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!