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I can’t believe it’s Tuesday again already, and that my birthday is over for yet another year!
Well, I’m really not looking forward to next year’s birthday… then I’ll be 25. Which is half of 50. Which is half a century… And at 25 you might as well be 30… Is this what getting old is? Just constantly thinking how many more years you have?
Anyway, I got side tracked into a mini meltdown about age. Ignore me.
Yes, that’s the birthday celebrations all done for another year, and now I am turning my full attention to Rachel’s 21st birthday next week!
In the lead up to my birthday, I had decided to treat myself to a new hair colour and a nice cut the Friday before my birthday. I hadn’t had my hair coloured since Christmas, and it was a bit of a disaster. So I decided to go back to my old hairdresser and let her do the colour. I had an exact photo of what I wanted, which I showed her both in advance and on the day. I also spoke to her about changing the style a bit. So I finished work at lunch time on the Friday and headed up the road to the hairdressers. What do you think?
So if you remember from last week’s post, I was being taken somewhere as a surprise for my birthday on Saturday, and had to get up early. The alarm went at 6:30, even though I’d already been awake for at least an hour and a half – the excitement was real! A quick shower, ironing of tops, a bit of makeup, and we were in the car by 8am ready to head off. We were stopping for breakfast at the nearby M&S Cafe, which was nice when we got ordering what we wanted. Imagine being open all of 20 minutes and not being able to sell a bacon roll?? Anyway, while we sat amongst all the lovely new autumn clothes (that you can bet I’m going back for) Mum handed me an envelope to tell me where we were going. We were going to the Ireland v Wales rugby match! I was so excited!
We jumped back into the car and headed down the road to Dublin. A quick coffee break on the way down, and a little bit of sitting in traffic at the toll booths, and we were there! Dad managed to park up really close to the Aviva stadium despite some of the roads being closed off, and with that we took a walk to find a hotel that Mum and Dad would’ve stayed at before kids when they went to rugby matches. They referred to it as the Mount Herbert, but it’s now called the Sandymount. It was filled with pre-match excitement, and everyone was having a good time chatting and drinking and getting ready for the match. With the sun shining, and it was warmer than anticipated, we moved outside for a burger and a drink in the beer tent in the hotel forecourt. I did have to laugh at one point when a guy around my age said to his friend “you know, I’m glad to see this place is catching on, it’s quite busy!” – Little does he know “this place” has been a rugby local since long before he was born!
Soon it was time to head off to the match, and we had great seats – right up in the corner where Kearny scored the first try of the match! I won’t bore you with the ins and outs of the game, but the day was made even better by the final score – Ireland winning and therefore back at the top of the world rankings! Not that that means much with the world cup just around the corner. But it was Rory Best’s last game in Dublin, so we stayed to listen to his emotional speech at the end as his children ran about the pitch.
After the game, we eventually made it back to the Sandymount for an “end of day” celebratory drink in the beer garden out the back – not a single wasp in sight, but a beautiful sunny area! It was great to watch kids running around having fun, people drinking responsibly, no one too drunk or boisterous, and the Welsh licking their wounds amongst the Irish celebrating. On the drive back up to the north, we decided to stop along the route for dinner in the Halfway House.
First impressions were it was cosy and packed, so it must do good food! We were asked to wait about half an hour for a table as we hadn’t booked, but really it was only about 15-10 minutes – made a lot easier by a gin and tonic! When we were shown to a table, I had a panic. Mum was having the sticky chilli beef with rice, Dad had chosen the scampi and chips, and I had to pick from about 6 different dishes that I’d seen go to other tables and they all looked delicious! In the end I opted for the Chef’s Special of the Day – Chicken Red Thai Curry. It was soo good! Not too spicy, but enough flavour. One thing I don’t get, and I know it’s all about presentation, but the curry was served in a bowl, the rice in a mound on the plate, and not enough room on the plate to mix the two. But apart from that it was delicious!
Eventually we made it home and curled up to watch the launch night of Strictly, and we crashed out not long after half 10.
Then for my actual birthday yesterday, I was in work (sad face!). I got up early to open my other presents, and headed in for what ended up being a busy enough day. We’d planned on having a chinese for dinner, but the one beside us was closed and at 8pm we weren’t really in the mood to drive for some from another place nearby, so we just opted for fish and chips. Tasty, but disappointing when you’re in the mood for a Honey Chilli Chicken with fried rice! Ah well, it wasn’t to be.
Overall, turning 24 wasn’t that bad! I had 2 great days, and now we can look ahead to Rachel’s birthday next week.
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