Alright, now, nobody needs to wish me a happy birthday anymore because my birthday has been over for more than a week.
But thanks to everyone who did!
My birthday this year started with a hearty egg.
I mean an eggy heart.
It came as a surprise despite the fact that:
- Piers makes me breakfast every weekend since he’s the better cook plus he has more time on his hands seeing as I spend all of mine putting on makeup so we can go out for the day without me having to wear a paper bag over my head.
- I knew how the heart egg came about because I was the one who bought the mould in the first place.
But it was a surprise because:
- While I have on occasion used the heart mould to poison my sweetheart with Asianesque junk food (e.g. Indomie Mee Goreng with fried egg), said sweetheart has never used the mould to make our breakfasts for fear of encouraging my overpowering penchant for filling the apartment with cutesy stuff.
- I am a blur fuck (begging you to forgive the language but this isn’t a crude phrase in Singapore; it simply describes the status of being generally clueless and unaware, a status in which I typically find myself).
I didn’t notice my hearty eggs until I was just about to pop them into my mouth, thereby potentially forever destroying any evidence of Piers embracing the cutesy culture I have been subliminally forcing upon him since we started dating.
“Whoa!” I said, noticing the special eggs at the crucial last moment, “Oh, hearts!”
I gave Piers my best beam and a hug and then scarpered off to get my camera for evidence collection.
The cutesiness didn’t end there.
After my hearty breakfast, a paper bag magically appeared behind my seat. One moment it wasn’t there, the next it was sitting there, encouraging me to combust in excitement with cute overload.
Like I said, blur fuck. I’m very easy to trick and impress.
The bag was pink and cute and appropriately filled with pink and cute things.
The presents were even more surprising. He’d observed and remembered the things I had liked or shown interest in during the times we’d gone out together.
And then it was time for me to hit the shower and turn my face into something that wouldn’t scare random kids in the streets.
After some makeup mishaps (eyelashes wouldn’t stick no matter what, resulting in me having to go without, not that it’s a huge tragedy since I don’t wear falsies most of the time, anyway, but just thought I should look more “special” on my birthday), we left home late.
Piers had made a lunch reservation at the posh and famous Chewton Glen, a five-star luxury country house hotel in Hampshire.
I had thought to wear a light summery babydolly dress on my birthday but Piers said I should wear something smart for Chewton Glen, so I wore this plain, dark dress which had gotten me through UK immigration without too many questions ask, so to which I’m very grateful.
I matched it with a pretty turquoise necklace I had received a week ago from Freddie, a long-time friend of Piers’ family. Freddie is in England visiting from Spain with his family. You’ll meet them in my next post.
It was a huge surprise because it was my first time meeting Freddie and I wasn’t expecting to receive anything at all.
(You can see the necklace more clearly in the photo before.)
This photo was taken in a Chewton Glen restroom. The place is so posh they call it Powder Room instead of Restroom.
Well, it turned out that not everyone there was poshly dressed so I could have worn my summer frock, but then it didn’t really matter, I suppose. Any dress in my wardrobe is a good dress, unless it’s a bad one, in which case it wouldn’t be in my wardrobe for too long.
The walkway leading from the carpark to the entrance of Chewton Glen:
The view from the entrance:
Our wing in the restaurant:
View from our table:
Chewton Glen is quite a lovely place. The restaurant used have a Michelin Star but it lost it when it lost it’s then hotel manager.
I’m not sure if the star came back or anything but I found the food really tasty, which was surprising since I seldom encounter tasty food in posh fine dining restaurants, which probably tells you more about the lack of fine dining experience in my life than the critical nature of my taste buds.
I wasn’t extremely hungry because of the hearty breakfast I had just a few hours before, so I ordered a soup and a fish.
Actually, I didn’t order a soup. What I ordered was this, without really knowing what it was I was actually ordering:
Barkham Blue Cheese and Chives
And this was what I got:
It was amazingness.
Ridiculously tasty, savoury and milky with a light blue cheese accent, with interesting grainy bits in the thick broth to tease the taste buds.
My main course was called this:
Pavé of Loch Duart Salmon
Asian greens. Thai style lobster broth
The baffling naming conventions in fine dining menus suggest why I don’t fine dine all that often.
Okay, that is a lie.
The truth is my credit card statement prefers listing such entries as “iTunes Store” and “McDelivery” and would get very cross if it saw something along the lines of “A very posh meal with a name you don’t understand which costs the equivalent of your life savings”.
Okay, that is also a lie, although there are a lot of “iTunes Store” and “McDelivery” in my credit card statement.
The real truth is that I have a huge tendency to drop forks or slam cups down on their dainty little dishes too hard or splash sauce on my collar for fun.
At least my body thinks it’s fun, which must be why it does that kind of thing so often.
I don’t find it particularly fun, myself.
But, equipped with one such body, fine dining ceases to be a wise career choice.
Here comes my Loch Duart pavé, whatever that is:
Okay, I just googled it. Pavé means “any of various food items having a rectangular shape”.
I don’t see how that word is necessary for my salmon dish. Does salmon ever come in any shape but pavé, except in Japanese restaurants where salmon head is served, so you get sort of triangularly instead of rectangularly?
I am going to cook Piers a fine dining meal one day. The menu is going to read:
Pavé of exotic luncheon meat
Pain à blanc. Fresh scored cucumbers
That basically means luncheon meat sandwich but I’m sure it’ll become tastier by 20% at least if it comes with a name like that.
Actually, my pavé of salmon was very tasty, sitting in its pool of lobster broth which tasted like lobster bisque, delightfully seafoody without being fishy.
I forgot to take a photo of my dessert. It was:
New Forest summer berries
Cornish clotted cream
Having had quite enough poshness for the day, we wrapped lunch up by way of Piers taking the bill while I scooted off to the bathroom to clean my teeth and put my aligners back in.
After that, it was time for a stroll and some photos.
That is, Piers strolls and I take his photos.
Just kidding. He really hates when I do that.
He’s more agreeable to being photographed if I’m in the picture, too. But it’s always very hard to find a place where I can prop my camera and do a self-timer.
After we’d had enough of despoiling the scenery with our gawking presence, we headed home. Piers apparently didn’t have any other plans for the day which involved kidnapping me to exotic location after exotic location.
So, what happened was that we arrived home, and then he said, “Oh, I need to go back out to get the thing.”
“What thing?” I said.
“The thing,” he said.
“Okay,” I said, although I didn’t know to what he was referring. But he’s always forgetting one thing or another in the car so I didn’t think much of it.
Or he’d have one thing or another to do to the car, like mess around with the stereo or exhaust pipes or carpet or roof or something.
Anyway, a minute later, he came back with his hands full so I had to open the door for him.
His hands were full with this!
Third cutesy surprise of the day.
He had apparently instructed the florist to hide these in his garage while we were out.
And then we had the whole afternoon left to spend.
I decided that it would be fun to give Olive a bath.
Piers had bought a whole load of expensive cleaning and polishing material for Olive and I thought that it would be great to do something useful on my birthday for a change, since I hardly ever do anything useful the rest of the 364 days of the year.
We drove to his parents’ place (more space to wash cars there) where I received more surprises!
Peter and Piper greeted me warmly, wished me a happy birthday and then produced a present. Hot along their heels came Lisa, Piers’ sister, also with a present.
How very sweet and delightful. I’d never felt so touched on any of my past birthdays. I probably would have teared, but then I had already used up my tears when I opened Piers’ birthday presents and read his birthday card.
After all that merriment, Piers decided not to wash Olive after all because it was getting late. But we did clean her windows and clay her. We just skipped the shampooing and polishing and waxing.
I’ve never heard of claying a car but it’s such a wonderful thing.
You have a piece of mouldable clay which you rub all over the car, together with some sprayey fluid.
What it does is that it removes all the bitty dirt and grime that sticks to the car even after shampooing and scrubbing and hosing.
You can feel the difference before and after. It’s really amazing!
Before, when you run your fingers across the car, you can feel spots, like tiny grains of sand, sparsely embedded across the surface. After the claying, the car is smooth as polished glass.
My job was to thoroughly polish each section with a dry polish cloth after Piers was done claying and wiping off as much moisture as he could, so that no water marks would form.
It was really hard work. There was so much surface to cover and I was winded after each section.
But the result was so amazing. Olive looks lovely in the sunlight and reflects sights so beautifully she could easily get a job as a mirror.
Having done something useful, I then felt justified in retiring home for the night to relax in peaceful solitude.
But first, we went grocery shopping. Have I ever mentioned grocery shopping is one of my all-time favourite activities? I must have. It’s so great buying food you love eating.
Dinner was another Piers-cooked meal with wine and TV.
Perfect cap to a great day.
I told Piers this was the best birthday I ever had and he didn’t believe me. Then he said next year has to top this year, and the next the last and so on.
Crazy ang moh, I say, setting himself up for such a task. But if he likes planning them, I like enjoying them!