It was a rather strange birthday. We hadn’t planned a big do but little things tended to go wrong.
First, the champagne. Back in October I had ordered a dozen bottles with special labels as it was for my 70th. but the day approached and there was no sign so I rang Daniel to see if he wanted us to collect them.
“They’re not here yet” he said, but they should arrive tomorrow. He then explained that his wife had been ill so things were a bit difficult.
The next day his wife called and said she would tell me the truth. They had the champagne but not the labels. I said I was sorry she was ill and hoped she was feeling better but she sounded a bit embarrassed so I made light of the delay. After all, it wasn’t the end of the world and it was better to have the champagne and not the labels than the other way round.
“When do you need them for?” she asked. Alarm bells rang. The date was on the order form.
“Tomorrow” I said.
“Oh, we won’t have the labels till the day after” she said cheerfully, “They’re coming by post”.
“Well, I would like to drink some on the day. . . .”
“OK, Daniel will bring half of them .in the morning.”
Sure enough, he arrived with 6 bottles and a tale about Martime having skin cancer. Francine, whose daughter is married to their son said it wasn’t true and he had spread stories round the village before about his wife having cancer. How sad is that!?
Anyway, CC and I had invited Marie and Yvette to have lunch at the restaurant near us. Marie arrived at 10.30 while i was still helping the carer wash Whale. Bear said hello and then promptly fell asleep so poor Marie had to amuse herself reading the paper until I had finished.
CC and Jay were doing last minute shopping in town and they got back with only a few minutes to spare before we had to leave. Sadly, Yvette has been unwell for the last couple of weeks and still didn’t feel up to coming out. Bear didn’t want to sit with ‘gossiping women’ so it was just the three of us.
We had a very nice lunch of scallop risotto and then came home for birthday cake number one: a gorgeous blackberry gateau from the best patisserie in town.
Then I was given my presents which included a special bottle of Armagnac dated 1974. They had found a bottle from 1944 but it was priced at 900 euros so they compromised!.
For the evening we had invited a few friends for an “apero dinatoire” – in other words, drinks and quite substantial nibbles.
CC and Jay had catered for 15 people (including us) but, in fact, only three of our guests were able to come. We had a very pleasant evening with loads of food and drink and we are still finishing the leftovers. However, birthday cake number two was polished off the next day. It was a wonderful concoction with salted caramel topping.
To finish the story of the champagne, Daniel duly brought the other six bottles complete with labels the following day and
THEY WERE NOT THE LABELS I HAD ORDERED!
OK, it said “Joyeux Anniversaire” but no mention of the date or my age. Call me fussy, but that was the whole point of the exercise – to celebrate the big Seven OH.
Still, I’m not letting a minor problem like that spoil what was a really memorable day.