Friday, 2 September 2011

A Perfect Day

I'm not much of a one for celebrating my birthday but I've mellowed with age over recent years. Normally I arrange to be away but commitments meant I had to think differently this time around.

So it was that I awoke to surprisingly warm and sunny weather and decided to have a day off (a perk of the self employed). Whilst others might make the most of bright days, I took off into town to buy a low budget horror film and breakfast. On my return, I closed the curtains, put on the DVD and munched on walnut whips.

One quick change later, I was on the train by midday and heading off to the city. I nipped into an art store for acrylic paints and mooched around bookstores, the market and Afflecks. Come around three o'clock, I met up with Nick outside the Hilton hotel, Manchester's version of a skyscraper. 23 floors up, we had booked ourselves in for an afternoon tea. It was a perfect day for views and we had a stunning panorama to enjoy. The tea itself was phenomenal. Both of us came away fit to bursting. And as a treat, there's an oval panel of perspex you can stand on and see clearly below to street level, with cars passing by underfoot. Not for those who suffer vertigo.

Back home, I opened my cards and presents. I am very lucky and spoilt to receive so many beautiful handcrafted cards. It really makes the day feel very special. Thank you to everyone that reads this, who sent me a card, online message or phone text. It truly humbled me all day.

The present which bowled me over was a special edition book from those heavenly producers of Macarons, Laduree. Regular readers of this blog will know of my addiction to these exquisite delicacies. And they don't let up on the quality when it comes to recipe books. It's packaged in a sturdy box, which you open to find a delicate tissue wrapping. Unfold this and there's a velvet covered hardback. Remove this and the pages crackle as they separate with the previously undisturbed gold painted edges. No photo could do it justice. It's opulent and majestic and I just love it. Oh and the recipes. Yes, there's macarons but it's also packed with how to create their other patisseries, including one for Pain Perdu. The photos in the book are also stunning. It's just perfection from cover to cover. I shall handle it only with white gloves and store it in a glass case lol.

The perfect day was completed, when we relaxed in front of the TV, helping ourselves to a light supper of smoked salmon, wedges of lemon and a dollop of soured cream, made up into canapes. My waistline, arteries and heart won't thank me I know and it'll be cabbage soup from now on until Christmas. :) but it's only once a year haha.


kjjc said...

Happy birthday Paul. Hope you liked your card-you can thank D for reminding me (when you get to my age you need all the help you can get-lol). Glad you had a good day. That book is gorgeous isn't it but no recipe for the salted caramel one-my fave. It's worth having just for the box it comes in. Hope to see you in a couple of weeks at HG.xx

Sarina said...

Happy Birthday Paul.

alexa said...

And I am totally contrite for missing it. :( You clearly had a lovely, lovely day and that sounds like one very special book. I'd be scared to touch it! Wishing a very happy and fulfilled year ... :love:

Kasey said...

Hi Paul, What a fabulous day of just doing whatever takes your fancy! Just the sort of day you want for YOUR day. Happy Birthday. That book sounds like a work of art all in and of itself, let along the magical spells it contains to allow you to create your own little magical morsels. Enjoy!
Kasey ~ in Oz

JoZart said...

Herzlichen Glückwünsch zum Geburtstag, lieber Paul! Guess where I am and if you are impressed with my language skills...... let me confess it was DD who wrote the first few mots. I woz thinkin of yer!
Love Jo x See you soon. Love Jo xxx

Andrea Ewen said...

Oh my goodness...can you imagine if you had booked yourself up with commitments that day? You would have missed out on the most "perfect day"...I say the universe is perfect. Glad that you had so much fun and a belated Happy Birthday to you!

Neet said...

Wow - what a fab day - I love what you did in the morning, pity my birthday is so far away (will have forgotten what you did by then).
Forgot to ask about the "High Tea" when I saw you, sorry. Sounds wonderful though - in fact you had a wonderful day by what you say. Well deserved!