Archive for December 1st, 2009

Birthday Weekend

December 1, 2009

On Saturday I turned 65 and enjoyed a really lovely weekend thanks to family and friends.

With a bit of prodding from CC, Bear bought me the whole set of DVDs for Upstairs Downstairs, but what I  appreciated most of all was the fact that he remained incredibly sweet tempered the whole time!

Yvette invited us for cake and champagne in the afternoon and then Jay cooked a delicious meal of carrot and beetroot soup followed by  cod in provencale sauce and rounded off with the most beautiful chocolate gateau I’ve ever seen – or tasted – which came from a very good patisserie in town.

Coffee was accompanied by a 25 year old Armagnac – a present from CC and Jay – and then we ALL  played Trivial Pursuits until well after midnight.

Bear won and I came second but we realised that our sets of questions are terribly out of date. We’ll have to get some new ones.

As for presents, I’ve never been so spoilt.  My friend from Athens sent this wonderful display of flowers and Yvette gave me a trinket box, an ornament of a cat and Dewey, by Vicki Myron – the true story of an abandoned kitten who was adopted by the staff at a library – translated into French.

Our friends from the next village gave me some hyacinths nicely arranged in a hanging basket, my neighbour popped in to present me with a cat themed manicure set and matching notepad and pen, Bear’s elder daughter sent me some handcream, (she always remembers my birthday – bless her) and, as well as the wonderful armagnac, CC and Jay gave me a CD of Mozart’s Horn Concerto.

You’d think that was enough of a celebration wouldn’t you, but it continued on Sunday, in a way, because it was the Christmas Repas des Anciens.

When we left at quarter past twelve I was still feeling  very full from the previous evening and rather regretted that I’d accepted the invitation for the meal.

However, once we had arrived and kissed or shaken hands with everyone there was quite a long wait before the meal began.

First came the champagne and nibbles, supplemented by slices of pizza.  The starter was salmon in sorrel sauce, followed by the Trou Normande – sorbet with mirabelle brandy –  and the main course was venison accompanied by apple and cranberries, sprouts and dauphinoises potatoes. Then came cheese (brie) with lettuce and desert consisted of individual raspberry charlottes.

Coffee was served with tarte au sucre, a local confection of round brioches liberally coated with sugar.

This year’s entertainment was a couple who, between them, sang and  played accordeon, saxophone and keyboard with a ‘canned’ accompaniment. It wasn’t bad, but they weren’t as good as last year’s performers and they were far too loud

Bear and I were among the first to leave at about 6 o’clock but no doubt the dancing went on for another hour or so.

I have to say it was the best birthday weekend I’ve had for many a year but, even today, I’m still feeling incredibly full!