What a wonderful weekend I had celebrating my birthday with my 3 sisters and their families.
Saturday morning came round very soon after Friday night ended! It was bright and sunny as the sun rose over the Marina in Ramsgate. A healthyish start; granola, natural yogurt and a sweet and juicy peach. My sisters and our families make a party of 15. Our destination for the day was Margate. Which we travelled to by bus! The Thanet Loop costs £5 for a day ticket for a family and you can hop on and off when you like which is great value for money. We strolled through the Old Town to the sea front, where we sat on the steps, eating fish and chips. A traditional by the sea meal in Britain. Eaten out of the box with your fingers. We are a classy lot!It was fabulously sunny. Zoe and her sisters. Aren’t they fabulous? In age order now. It was a wonderful place to hang out and chill while children played and adults chatted. Next stop was the Turner Contemporary. A is for Abi The ground floor always has some interesting sculptures which inspired us in different ways.
The main exhibition upstairs was fascinating. I loved it and want to go again. There was the expected range of what I call “proper art” i.e. skilled drawings/paintings which I could never do if I practised for the rest of my life plus interesting and quirky plus “so what”? art. There was also, which completely took me by surprise, some works by some extraordinary people. There were drawings and writings by Da Vinci, beautiful drawings of anemones by Gosse, a letter written by Shackleton in the Antarctic (plus a penguin he brought back) and sketches of mildew completed during an expedition on the Endeavour.
It was excellent and a privilege to see works by such incredible people. Top marks to the Turner for that exhibition. There is a large room at the Turner looking out over the sea. It is a light and bright room filled with art materials so you can have a go yourself and ALL the children did just that which was wonderful to see. Shall we lock them in? All that oohing and aahing was hungry work. Luckily the Cupcake Cafe had just the thing; a strawberry meringue cupcake and a cup of tea. The women and children enjoyed tea and cakes. The boys were enjoying a bit of peace and quiet in the Lifebuoy. It seemed only right to join them. I had a marmalade vodka with lemonade which was very quaffable. Back at the ranch the champagne was chilled and we began to celebrate the main event of the weekend – my birthday. We enjoyed a pretty sunset which reflected in the water to make the water pink. We walked less than 5 minutes away to our local Italian which treated us very well. We all shared different starters of Brushettas and cold meats. Calamari.This was my lovely view while I ate. For my main I chose chicken escalope which isn’t breadcrumbed which I like. It was cooked with parma ham and Mozarella and served with perfectly crispy French Fries. Delicious. Dessert was a chocolate filled Hazlenut Semi Freddo. Wonderful. I am ashamed to admit I have no recollection of the children playing cards when we got back.I do have a hazy memory of the Mah Jongg which was not our finest ever game but it was still fun. Especially this hand which I won Sunday was super sunny. I had a birthday table which was full of very thoughtful and lovely presents and cards. It was so special, sitting beside the window with the lovely view and all my family together. One of those times I wish I could bottle and keep reliving. More food! This was my deconstructed Bucks Fizz. What a way to start the day. Jimmy did us proud with scrambled eggs and smoked salmon, bacon, toast, croissant and fresh fruit. Plus rather a lot of coffee. And champagne. The early morning walkers reported a historical street market so we set off to look at that. These shelters along the promenade are lovely. Addington Street was the High Street in Victorian times and today it was closed to cars for a historical street market. Lace making is fascinating. It looks so complicated yet produces delicate little patterns. The Queen Charlotte was making the most of the weather by spilling outside. This is such a one off pub. One of my favourites. Katie the pink cat. At the end of Addington Street is a Pinball Museum. It is only open at weekends (except January and February when it is completely closed) and I have never been in before. It was brilliant. All the machines are in working order and £5 buys 12 tokens which is 12 turns. This basketball game was infuriating if you were not quick thinking and nimble fingered but quite compulsive too. The more mature members of the group enjoyed being better at games than the younger members who had no idea how to play pinball. This was a very enjoyable way to relax and I shall definitely be going back. There was something for everyone at the street fair. Sunshine won 2 rosettes at the dog show ; Best in Show and Judges Favourite After lunch at the house we went to Botany Bay, my favourite local beach. We often notice these chalk stacks in adverts and even a film the other day. Our lovely weekend finished with cake. What an incredible cake it was. Lara made me a chocolate and salted caramel cake and she even made the caramel herself. It was completely fabulous and decorated with lots of chocolates and sweet things.That was an amazing weekend. Such a shame everyone had to go. I want to do it all again!Thank you to my big, beautiful family for the best birthday ever. You made me laugh and cry and feel special and loved. Thank you all.