Started the day off with a little ditty from Purple Ronnie:
William, it’s your birthday
So all I want to say
Is you’re the smashing Birthday Bloke
So have a brilliant day!”
and made hubby a very happy man indeed when I broke the news to him that he is actually a year younger today than he thought he was. Silly Bill!
Upon opening his pressie from me, Bill chortled and chuckled as a mug adorned with the lovely image of Quincy and Genghis in the bath together was unwrapped. Hee hee!
His special birthday surprise though was to come a little later in the day. I had a secret outing planned and wouldn’t tell him what I had up my sleeve. I made him dress up smartly, even got him to iron his shirt *giggle* and drove him into Plymouth this afternoon. He had no idea what was going on until I led a dubious Bill down the street into the Plymouth Theatre Royal and he started laughing when he saw the posters advertising this season’s panto offering. Yup! Tis Panto time in England and I had tickets to immerse Bill in this bastion of bawdy British culture for the afternoon!
I was a little nervous myself as I really had no idea what Bill would make of this birthday offering, especially as I knew he would be disappointed to not be going to a footy game. I shouldn’t have worried though as I think it turned out to be the perfect birthday experience to make his 38th a day to remember!
This year the pantomime on offer was Jack and the Beanstalk, starring the Chuckle Brothers. I hate the Chuckle Brothers!..but I felt that Bill’s first pantomime was long overdue so it just had to be done.
Nicky was also supposed to be in attendance to see how mystified Bill would be at men playing widows, pantomime cows, “oh no it isn’t!” and “it’s behind you!”s, but unfortunately she called just as we were leaving Ashridge to bail out as she wasn’t feeling well. We tried to get Dad to come along and use her ticket but it was too short notice for him and so it was just the two of us in the end. Bah. They both missed out on a good entertaining afternoon, the silly sausages.
The theatre was packed, full of children and Mums and Dads. Bill soon got into the spirit of things and was booing and hissing away at the villain with the best of them when the curtains opened and the panto began. I was so amused at the beginning that I couldn’t stop giggling and tears were running down my face.
The Chuckle Brothers were in fact excellent and my opinion of them did a complete 180 degrees. Though, I will still refuse to allow Chucklevision on any telly of mine. The side skit they did of a circus act was particularly amusing and involved incredible feats of acrobatics and balancing in mid air. (a darkened stage, UV costumes and wires were involved!)
I was a little disappointed that Jack was played by a man, and not a thigh slapping young lady. Apparently, this is not the done thing any more?! However, most of the main constituents of panto were in abundance and the panto was a lot of fun. We were seated in the Upper Circle and safely out of range of any water soakers, bags of crisps, and custard pies that made it out to the unfortunate chaps and chapesses on the lower levels. Phew.
I think Bill was somewhat taken aback by his birthday outing but he had a big grin on his face so it can’t have scarred him too badly.
Afterwards Bill was ravenous and fancied a pizza so we crossed the road and devoured some tea at Pizza Hut. This wasn’t as festive as Bill’s last British Pizza hut experience when all the staff were dressed up in a hierarchy of Christmas costumes, but the pizza went down well none the less.
Back at Ashridge my parents and I then finished off the Birthday celebrations with the time honoured tradition of birthday cake, candles and singing Happy Birthday to the birthday boy. Bill had decided that in the absence of yellow cake with chocolate frosting, he wanted a hedgehog cake. I happily obliged and had done my best to recreate a little forest fellow in chocolate cake form:
Happy Birthday Bill!!
Of course, eight days ago it was my Daddy’s birthday too. I think he must be as old as the hills which would explain why he knows so much about them around these parts! His birthday outing consisted of a trip to Chagford with Mumsy, Molly and I. Unfortunately poor Mowgli just got to stay in the car and didn’t partake in the tour of the few shops there, or enjoy a coffee and cake in the cafe, but I’m sure she enjoyed the ride in the car and not being left on her own at home.
Dad also got a Kay made birthday cake, though this one was almost a complete disaster. I’d got up early to make it as soon as Daddy had left to go to work in the morning. Everything was going swimmingly until I put it in the oven and the top managed to catch on fire. This accident remedied the cake was still not cooked and on a lower shelf was left to continue its baking.
Upon checking on the progress I was dismayed to discover that instead of rising evenly, one side of the cake had dramatically taken off vertically and was producing a rather odd angled cake. Arrgh!! No problem, we Downes’ are quite cunning and after rummaging around the house Mum and I found a little toy car with which to decorate the cake in an attempt to fool Dad into thinking it was purposeful and really, in fact, Hill Climb themed! Genius! Second disaster averted!
At this point Mel and Simon called and while yakking on the phone to Australia I was unable to give the cake my full attention. Mum ended up taking it out of the oven for me and leaving it to cool. Unfortunately however when I then went to ice it I discovered it was still liquid in the middle and attempted to put it back in the oven to bake. This damn cake must’ve spent hours and hours cooking away and still wouldn’t bake! Grrrr.
With half an hour to Dad’s return Daddy’s birthday cake take two was underway. Thankfully I got it right the second time, but unfortunately was unable to have it all all iced and ready to surprise him when he finished work at 1pm. Rats!
Happy Birthday Daddy!
*Much love to the Birthday Boys*