Have had better.

I think once the well-meaning (yet very much appreciated) greetings peter out, I’ll get over my grump.  (As long as the Grump is not tied up in a peri-menopausally-hormonal thing as I suspect it might be..  but I digress…)

Thing is, the honest response to “Hope you had a brilliant birthday” is

‘Err, well, not really.”

No, Himself and the girls did not spoil me. Actually, it was only when they belatedly tried to do something that it all went pear-shaped. Really, one of the only redeeming features of the day was that a lot of lovely people sent wishes across the internet and made me feel a little bit speshul. And that at the end of a long night, Ms 14 actually washed up the stuff that didn’t fit into the dishwasher – without being asked. Pretty much a first on both counts, so it probably qualifies as a birthday present.

But, yes.. a bit … disappointed?  Meh, I bring it on myself. We aren’t a yee-ha celebratory family. M and I feel that we spend enough on each other the rest of the year (just recently we’d bought a heap of new bike gear, and took ourselves away on our tandem tour holiday), so we weren’t going to waste money on buying each other presents just “because”

And with his  birthday being just last Friday, and a birthday lunch out that we decided would do for both of us, we didn’t plan to spend any more money on eating out.  (And actually, we have more cycling related bits ordered from the UK that should arrive today – “happy birthday to us”.)

We also try not to be too materialistic, so have never really pushed the kids into buying presents for us. I figure it will come when it comes off their own bat – so I reap what I sow (or don’t as the case may be – despite dropping some hints about a book I wouldn’t mind) and this year just wasn’t the year. Too many other things on their plate, and it’s not easy getting into the shops without me.

Two out of three kids remembered to wish me happy birthday in the morning. (The same two that only remembered their Dad’s birthday last Friday because I was whistling ‘Happy Birthday’ as a ginormous HINT.)

Make that ‘out of  four’. Himself had been away for two nights at a conference and wasn’t getting home till nearly 9.00 at night.   He finally bothered to send me a text just after 4.30 in the afternoon. (Very busy that conference.)  Colour me  feeling just a bit unimportant.

Chauffered kids to and from sport in the afternoon, and psyched up to cook dinner while they basically slacked around. The one who’d forgotten to wish me happy birthday till I picked her up at netball obviously felt a bit guilty because she cleaned up the kids’ computer desk.  The others slacked around watching TV, ignoring my directions to go and have a shower (Ms 10) and  to clean up their pigsty of a room (Ms 16.)

By then I decided that I wasn’t even going to debate whether I should have a glass of wine or not. And because it was My Birthday, I wasn’t going to rush getting the dinner ready either.  So it was getting a bit late by the time I had the stir fry ready.  About that time – something approaching 8pm –  Ms 14 (the one with the bad memory but a conscience) decides perhaps she should make me a cake.  “Don’t you think it’s a bit late? I asked, but she went ahead anyway.

Himself arrives home nigh on 9pm, and proceeds to berate Ms 14 as she pulls the cake out of the oven and says “Oh dear, I forgot to spray the tin.”  The inevitable result is one broken up banana caramel cake. And tears from the child who was already upset enough with herself without lectures from Dad.

Great birthday ambience there. NOT.  He calls  The Artistic but Lazy One (who never makes cakes because she hates breaking eggs)  down from upstairs to help with Operation Cake Rescue,  but she never arrives, and disappears for some time up in the shower – which ends up in a ding-dong barney about her not coming when she’s called, her insisting that she had stood  half naked at the top of the stairs but gave up when she didn’t hear what he wanted her for, and it progressing to a tirade about her spending too long in the shower all the time. So then she stands there like a thundercloud as this broken up cake is plonked on a plate – with no embellishments other than the candles.   When I mirror the look on her face (forgetting that she has no sense of humour when she’s in a Mood)  she then stomps upstairs in high dudgeon, and we don’t see her again the rest of the night.

Needless to say by then, nearly 10pm – way past Ms 10’s bedtime –  I wasn’t in the mood for birthday cake photos, songs, or anything. I blew out the bloody candles, and couldn’t even bring myself to eat the dry cake.

“I suppose you’re going to blog this.” said poor Ms 14.  Well, maybe. But I didn’t have the heart to take a photo of the “cake”.

Best option , I thought, would have been to take a raincheck on the whole proceedings before trying to do candles.

Later he says “Sorry, I suppose I made things worse.”


We watched a show on telly, and managed to get to bed by midnight, though why I was prolonging the day by then, I’m not really sure.

Luckily the middle of the day had some redeeming features. I took myself off for a walk on the headland. Didn’t spot any whales (as I hoped I might –  despite it being prime whale watching time it was a bit windy), but it was a balmy temperature for a winter’s day, and I lay on the grass up there, listening to the waves pounding and surging on the rocks below – and tried my hand at some photography to capture the beauty of where I’m fortunate enough to live.

In my mind’s eye I see many perfect pictures, but I don’t quite have the photographic skill (or zoom on my camera) to capture them.  But I try.


The end of the headland gets me a bit closer to this island than from the beach. Then with my feeble 3x zoom and a bit of cropping, I don’t mind the end result.
I love the way the white of the waves accentuates the island. Kind of like
white eyeliner – “isle-liner”


No idea if it’s a native or a weed, but it was there, all alone…fending for itself up there.
But what a view she has!


Looking back towards our little ‘village’. I can see the roof of our house from here!
I love living here.


Back down on the beach – I had no idea what these birds are, and I don’t see them
on our beach much, which is why I had to get a snap.
[Ed:But I finally found what they were! – Sooty Oystercatchers.]

And you know, reviewing that part of my day makes me feel a lot better about turning another year older.  Maybe I was spoilt on my birthday after all.  And I am very definitely spoilt throughout the year, so it all evens out in the wash.



Filed under like, whatever, our beach

9 responses to “Have had better.

  1. Linda Dalrymple

    i have just read your blog and I cannot type straight for laughing so much, it sounds like a sh.. day, but why should your birthday be different to my birthday or my christmas’s. I have bought my own presents for the last 26 years or so to make sure I get what I want. I am so good at that surprised look on my face that I make each year. The cake that was made for you sounds so special…
    I am sorry but it goes with the territory doesn’t it .. life is not like on ‘The Bold and Beautiful’

  2. Love the photos. Glad you got your walk in.

    I throw my own party. Bake or buy my own cake, fix what I want to eat or decide about going out. I know me best so it gets done right!

    …and I’ve been know to wander the house singing Happy Birthday to ME ( several days in advance so they get the picture )

    Family means well but they don’t truly understand how special we are no matter how hard we try and train them.


  3. I love the pics. I don’t recognize the yellow flower (the plants looks like rabbit tobacco and the flower looks like strawflower) nor the bird (some kind of booby, maybe?)
    Sorry the birthday was a bit sucky. This past Spring they all forgot my birthday AND mother’s day, and they’re in the same week!

  4. Oh Trace – I hope that your non-birthday after was better, although that view and those photos do indicate that the present you gave yourself was wonderful.

  5. Tracey

    I bought myself a book yesterday too. (Because, like, that was going to happen – ie. my kids remembering which book I’d hinted at, and then actually buying it.)

    I just won’t buy my own presents and wrap them, etc. I’m just no good at acting. Instead I buy myself things whenever I bloody well want them (within reason of course…) I reckon I might get away with more that way!

    Sounds like, relatively speaking, I was doing ok that they remembered at all!

    But, just maybe next year I will take a leaf out of E’s book, and set up my own party. I’m never game to organise anything with friends though. I’ve never got over the year I turned 40 – I had organised lunch out with a range of friends, and the youngest woke up during the early hours the night before throwing up, so I had to ring everyone and cancel. I felt like it was fate telling me that I shouldn’t have been organising my own birthday ‘do’ !!!

    ** PS – I finally found out what the birds were! **

  6. Oh dear… that is a bit ordinary… BUT you got some lovely ‘me time’ and some great pics (I felt like I was there and adore that wonky frame you use!) and your loved ones were all with you… and I think the forgetful one should be hugely applauded for the cake effort!! That was very sweet…


  7. Tracey

    Aww, thanks BB! Am totally chuffed to get photographic praise from you! (Seeing you are my blogging photographer idol!) At the knees of the Master (Mistress?) I repeat the mantra – “Crop the crap out.”

    Cake and candles v. 2.0 happened tonight – photos to come!

  8. I don’t do parties, I just do for me.
    Inviting people means cleaning the house.

  9. (Catching up)
    Oh no!

    Wish I could have sent you some cake via the mail. Would not have been at all appetising, though…

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