Belvedere, Fireworks and Tanzanite

Remember when burning candles was synonymous with cold autumn nights playing board games - usually because the power had gone - or because television back in those days was a brown wooden box. When windows were frosty with winter and the house was filled with a nostalgic smell of chestnuts on the fire. Remember the sofa's; green in winter, yellow in summer. The walks through the lanes to the Cardwell's, tottering through puddles with wellies and waterprooofs. Oh, the waterproofs. Remember apple-bobbing at the Millers and Trick-or-Treating the neighbors - down on Emily's lane even though she was with us. Imagine having your own little house, with a roaring fire and a tub of sweets by the door. A victorian farmhouse with Hunters by the door and an Aga warming the wooden floors. In the words of L.M Montgomery - 
"I'm so glad I live in a world with October's"

Last weekend was Soph's (belated) and my (early) birthdays. It was a nice balance of champagne cocktails, tiny dresses and wild dancing with the people I love - and blackberry picking, country lunch and homegrown goodness. Saturday morning, after having breakfast in the Starbucks sunshine, me and Pete arrived home to a cooked lunch and the arsenal match. We took a quick trip into Stratford Upon Avon, stopping to walk through the christmas lights, Space NK and the Christmas shop (so naughty). At 7pm (suited and booted) Adriana drove myself, Pete and Holly to Mechu for the champagne reception. After a little too much champagne was drunk of my half (4 glasses of bubbly deliciousness), we sat down for a formal meal, speeches and chatting. Soph's parents gave her an incredible diamond and tanzanite ring (huge. bloody humongous) and we all toasted and tucked into our meals - calamari for starters for me and holly... which I followed by Lamb shank. All washed down with 4 bottles of wine on our table. Whoops... 
After chatting and letting our food settle, we headed into the club area (David had hired the whole VIP wall) and were greeted by mini fireworks and bottle after bottle after bottle of Grey Goose, Belvedere and mixers in ice buckets. It was the most extravagent 21st I've been to, and cringe to think how much it cost David to wine and dine 40 guests - as well as that ring

Sunday was (a lot) more laid back - fighting off headaches, we ate a cooked breakfast and headed off for some fresh air in the golden sunshine. We picked berries, had conker throwing fights, gushed through leaves and behaved like general country bumpkins. For late lunch at 2pm, we headed to The Bell (a boutique country pub in Tanworth) for sunday lunch and... more wine. Toasting my birthday and brimming to the edges with food, we took a little walk around my old primary school - creepy, us? Then drove back home to slip into a food coma. At around 7, when the darkness had flooded in, we lit my cake, sung happy birthday and I opened my cards. My mum and Denis gave me the bank statement of the account they've opened for me - I still can't stop smiling (although I do keep changing my mind on how I'm going to spend it). After this, my mum put sausages and rustic bread into the oven while Denis and Pete prepared the fireworks. We watched in glee and muched down our little dinner, followed by a few glasses of champagne (well.... what did you expect?)

Me and Holly post champagne, Mechu, the girls on my table
Champagne bar, VIP booth, myself and Pete
Too many diamonds that night, Holly being naughty, Calamari
Conker fighting, blackberry picking, Watery Lane
Colours of Autumn, my country bumpkin, eatings fresh
Garden on fire, eating at The Bell and my home made birthday cake


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