Guess who’s back, another year older and another wrinkle added? I’d love to say that it was a wonderful, very happy birthday but it wasn’t really, of course, following the passing of our dear Queen Elizabeth II. The dinner party was still a huge success and we had a wonderful game of What Do You Meme?, but of course nobody could shake the numbness that comes with our loss. She wasn’t just our Queen, she felt like a grandmother to us all. Even if we now welcome King Charles III to the the throne, we don’t forget the many great and heartwarming services of his predecessor, his mother.
I was spoiled for my birthday, with more of my signature perfume from my Mum and some gorgeous sapphire stud earrings from Matt – along with the pony that I have always wanted! I’m not allowed to say it’s not a real pony either, because it exists so therefore it’s real. It doesn’t have a name yet, though I’m thinking about “Oliver”, after the appaloosa horse that I used to know.
Unfortunately, in all of the commotion of the past few days then I forgot to take many pictures, but I did manage to bake up a delicious (if rather unsightedly) carrot cake and I made my own baklava for the first time, too. The ten-minute Morooccan lamb & pistachio tagine was a huge hit and I made a Morrocan orange and cinnamon salad for the first time too, which I served up with pieces of my homemade baklava and some vanilla ice cream for dessert. Everyone loved both the combination of flavours and the presentation and yet again my desserts were the star of the show!
Alright, and now… grab a chair, pull on a party hat and let’s get down to the questions!
I thank fellow blogger and dear friend PoojaG for these questions. If you want to add your own, feel free to add them in the comments section or send them anonymously in the contact form in my invitation post. I’ll leave it up until Tuesday, after which time we will be back to our usual TMI Tuesday drill!
1. What’s the dumbest thing you did as a teenager?
Too many to count! But probably the top one was taking on an assault course, being an ass and just trying to show off. I ran at some monkey bars, having full confidence that I was going to grab them, swing across and ace it, but I did not, and not by a long shot. Instead I rapped my knuckles hard on one of the bars, managed to grab the next one wrong and pulled my pectoral muscle. That hurt badly so intinctively I let go and fell about two feet and sideways into a bed of stinging nettles, twisting my ankle on the landing. Lesson learnt: Always stay humble, folks!
2. What’s your favourite dessert?
Beyond all doubt, raspberry pavlova. Meringues, raspberries and whipped cream? What’s not to love?! The best one I ever had was drizzled in a bitter dark chocolate sauce – it was divine!
3. What’s your favurite ice cream flavour?
It sounds really boring, but it’s vanilla. BUT it has to be a really good quality vanilla, made with crushed vanilla pods and real cream – no vanilla extracts or flavourings for me! It’s so versatile and you can put it with anything: Cheesecake, treacle sponge, apple & blackberry crumble, baklava… Leave it out for five minutes before serving so it’s slightly softer, too. It’s heavenly!
4. What are some things on your bucket list?
I want to go on a cruise, but one of those smaller river boat cruises, not a huge cruise ship. Something about that appeals to my more introverted, simpler nature I think – a holiday and relaxation, without all of the fanfair of entertainers et al. I also keep thinking about getting a tattoo of a phoenix on the back of my shoulder, done in my aura colours of pink, green and blue. Why a phoenix? In part it comes from escaping a flat fire in 2016 with little more than my dog, my life and a few basic possessions. A tragic story with a happy outcome that goes like this:
I was accused of starting the fire deliberately to escape from my violent neighbour, an accusation which I flatly denied and used against my landlord to argue that they were failing their responsibilities to keep us and our other neighbours safe. There were multiple reports against our neighbour for various misconducts like harassment, threats to kill, starting fires (intentionally, and proudly so), public indecency… the list goes on! She left a bin full of dog shit outside our front door as a “wedding present” and called me a “fucking fat cow” and a “skanky wife” on our one year wedding anniversary, just because I was sat outside! Yes, in case you’re wondering, she was on a cocktail of drinks and drugs, and I do vividly recall the time that she got so violent that she was “sectioned”.
Anyway, our landlord had nothing more than a faulty smoke alarm on me, but I had proof that they hadn’t done anything about the neighbour that was now threatening to kill me because she was convinced – in her drink-and-drug laden mind – that I was sleeping with her fella. In the end I went to an MP and she pretty much told them to back off, see sense and let us keep the decant home that we now live in. I love it here; the home has character, we have our own garden and my neighbours aren’t threatening my life. Et voila! Just like a phoenix, I rose from the ashes, almost quite literally. Also generally in life, with any setbacks, I’m not one to stay down for long. I think of these experiences as a chance to learn lessons and to grow as a person.
So why a phoenix, you ask? Well, that’s why.
That’s it from me for this post! Do you have any questions for me? Don’t forget to leave them in the comments below or here if you want to go anonymous!
Thankyou for being a part of my Digital Birthday Bash!
Until next time.
Stay safe & have fun,