Nov 23rd

My browser’s home page is default to Google and I stay signed in on it all the time. When I opened Firefox yesterday, I was greeted by this lovely surprise. Big brother much? Not really. I have a Google profile so they must have taken the date from there. Anyway, this is cool.

So yes, it was my birthday yesterday. Thank you to every one who sent me birthday wishes and greetings over on Facebook (which exploded with the most number of notifications I have ever received!), phone, email, sms and other media. It was truly exceptional.

I contemplated taking the day off, but there was just so much work to do that I can’t afford it. Besides we did just have a long week off so the backlog is quite considerable. Also I didn’t want to deny my colleagues the opportunity to embarrass me with a cake, flowers and their singing “Happy birthday”. This cake, I heard, was quite good. I didn’t get to taste it this year but glad that my colleagues did.

I received a nice bouquet of white lilies and pink roses but had no time to take a photo of it. If it’s not too wilted, I will take a photo when I get home tonight. I also received 4 separate roses, different colours too! from Maria, Waruni, Jezzel and Edelyn.

Since it was my birthday, someone else had to take photos. It was Juvy’s turn this time. This is me with Scott, Katy and Christophe as we waited for the cake-cutting. Tim got stuck at the reception area and we were waiting for him to join us.

And then there he was, gave me the bouquet and everyone sang me a happy birthday song. At least this year they didn’t ask me for a speech! I mean, seriously, what do you say in times like these anyway? So everyone had a slice of cake, I think, I wouldn’t know since Tim and I headed out to lunch soon after this.

When I got in in the morning, Tim wished me a happy birthday then asked if I had lunch plans. I said no and he asked if I would like to go to lunch with him. He’s my boss, and he does not like having lunch alone, so I said yes. Plus it’s my birthday. I had no idea where we were going but he was driving, in his E63 AMG, and I was just the passenger. He took us to the Jumeirah Beach Hotel so I assumed it was a pub lunch at Dhow and Anchor, which is nice in so many ways. however he steered me towards the all-day dining area at Latitude, which is also a very nice place.

He asked for his reservation for 2 and we were guided to our table. The table was set for 6. Hmmm. I assumed we were on the table for 2 right next to it but the waiter said “Your reservation is for 6, right?”. Gotcha! Tim tried to downplay it but I already realized that there were other people joining us. But I had no idea who they were so the surprise wasn’t ruined.

We decided to move to the terrace area since the weather was quite lovely. We found a setting for 6 and settled in. As Tim and I were talking about stuff, as you do, the rest of our party started marching in one by one, each one carrying a single rose for me. Surprise! You betcha! Maria came in first, with a red rose followed not long after by Waruni with a yellow rose. Jezzel came in after with a peach/red rose and lastly, Edelyn with a pink rose. Of course. This is us enjoying our lunch out.

These girls are very good at keeping a secret. Maria and Edelyn said bye to me after I cut the cake and didn’t give away any hint at all that Tim had roped them into a surprise lunch.

Waruni would not have said anything as well and kept the surprise. Jezzel apparently did not know until the very last minute that she was in on this so even she was surprised.

It was all because of this man. Tim orchestrated the whole thing. I’m beginning to think he is taking the whole business of surprising people on their birthday a little too seriously. He set up a massive surprise for his son’s 21st birthday last week, which included me having to create a dummy flight e-ticket! It’s all good. Very much appreciated of course.

So apparently while Tim was trying his best to distract me, these girls were hanging around the lobby of the hotel, waiting for their cue to come out and surprise me. I had to leave my camera in the office and they brought it with them. Naturally that meant impromptu photoshoot!

I brought the wrong lens for this occasion, kit lens only, so it was difficult for them to get crisp shots as the aperture only went up to f/5.0.

Tim also arranged for the hotel staff to bring out a cake for me. So sweet. They came out singing happy birthday and my back was turned to where the sliding doors were, so I thought there was another birthday celebrant behind us who was getting surprised. But no, it was for me.

It was wrong timing actually because we had already gone out to get our desserts and ordered our coffees when they brought the cake out. So I had it boxed up and I took it home to my kids. The dessert spread was alright, they had lots of petit fours, cakes, there was even ice cream!

I want one of these at home! With a steady supply of fresh strawberries, pineapple chunks and marshmallows on sticks.

At the end of the meal, we were all completely full and had no thoughts of having dinner afterwards. Or breakfast, or lunch. The girls piled into a taxi while Tim and I waited for his car. While we did, one of the concierge staff chatted Tim up about the upcoming rugby 7s. And then it was back to work for the rest of the day, which flew by very quickly.

My husband made spaghetti last night. That’s his cooking quota for the year all used up. We had some ice cream as well and tasted the cake from the hotel, which was amazing by the way. Mango cream with very spongy cake layers and very light whipped cream. I hope there’s still some left when I get home tonight.

So that was my birthday. Next weekend, I think, my sister and I will have a joint celebration. her birthday is coming up in 4 days and I NEED to finish her cardigan.

ETA: 3 posts in one day…must be a record for me.

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