Thursday, 13 December 2018

#40for40: Birthday Celebrations

So I turned 40 in August. I know, I know... I don't look a day over 21. But it's true. I'm now officially middle-aged. I couldn't decide what to do to celebrate. It felt like I should do something exciting and unusual to mark the Big 4-0, but all the ideas I had seemed to be things I've done before. Perhaps that's the problem with being so old... you've already had so many birthdays that you can't think of any celebrations you've not already done. Lol.

Anyway, I eventually came up with the idea of doing 40 small celebrations throughout the month instead of one big one. I thought this would also be a good idea as my friends now come from all the different bits of my looooooong life (I'm so old), and so finding one single activity that people would want to do is impossible. And so I embarked on my #40for40 plans... and here are my 40 celebrations...

1. Lion Club at North Manchester FM

I joined up with some of the other presenters at North Manchester FM who also have August birthdays for a celebration radio show. We took over the station for a couple of hours, shared a few stories, talked about being Leos (or, whether or not we actually believe in star signs), and played a bizarrely eclectic range of music. And we had a birthday cake (made by me)!

You can also listen to our Lion Club show here:

2. Blackpool with Castlerea

I had a day trip to Blackpool with the residents of the care home my mum and brother run. We spent the day wandering along the pier and the prom, and then we had fish and chips before we came home (I didn't have the fish - obviously). It was a lovely day - I do like to be beside the seaside.

3. Vintage Pearls at Stockport Plaza

Me and Rob went to the lovely art deco Stockport Plaza for afternoon tea and a performance of some old-time songs by the Vintage Pearls (who also got the room to sing 'Happy Birthday' to me!). We even had a glass of champagne as well!

4. Port Sunlight

On my birthday itself, Rob took me for a mystery trip out. We went to Port Sunlight! We had a great day looking round the village and museum, and then we visited the Lady Lever Art Gallery. We came home with loads of vintage soaps (and I got a couple of books on model villages in the Industrial Revolution too, because that's just how I roll).

5. Meal at Indian Ocean

After Port Sunlight, Rob took me for dinner at our favourite local restaurant Indian Ocean. And as it was my birthday, I got extra free Baileys!

6. Dinner with my Parents

I went for a family dinner with my parents - and my mum baked me a birthday cake!

7. Cocktails at El Gato Negro

My lovely friend Chris took me out for tapas and cocktails at El Gato Negro on King Street. The cocktails I had were Parma Violet and Lemon Sherbet - and absolutely gorgeous.

8. Cocktail Masterclass at the Fitzgerald

More cocktails! I went on a cocktail masterclass at the Fitzgerald bar in Manchester. Not only did we get a champagne cocktail on arrival, we also learned how to make three cocktails (one of which was a competition) and got an unusual selection of shots. My favourite cocktail was the Devil's Kiss - whisky, chilli aperol, and all served up on some dry ice!

9. Lunch in Edinburgh

With a slightly woolly head from all the cocktails, my next trip out was an ambitious one. Me and my mum drove up to Edinburgh for lunch with our cousin Joy. We had a lovely lunch - and it was great to get chance to see Joy - and we stopped at Biggar for ice cream on the way home. It's a good thing I don't turn 40 everyday... Edinburgh's a long way to drive for lunch!

10. Dinner with my Parents-in-Law

Another family dinner - this time with my parents-in-law. And look at all the cake we had!

11. Strangers on a Train at the Electric Cinema, Birmingham

This is somewhere I'd wanted to go for a long time. The Electric Cinema in Birmingham is the U.K.'s oldest cinema, and as luck would have it they were holding a season of Alfred Hitchcock films around my birthday. Actually, this wasn't really luck - Alfred Hitchcock's birthday is the same day as mine. Anyway, we went to a screening of Strangers on a Train as one of my birthday celebrations - and it was awesome. We went home via Cannock Chase, had a wander in the woods and visited the German Military Cemetery.

12. Lunch at Tampopo

I met my friend Kate for lunch in Manchester. We had some lovely food at Tampopo and then went for coffee.

13. Day Trip to Chester-le-Street

I went up to Chester-le-Street to see my best mate K. We basically spent the day hanging out in Durham and Newcastle, so I don't really have any pictures except these: a massive bowl of tofu and a very handsome cat.

Aaaaand that's all I managed. To be honest, it was exhausting. I don't know how I thought I was going to manage 40 birthday celebrations in a month. I kept meaning to plan more things, maybe extend it over a bit longer, but I was just too knackered to celebrate anymore and I had too much work to do so I just gave up. This must be what 40 feels like.


  1. Happy Birthday!
    Enjoy your parents. You will miss them when they're gone.


    1. Odd comment. But I assume you're asking when I'll have chance to write another Poirot post? The answer is: as soon as I have time.