In London, I became sixty five years old. I am now officially a bona fide member of The Old Gits Club.
There I am on Monday evening in a corner of the Potli Indian restaurant wearing my party hat with my youthful wife beside me. On the other side of the camera there was Ian, Frances and her fiancee Stew. We had a £25 bottle of prosecco to begin proceedings and then tucked into a delightful Indian meal. My main course choice was Railway Mutton Curry - "Authentic Anglo-Indian dish from the days of Raj - mutton cooked on the bone with potatoes as a one pot cooking flavoured with garam masala and black pepper- pot cooking." Mmm...delicious.
After the main course was over the friendly staff brought me a Cinnamon Spiced Dark Chocolate Mousse with a single candle in it and everyone in the establishment sang "Happy Birthday". I was laughing so much I could hardly find enough breath to blow out that candle.
When the very reasonable bill was paid we went round the corner to "The Cross Keys" pub for pints of "London Pride" and tots of Irish whiskey. The fact that I still had my birthday hat on seemed to amuse the indigenous London natives, one of whom almost ended up with a melon-sized Yorkshire fist in his mush.
Frances, Stew and Ian had very kindly clubbed together to buy me and the woman of my choice a two night hotel stay in one of numerous venues around the country. The woman of my choice had already bought me the most expensive item of clothing I have ever owned and would you believe it, it's American and orange!...No, not him, a "Marmot" Goretex jacket.
My sixty fifth birthday had begun with breakfast in "The Ritz" before heading to Kew Gardens but I will blog about that tomorrow. Meanwhile, a picture of "The Ritz". £5.90 for a full English breakfast:-