Well, I can't quite believe it and I certainly don't feel it, but I'm now eligible to join the 'Over 50s' club. I can get Saga life insurance and will start getting junk mail advertising Stana Stair Lifts. Oh happy days!
Martin and I had decided that we would celebrate my 50th birthday with pretty much the whole family and a couple of really close friends, with a Monday to Friday stay, at the very lovely Incleborough House, in East Runton on the Norfolk Coast.
As we weren't able to invite all of our friends we were also topping and tailing the week with Saturday nights out with good friends, both before and after we went away.
We had a lovely meal out at a very nice Italian, quite close to home, on the Saturday night before we went away, with Jackie & Phil and their son Chris and his girlfriend Jenny.
We were also meeting up with Jo & Steve and their girls Hannah & Megan on the Saturday that we got back. We were going to one of our favourite places, which is quite quirky, a French Creperie, again not too far from home. It was going to be a week of eating out and catching up with everyone.
We all arrived in Norfolk on the Monday evening and all got very well settled in before sitting down to eat a chilli, that I had pre-prepared and brought with me, with jacket potatoes cooked in the aga. We followed this with tiramisu and lemon meringue pie, both shop bought, so no recipes to share I'm afraid.
There were 10 of us in total, mum and dad, Sarah, my sister, and Mark, her boyfriend, David, my brother, and his girlfriend, Alison and our good friends Lesley & Tom. I used to go to school with Lesley, so she really is my oldest friend and she was a;so 50 last month.
We had a good old night just sat at the huge dining room table in the conservatory, just chatting, playing games and, I must confess, there was a bit of drinking going on too.
Before we knew it, it was 1.30am and we all decided to call it a night - most of us are normally in bed really early, so this was a huge achievement.
On my birthday morning we all had breakfast together, in the conservatory, cooked by David, my brother, which was a very nice treat and all went to plan. David is not normally known for his cooking skills, but breakfast is his specialty, and this was a real treat. I think he quite liked the aga too.
David & Alison had also decked the conservatory out with balloons and other bits and pieces and it looked really pretty when we went in.
After breakfast there was lots of present opening, which was interrupted by the cottage owner popping round to say that he'd had a complaint from the neighbours about us being noisy until the small hours. Whilst this did take the shine off the morning for a bit, we were soon laughing about it - imagine - us lot getting into trouble for acting like rowdy teenagers.
Whilst the pictures below aren't technically that brilliant, I do think they capture the spirit of the moment!
After breakfast we all headed into Sheringham for a bit of Geocaching, which was quite an event. We all wandered round the town looking for clues and debating the answers, with a bit of Christmas shopping thrown in for good measure.
With so many of us, things took longer than they normally would so we didn't manage to complete as many caches as we had planned, but we did do three, which took us on a good old walk round the town, along the coast and made sure that we got to see some cool artwork, before retiring to the pub for a quick one before heading back to Incleborough House for a soak in the hot tub.
We had a real picky tea. Dad BBQ'd sausages and burgers and we also cooked some pizzas, which we had with lots of salad. It was just the job and another nice and easy meal, with everyone mucking in.
After tea, I had a real surprise treat, with a 50th birthday cake which Lesley & Tom had organised for me. It was pretty darn cool and seemed to incorporate the majority of my Life of Pottering, as you can see.