It is that time of year again, when the number clocked up against my name cranks up another notch. As usual, the day is started early (too early, in all honesty) by my daughter bounding into our bedroom to wish me a Happy Birthday. (The sooner she is taught to make her mother a cup of tea the better!) Then we drag my son from his bed, and enjoy the process of opening presents and cards. It is a fantastic family time.
This year the day was sunny and bright, and I spent most of it indoors doing the washing up.
Really – all afternoon!
And it was one of the best days ever.
So perhaps I should explain this oddity, since washing up is not something I normally enjoy. Indeed, when we moved back from Zambia the one thing I insisted upon was that we had a house with a dishwasher! People who choose to wash up for 4 hours without being paid are not normally viewed as being of sane mind.
The reasoning was that we organised a Bake Off: six teams competing to present a showstopper cake decoration, a plate of sandwiches and a Chocolate Challenge.
I got the washing up duty.
But never have I seen so many people having so much fun for so long! It was hard to wipe a smile off anyone’s face. (I didn’t try!) The whole event raised over £400 for charity.
Not the smallest part of that fundraising came with auctioning off the cakes at the end. My friend did a demonstration at the start of the event and – little did I know (I was washing up, remember?) – she made me a special birthday cake: a Mulberry Tree, to go with my book!
My husband was obliged to bid for the cake, and I am now savouring every slice, since it is probably the most expensive cake I shall ever eat!
Who would have thought that a birthday filled with washing up could be so much fun?