Birthday girl reporting, though not in her Birthday Suit - far too chilly today. Well, yesterday evening was just great. My London Friend and I went to a new French Restaurant a few minutes' walk from home, and had a really lovely meal. First we ordered a bottle of white wine, and then we started with Roasted Beets and Mache Salad and a Terrine Maison, which were both delicious - we shared them to get a taste of each. The little roasted beets, in their skins, were marvellously tasty, and the cheese and walnuts were perfect accompaniments. And then we both chose the French-Cut Steak with Sauteed Shallots and "Duck Fat" chips - totally yummy with Petit Pois a la Francaise. After that, I even managed a pudding - a gorgeous Creme Brulee - which I can only put down to sheer greed and being sufficiently squiffy to not be counting calories. Luckily, we didn't have far to stagger home.
This morning I had my mystery parcels to open - and I had lots of calls from Friends and from Sister (who sang "Happy Birthday to You", the squashed tomatoes and glue variety) Son sent me a text message and then phoned later, and Daughter and Grandson turned up in time to say hello, goodbye to my London Friend before she had to go.
So far, it has been a very happy Birthday indeed, and I'm going out again this evening! Phew..
I had a very interesting conversation with my Swiss Student this morning over breakfast. He was telling me that everyone in Switzerland has to take a holiday every year - it's compulsory. Apparently his Father has to take his hols in a couple of weeks - and he is not allowed to go into the office during this time. What happens is that other people take over his work while he's away, and they check to see that all his transactions are completely honest above board! In the words of my Student, "Corruption is impossible!" What a great system. I was wondering aloud how this might be implemented here, but not sure that it's do-able. I would love to think that our MPs could adopt this system - that would knock Derek Conway's little game on the head, (and any other little bits of fancy footwork by any other Members of Parliament). How marvellous to think that "Corruption is impossible".
Earlier this evening, my Student came home with a bunch of flowers for me - or should I say, a bouquet. It is the most lovely pink, orange and red concoction from The Flower Stand on the corner of Palmeira Square, with gerberas and glorious dusky pink roses arranged with green "spider" chrysanthemums and eucalyptus. Quite a magical combination and all wrapped in shiny cellophane. Lucky me. And now I'm off to another celebration - and another lovely dinner with a Brighton BF. One thing I won't be doing in the morning is getting on the scales.