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Sabbatical, Day 32: Happy Birthday To Me!

Harking back to yesterday’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang reference, there’s a scene where Baron Bomburst comes into a room singing ‘Happy Birthday to me’. Yet he’s a married man with a fawning wife and an obsequious entourage. 

There would have been the odd time in my past when I would have croaked ‘Happy Birthday’ to myself when I was single and fairly isolated. No longer.

In case you haven’t guessed, it’s my birthday today, and it has been a great joy to share simple pleasures with Debbie and the children. Nothing fancy or expensive, just the joy of family love. And Mastercard can’t buy that.

When I brought the assorted teas (Rebekah and me), coffee (Debbie) and warm milk (Mark) up first thing this morning, the children were on the starting line, desperate to open my presents – gifts they had only wrapped yesterday with Debbie’s help. What fun it was to see them rip the paper with almost as much abandon as if the presents were for them and they didn’t know what was inside. 

Much as I love them, I was pleased they were both fit for school today. So after a mundane trip to B&Q for a carbon monoxide detector, Debs and I had coffee in a Wyevale garden centre and then headed for a pub she had seen advertised in the Essex Chronicle. She thought a print-out from their website would be enough to find them, but it was in the middle of nowhere and we soon ended up in the middle of a different nowhere. Oh well, resort to the Essex Street Atlas.

It was worth it. The Duck Inn was fabulous. They were advertising a ‘three courses for ten pounds’ offer. The menu was strictly limited, but the quality certainly wasn’t. For me, chicken pâté followed by fillet of salmon and finished with bread and butter pudding in vanilla cream. For Debbie, deep fried Brie, then roast chicken and finally assorted ice creams. The main courses had some beautifully cooked seasonal vegetables.

They also do a jazz night menu every few Friday evenings – three courses for fifteen pounds with live music. The normal á la carte menu is quite expensive, with main courses around fifteen to twenty pounds, but if you live anywhere near here, then it’s in the tiny hamlet of Newney Green and comes more thumbs aloft than even Paul McCartney can muster. 

Back home and a surprise visit from a local friend before the school run. Debbie took Rebekah for her weekly swimming lesson but I stayed home with Mark in view of his ear infection. Then we finally had our Shrove Tuesday pancakes! Plus the children had insisted on a birthday cake. An extremely sickly chocolate one. I managed three mouthfuls. They enjoyed it, along with lighting the candles. Little Becky managed a picture or two on her camera.

dscf0764Tonight has involved the mundane task of ordering tomorrow’s Tesco delivery, but has been accompanied by another birthday present. Yes, a Spurs win over Middlesbrough in the Premiership

Sabbatical work? Today? What do you think?

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About Dave Faulkner

I'm a British Methodist minister, married with two children. I blog from a moderate evangelical-missional-charismatic perspective, with an interest in the 'missional' approach. My interests include Web 2.0, digital photography, contemporary music and watching football (Tottenham Hotspur) and cricket.

Posted on March 4, 2009, in Children, Film, Food and Drink, Personal, Sports and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Happy Birthday (a bit late, sorry), and thanks for the pub recommendation!

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    • Dave Faulkner

      Don’t worry about the late greetings – I wasn’t soliciting them! But seriously, the Duck Inn is to be highly recommended. I wouldn’t know about the alcohol, as I’m long term on medication for which I’m advised to be teetotal. But the food – yes, very good in our opinion.

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  2. Sorry I forgot, many happy returns for yesterday.

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    • Dave Faulkner

      Don’t worry about having forgotten, Colin, it’s good to hear from you. Email me and let me know how you are. It would be good to see you again some time.

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      • Dave Faulkner

        PS – Sorry, I dashed off that last reply in between mealtime and children’s bathtime, and I forgot to wish you a Happy Birthday, too!

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  3. No worries I am trying toforget about them

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    • I ought not forget your birthday, especially as it is also my brother-in-law’s today. But yes, our perspective on birthdays changes with age, doesn’t it? 🙂

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