekends but I wanted to see the opening spectacular and dress up. I wasn't disappointed by either. Only Venice could see a woman floating above the canals (see photo). I also thoroughly enjoyed sorting out our costumes (see photo of us attempting to look dashing). Himself is such a good sport he even agreed to wear his costume at breakfast. It must be love! We got home and about ten days after that Italy was sadly in the grips of the pandemic. As Covid 19 hit in the UK it was soon clear that new plans needed to be made.
So we wrote off our trip to India and scaled down the birthday weekend plans from busy busy to local mooching, faffing and tootling. We had a fabulous Sunday roast at our local pub - The Star Inn, Porkellis, and lunches at the Muddy Beach in Penryn and Indiedog in Falmouth. He even took me out to breakfast at St Michael's Hotel, Falmouth. Although, we were fascinated by the huge columns covered in rope that looked for all the world like giant cat scratching posts (see photo of me desperately trying not to point and screech that they were cat scratching posts). I know my two monsters would have seen them as a sort of fancy playground for cats. Frankie would have been climbing them before you could say, 'birthday glass of prosecco please and make it a large one'. It rained for most of the day, but in the evening the weather broke and we headed to Gunwalloe to pootle on the beach and then for a drink at Halzephron Inn with is amazing view over the coast (see title image). It was all very Zen.
You'll be pleased to hear I did get a bit of crafting in as himself booked us in with Star Glazers in Falmouth, a pottery painting cafe. I loved it and even himself enjoyed it as he sat and painted a teapot for me.
So in the end it might not have been a birthday with the overtones of crazy and busy we'd planned, but like my last milestone it proved to be just as fun and rather more relaxed...thank you Guy.
I'm just worried what world catastrophe will occur on my nest big birthday. So if 2030 is going to be the year of Armageddon I'll take a lesson from 2010 and 2020 and turn my back on fancy frenetic trips and book a spa retreat just down the road...thank God I live in Cornwall!