Big Birthday Celebrations

Friday, 6 October 2017

 A little over three weeks ago it was my birthday. It was a milestone one this year as I turned 40.

I've never been one to be bothered about turning another year older. It is a blessing that some are not fortunate to see and so I think it's wrong to be concerned about entering a new decade. In a similar way, I'm embracing the grey hairs that are appearing more regularly too. I'm far from being a feminist, but why do we as a society accept it when men go grey naturally, yet when a woman does, especially a younger one, she is accused of having 'let herself go'? I'm choosing to view mine as a reminder of all the years of sleepless nights with little ones, and of the many years that I have been blessed to spend with my husband and family.

It does also help that one day one of the boys told me that he didn't think there was anything wrong with going grey, 'especially since you don't have any wrinkles. I think going wrinkly would be worse'!

Anyway, back to the day of my birthday.

As is tradition, I was banned from the kitchen while the boys made dinner and baked a cake.

Calum (14) baked the cake and James (17) decorated it. He was eagerly watched by Fraser (3), who I think may have been more interested in the chance of getting some leftover icing!


David always likes to have the job of setting the table nice, and he takes it very seriously. I don't remember why I bought these cocktail umbrellas but he found them in a drawer and used them to decorate the table.


Dinner was slow cooked Chicken Tarragon.


And the cake was understated and beautiful in it's simplicity.





The boys knew that I had recently thrown out my wellies as they had holes in them, and so chose to buy me these lovely ones for my birthday, as well as a couple of pretty scarves and a little rabbit keyring that Fraser insisted they buy for me.



My parents. my brother and sister in law, and my mum's side of the family all bought me this thing of beauty. I already had a stand mixer and didn't think that I really needed a Kitchen Aid. Now that I have tried it out though, I realise how wrong I was. 


My husband was in some top secret negotiations with a friend of mine who makes tweed bags. He had commissioned her to make this beautiful handmade tweed bag which I love. The colours are amazing and the size is perfect. When you have to carry an emergency allergy kit around with you everywhere you need a decent sized handbag.



My husband knows that I would absolutely hate to be the centre of attention, and so took this into consideration when planning the main celebration for my birthday, which took place two weeks later. The reason we had it later on was that months ago my parents had booked a holiday that involved them passing by this way for a few days. If we held the birthday do later on then it meant that they could be there too.

The only tiny snag was that when he booked the venue back in the summer we didn't know that James wouldn't be returning from a school trip to Italy until the day after. Still, I didn't mind James missing it, and neither did he, and I wouldn't have wanted him to miss out on a trip like that just for a birthday dinner. His trip to Italy was with his Gaelic class and they went there to take part in a conference on minority languages. He loved the whole experience.

I knew that there was a celebration booked, and that we were going out to dinner with family, but didn't know until the day itself where it was we were going.

So on the day of the do we all dressed up fancy.


The venue was the Dalmahoy Hotel, just outside of Edinburgh, and we had a room to ourselves.



The room had a balcony on the far side.



The balcony had steps leading down to the golf course.


And the view from the room and the balcony was this idyllic view of the golf course.



The long table had been set with personalised menus.


And my parents had printed out some old photos of me to decorate the table too.



This amazing birthday cake was made by my brother's wife. She had made it gluten and dairy free so that everyone could have some. I hadn't clicked why she was taking such an interest in where James had bought the edible ink pens for my cake on my actual birthday a week earlier!


The guests at the dinner were: ourselves and the boys (minus James); my mum and dad; my brother, sister in law, their three boys and their daughter; my youngest brother; my husband's parents; and my husband's sister.

Everyone was dressed in their finery for the dinner, but I think these two were the best dressed of the lot.



The rest of these photos were taken by my dad with his fancy new camera.









This was the awesome free from pudding - dairy free ice cream with a dairy free magnum style lolly.








This is me and my two brothers, as well as our youngest two little ones.






And in this one we are joined by my mum and dad. I don't actually know when we last had a photo taken of just the five of us.


We were soon joined by my littlest man!



And of course a chance for a photo of myself and the Mr in our finery.


The room we had was a perfect size, as it was big enough to allow the little ones space to play on the floor, but not so big as to encourage them to charge around!


After dinner and cake we were entertained by some of the boys playing music.

David started things of by playing Lament for Iain Ruaidh on guitar.



My oldest nephew played us a few tunes on his pipes.


Calum played some accordion for us, and led us in a little sing song.


And the two littlest sang The Wheels on the Bus for us as a finale.


It really was a perfect way for me to celebrate a milestone birthday.

Next year it's the turn of  my brothers to have the celebrations. One of them will turn 40 and the other one will be 21!
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