Turning 38 in the apocalypse turned out to be pretty special. I thought it was going to be a bit of a let down, but it might just have been my favourite birthday in a long time.
My Mum, who we haven’t seen since Christmas thanks to Covid-19 was supposed to be coming up from Hertfordshire to stay, but the day before, Greater Manchester was placed back into lockdown. Her coming to stay would actually be illegal so I had to tell her she wasn’t allowed. To be honest, I was already worrying about her coming up as she was going to be sharing the car journey with my drop-dead gorgeous cousin and her boyfriend (both in their twenties) who like most young people, have been out for drinks and meals, seeing people (no judgement). So the idea of Mum being in a car for 4 hours, sharing air when her immune system is virtually non-existent due to complex medical issues, filled me with dread. My Mum wanted to risk it, which is sweet, but I couldn’t live with myself if the worst happened and whilst I knew the kids would be devastated that once again, Nanny wouldn’t be coming, I know that they would prefer she stayed well.
isappointment aside, my birthday itself was surprisingly lovely. I was given breakfast in bed and my weirdos had decorated the house, beautifully. I don’t usually celebrate my birthday. Not because I’m a miserable git but rather I find it a bit embarrassing and fear the rejection of asking people to celebrate only to be told they can’t. I have issues. However, for the first time since my 30th birthday, I actually made some plans.
We met a couple of friends (and their children) in the park with strict instructions to all parties to bring their own blankets and spread out. There were 10 of us in total but we kept apart really easily, whilst enjoying a lot of prosecco and cake and generally having a really gorgeous day.
The few days before and after my birthday were pretty bloody nice too. I feel a bit like old Liz, having lots of birthdays. They weren’t actually in aid of me being older, it just felt like they were (self involved?). We took picnics on beautiful rolling hills and visited the stunning Bolton Abbey (if you haven’t been, you should), where the kids paddled and played. We ate cream until our brains froze. We filled and refilled the picnic bag, time and time again. We ventured into the Peaks and wandered around like drunk poets, feeling very privileged and inspired. We posed for photos. We read. We drank. We saw. We experienced. We were together, forgetting all about the worries of the world (temporarily).
It was pretty magical and despite not being able to spend time with friends and family again, I am so grateful for the last week. We try as a family to make the best of what we’ve got and what we’ve got is pretty mega. And wine. Wine definitely helps.