Monday, 19 May 2014

Birthday



I had a lovely birthday yesterday - thank you so much for all the good wishes you sent.

All in all it's been a hectic weekend, with more house viewing madness (more on that next time), lots of travelling hither and thither and plenty of socialising. But the weather's been glorious and we've eaten and drank and generally had a great time.

I received some cards with hares on - I love hares - and some really sweet gifts. Jay bought me a beautiful magnolia Stellata (I've always wanted one) in a big earthenware pot. It was awaiting me when I came downstairs to the kitchen and I was so pleased with it - despite the little voice in my head whispering, 'Don't kill it, Don't kill it'.


We had a delicious Italian lunch here. Joe tried a bit of everything and the chef kept coming to see him and make a fuss. I ate panzanella and beautiful breads with oil and balsamic vinegar, and chicken with lemon and pine nut sauce (heaven). And the dessert - a little chocolate tart with strawberry jam and frangipane, warm from the oven and sitting in a little pool of cream, was just... 

I'm sure you get the picture.


The weather was so perfect that after eating we took a little detour via Downham. The whole of the Ribble Valley is picturesque but Downham is the jewel in the crown. It has a little green and stream and ducks, and a country pub from where you can look down across the village. 

Most of its houses are owned by the Assheton estate and can't be bought. Apparently there's quite the waiting list (and application process) for one of the beautiful homes there.

My mum's still a bit unsteady on her feet so Joe, Jay and I went for a little amble up to the churchyard while she sat and took a rest. The views of Pendle Hill and the surrounding farmland are breathtaking, especially in the May sunshine. And the kitchen garden in the picture below is the kind of outdoor space you can only dream of.


I hope you had a lovely weekend.

I'm now going to make the most of the last year of my thirties!

29 comments:

  1. Happy belated birthday, Sarah! It sounds like you had a beautiful celebratory day.

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    1. Hi Jennifer! I did have a lovely day - good food, company and weather... x

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  2. Oh, you are so young, sigh. So glad you had a lovely birthday, May is such a lovely month to be born in.

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    1. Thank you Sue! It's strange, this year I seem to have noticed May being more lovely than ever before. And you've inspired me. I have the whole of H E Bates' Larkin series on my Amazon wishlist...

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  3. Belatedly, Happy Birthday! It does look and sound like you had the best weekend. And congrats on your first Garlic and Sapphire post :)

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    1. Thanks Annie! I'm brimming with ideas for the next post. Particularly as we're moving house next month, all being well. A new garden (well, back yard) to plan...

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  4. Happy Birthday Sarah! I am glad you had a lovely day with your family. I love panzanella, I must make it soon. x

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    1. It was delicious. And thank you for the birthday wishes x

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  5. Happy birthday!! May must be a great month for a birthday, I always think, it's just so pretty! Lovely photos, as always. x

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    1. Thank you. I do love May, not just because it's my birthday (but it helps!). It's so green and floral and fragrant, isn't it? Especially when the sun's out x

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  6. I meant to say - should you ever be popping over to Salts Mill, do let me know - it's only 20 mins from me and it would be so lovely to meet for a coffee. xx

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    1. Oh, that would be nice! We're moving house next month (touch wood it'll all go OK) so should be that bit closer to that part of the world. I'll definitely try to come across and yes, we can meet up and no doubt talk for England! x

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  7. What a beautiful walk, and some lovely photos. That dessert sounds divine. I'm in the process of killing a magnolia stellata at the moment. No idea what I've done to it, the leaves aren't growing, and one by one they're going brown. It's very frustrating. In my mind it was going to be tall and beautiful and covered in flowers every spring. The reality is looking slightly different.

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    1. Yikes! I'm suffering from magnolia anxiety, I must admit... we bought a very little one last year too which was munched on by some invisible menace and dwindled to just one twig but it seems to be making a healthy comeback this year.
      Maybe Google has the answer to your problem?
      I hope it recovers... :)

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  8. beautiful, a happy belated birthday! your day sounded lovely, what a nice weekend for it. Heather x

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    1. Hi Heather - thank you! It's now wet, windy and rainy but that's not so bad. In fact I think a storm might be quite nice to freshen things up again x

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  9. I'm glad you had a lovely day and such beautiful weather. I must make a note to visit that area again soon - maybe there are some open gardens on around there this summer - we usually end up in Derbyshire but I will make a point this year of exploring the Ribble Valley your description of Downham sounds like my kind of place to potter around on a weekend.

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    1. Do visit! It's such a gorgeous place... I also love all the history around the Pendle witches. Nothing like meandering through country churchyards reading old headstones on a sunny day!
      The view from the church in Downham is just beautiful. I hope you get to see it.
      S :)

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    2. I second the Ribble Valley for a visit. It's beautiful, understated, not at all touristy and there are many amazing cakes. Pendle Hill is one of my very favourite things, as is typical I appreciate it more now then I did when I saw it every day!

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    3. I think it will be a good place to go with my mum when she comes on her next visit - I am pretty sure it is an area she has not explored yet and there aren't many places she hasn't been! I won't mention the witches bit to my hubby as he is always joking about my mum flying in on her broomstick - he might think there is a reason for choosing to visit that area!

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  10. Happy Birthday Sarah! Mine was the other day too and I'm also climbing ever closer to the big 4-0...Sounds like you had a beautiful day. Youa re so lucky living amongst all that history....good luck the house hunting! Mel x

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  11. So lovely that you had a gorgeous May day for your birthday Sarah. I love hares too. Those pretty cards would be gorgeous in a frame. Good luck with the house hunt ... fingers crossed you find somewhere perfect ... Bee xx

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  12. Happy Birthday Sarah. So glad you had a lovely time and what a lovely weekend for it. Hope the house hunting went well
    x

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  13. It sounds like you had a wonderful time.

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  14. Happy belated birthday, Sarah! So happy that you had such a lovely time. Your photos are beautiful as usual!

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  15. Belated birthday wishes. It sounds like you had a good time.

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    1. I did - it was lovely! Good food, good weather, time with family...

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