Well, my goodness, sweet Planetarians, I didn’t expect to find Mr PB’s guest post here when I finally peeked at my blog at 2 pm on my birthday! Neither did many of you, I guess ☺. Judging from your amusing comments, I think you quite enjoyed the surprise. As did I. I had started my day with a heavy heart, knowing I had to get through one of the many ‘firsts’ which are to come – the first birthday without my Dad. But, Mr PB, being the gorgeous soul he is, had burned the midnight oil, marshalled the troops and arranged the following tableau to greet me.
Tears welled in my eyes. Oriental lilies, the treasured old photo of me as a 3 year old, the pixies’ homemade cards and presents lovingly wrapped by small hands and decorated with my washi tape.
Not to mention my precious pixies!
And then the pièce de résistance – Mr PB’s dark chocolate, pear and pistachio cake, baked in the wee hours of the morning!
Here’s the recipe, by the way – do try it as it’s scrumptious. You can see from the splodges that it’s been well used by us!
He wasn’t kidding when he mentioned his pavlova failure – see for yourselves!
Anyway, work and school then beckoned for Mr PB and Joshie, leaving India and Sam with me for the day. Their noses, running like taps, had to be tended to constantly. My Mum rang and bravely serenaded me with ‘Happy Birthday’. The same procedure as every year. Except this time, it was a solo.
The occasional birthday phonecall or text message was gratefully received. A few cards were delivered by our trusty postman. My sweet sister popped in quickly to deliver a present and a huge hug. She knew who I was missing. My godmother dropped by, the sun shone and Sammy had his nap.
I discovered Mr PB’s amusing guest post and then started wading through the 200 condolence emails in my inbox (I know – what was I thinking?). We collected Joshie from school and my Mum soon arrived, ready for afternoon tea. Mr PB arrived home early and the celebrations started.
The cake was lit and the candles blown out (with several encore performances to satisfy everyone’s wishes). I cut the cake, making sure not to touch the bottom, to the chorus of the pixies’ “Or you’ll have green babies, Mum!” (I have no idea where that came from but we’ve said it in my family for my whole life ☺). Here's a close-up of the scrumptiousness.
Handmade cards were opened. Here's Joshie's - the drawing of us holding hands melts my heart!
Here’s Miss India’s with lots of butterflies.
And the inside – her kisses and hugs in blue “as they’re your favourite colours, Mummy”.
Here's Sammy's, glued with Mr PB's help.
I love his little saying on the right-hand side, something I hear all day long!
Presents were unwrapped. Here are some of the beauties I received. Firstly, a smart frame for my recent purchase I showed you here.
Then some treasures cleverly made by Ness of Marley & Lockyer fame.
Isn’t it just gorgeous? I’m going to get her to make a couple of different cushions which will be just perfect for the little bench seat we’re going to build in my *room of my own*.
Here are some of her pretty clay tags she sells in her Etsy shop.
This is a gorgeous brooch made from southern ice porcelain by another talented Tasmanian, Julie Hoddy of Magoolie Designs. I *love* the lustre of the pattern. I received another of her brooches for my 40th birthday. You can find her blog here and there's an article about her work here (she doesn't have a website yet).
This is a pretty print from one of my oldest Planetarians, the lovely Kylie of Tiges & Weince fame. Butterflies, blue and green – you can see why the pixies thought it perfect! You can find her Etsy shop here.
My kind sister also gave me this intriguing book. She’s a thoughtful soul. I am *dying* to read it. This is what the back cover says about it.
Don’t you think it sounds thought-provoking?
The pixies then headed off to bed and Mum stayed for dinner. Out of habit, Mr PB set the table for 4. We only realised when I sat down, opposite Dad’s empty chair, saw the cutlery laid out and burst into tears. Mr PB hurriedly removed the place setting, we poured some chardonnay and then toasted both my birthday and Dad.
It was a long evening, filled with reminiscences, tears and hugs. Talk about living through a tumultuous week. It’s been one of the hardest of my life. But I’m sure Dad was watching us from afar, delighting in the joy on the pixies’ faces as they helped me blow out my candles, enjoying seeing all the new treasures to help me feather my new nest and pleased that Mum was there with us, in the middle of it all, embraced by her family.
Yes, my 41st birthday was indeed bittersweet but beautiful.