And Bookhound and I celebrated thirty-nine years together and had a lovely day out which ended with a spectacular sunset to launch us into our fortieth year, the Ruby beckons.
So you can work out how old I was on Saturday.
Once I had got over my annual gripe about being one of that cohort of women who have been seriously thwarted by the law that has shifted the state pension age, and will have to wait over four years longer than I had anticipated when I left the NHS, I settled down to enjoy my day. In fact the Tinker used to get enraged about it...words like' daylight robbery' and 'they can't do that,' but they have, and of course, for the first time in my life I missed having him here to sing Happy Birthday to me and remembered the excitement of all those childhood birthdays, and the whole class singing. Everyone else made up for it though...Offspringette started the day with a chorus from New Zealand, more over the breakfast table and through the day at unexpected moments (it's what we do...anywhere and everywhere on a birthday one of us will start singing) and Facebook 'sang' to me, with lots of messages, which I think it is one of the joys of social media, and one that warms the cockles.
I had a lovely day pretending to be forty-two (never was good at maths).
Woke up to cloudless clear blue skies and glorious sunshine and thought, 'Thank you Dad for organising that,' before I was transported off for lunch and trip to the Apple Store to upgrade my portable technology ready for New Zealand. But not before I had opened this from Fran H-B at the breakfast table...sorry Fran, it's too lovely not to do show-and-tell... and you might have seen a picture over here <<<<< on Instagram.
And the day was not without book gifts either...
Hot off the press. Brian Selznick's new book The Marvels (with 665 picture-filled and gilt-edged pages) and with its connections to Dennis Severs' House I can't wait to read it. Even hotter off the press, The White Road by Edmund de Waal, a signed copy found in Waterstones. But am I alone in thinking I could do without all the stickers on the front of these beautiful books...'author of...' 'signed copy...' '£3 off '. We've been busy soaking them off with lighter fuel (the only way we know to remove the glue)
The last ten days or so spent exploring Varanasi, which all sounded like A Suitable Boy brought to life...sunrise boat trips along the Ganges to see the ghats etc. and it all ended with the traditional walk back along the lane to home... us walking along to meet him...
He stayed with us for a few days for a bath, another bath, a beard trim, washing, more washing, a lot of live yoghurt, another bath and food, before heading back to his house mates and the second year of his commercial photography degree. I'm not sure anyone comes back from a few weeks at 18,000 feet up in the Himalayas heavier than when they went, and he was no exception. Trust me we have been spared no details of the ailments or the facilities, and he was adamant he might not want to eat another curry for a while, so the plea came in advance of his return, could he please have spaghetti bolognese and apple crumble and custard.
In fact we have had a lovely few weeks and I'm making it last until this very last day of September and into October, and why not, it's a glorious time of year, and I hope it is being perfectly lovely gorgeous over your way too...