Monday, August 01, 2011

JK Rowling, Harry Potter and I............

....have something in common. I have no magical ability, countless millions and a habit of giving money to the Labour Party, but the three of us share a birthday, 31st July.

I love having a birthday at this time of year. It was a quarter of a century before I even had to work on my special day.

Yesterday was one of the best. I woke up, did some blogging and played with my lovely new iPad. I'm aware I haven't written a gushing post about it yet, but I will inflict one on you at some point, you can be sure of that.. It is utterly fabulous, even if my friend did mistake it for a place mat the other night and stick her handbag down on it. How is that even possible?

I was lucky enough to have two parcels presented to me from Bob and Anna. After the iPad I hadn't expected anything. I confidently predicted that they were a chocolate orange and a book. In fact, the chocolate orange shaped package turned out to be Dolce and Gabanna's Rose The One perfume. I really like it, but it amused me that they hadn't tested it to see what it smelled like. They made their decision on packaging alone.

The book shaped parcel turned out to be a lovely protective leather case with attached bluetooth keyboard for my iPad. I had been scared to take it out of the house in case something happened to it, even with its smart cover on, so this fitted the bill perfectly.

Quite the best present was an animation done for me by Anna. It's getting to be a bit of a tradition for special occasions to be marked in this way. These things take literally hours and hours of work and she has such an imagination. For Mother's Day it was an animation of cats singing Defying Gravity. For my birthday the theme was a tv show inspired by our rabbits, Benjamin and Patches. It was all very hilarious and crazily original. I wish I could post it here. Maybe she'll show me how.

My birthday seems to have this habit of clashing with the Hungarian Grand Prix these days so I spent the afternoon on the sofa. My mind went back to last year, when my lovely Twitter friends @petronella, @kayels and @emlah tweeted details of the qualifying session. Not the real ones. The ones I wanted to hear, with Michael Schumacher ending up on pole and Lewis Hamilton crashing out.

Now, the last thing I wanted yesterday was a McLaren 1-2, and it looked for a while that I was going to get one. Then Lewis Hamilton managed to muck things up for himself with poor tyre calls and an avoidable penalty, so it was left to Jenson Button to claim his second victory of the year.

Then we headed out to Wagamama for dinner. I tried the new Chicken Raisukaree dish, having been assured by Marc that it was even better than my previous favourite, Yaki Soba. I'm not quite so sure about that. It's a coconut, coriander and lime based curry with lots of red chillies on the top, which I mostly decanted. I always feel a bit cheeky criticising a dish that probably spent months in the planning process but, really, it could have done with just a wee bit of that pickled ginger. It was delicious though. I managed to get my ginger fixation with their excellent white chocolate and ginger cheesecake with toffee chilli sauce.

This was an excellent prelude to our trip to the cinema to see the assault on our emotions that was the final Harry Potter movie. I'll do a separate review of that, but suffice to say that we all loved it.  And Molly Weasley rocks. It just seemed appropriate to see it on our joint birthday.

We went round for a wee nightcap at our friend's Anne and Stevie's before bed - and she gave me a lovely pressie. I am rubbish at choosing pressies because I don't go shopping if I can avoid it, so I generally don't know what's available unless it's a book or a DVD.  Last year Anne gave me the Handbag of Awesome, which has literally gone everywhere with me since. This year, it was a voucher to get my nails done. The only time in living memory I've actually had nail polish on was when I had it done at the School Pamper Night in June. I'd never do it for myself, but I kind of liked how it looked and I'm looking forward to getting it done again. And it was definitely the right choice from the treatments I had that night. Getting my eyebrows threaded gave me the worst pain I've ever had in my life without there being a baby at the end of it. Never again.

So, all in all, a fabulous day with family and friends - and to top it all, my wee sister got home safe from her crazy adventures.

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