It hardly seems a year ago that we were in the UK and celebrating my 50th birthday. Fifty was not a big deal, but somehow fifty-one seems a little more worrying. Perhaps because it seems quite reasonable to think that I might live to 100, given my genetic inheritance... so a year ago I could think that I was, perhaps, half way through my life. But 102... well, that would feel very old. So the chances are that I'm now past the half-way mark and on the downhill slide towards old age.
I hope it will be a gentle and lengthy slope.
So here I am yesterday morning, as I prepared to open the large pile of parcels that was awaiting me:
A particularly nice card was this one, hand-made by my five-year-old friend Katie:
By the time I had finished, I had acquired quite a few books, some DVDs, several cards, some generous cheques and a delicious looking box of Thornton's chocolates:
Later in the day four more books arrived, and on the 19th I'd been given some other gifts, so - feeling extremely blessed - I laid everything out like this:
That wasn't all - later in the day I was given a grey hoodie by Richard (who ordered had ordered my presents to come here, just before he flew out of Cyprus to join me).
We spent most of the morning with Tim, handing in his dissertation and the other final assignments for his degree course. A great achievement, and cause of a double celebration. So we went out to lunch with my mother and Tim's girlfriend, and that was very enjoyable.
We got home, had coffee, and played a family game of Settlers of Catan. Then did a little shopping... we had to go and collect the second parcel that had arrived when we were out, so I showed Richard the clothes shops locally which I had looked at a week or so back. I did try on one dress but it didn't suit me at all; I then spotted a skirt which we both liked, and which fitted nicely, so I went ahead and bought that. I have a blouse that goes with it, so all I need now is smartish shoes, and some kind of light jacket or cardigan/shrug to go with it.
Tim baked me a rather scrumptious (and very large) chocolate cake to have after our evening meal:
Even after we'd all had a slice, there was plenty left...