So two days on, and two days into my thirty-third year, what did I get for my birthday. Curiously all food and drink related. I got a stove-top espresso maker and cups, a juicer (which if handled rightwrong) spits chunks of orange back out of you and into your eye 😉 and, the curiously entitled Hairy Bikers Cookbook. No, I am neither a hairy biker, or have a thing for hairy bikers. They are two cooks (definitely not chefs) who love visiting foreign parts finding out about the history, the culture, and the food – most importantly the food – and then cook it. I shall try one of their Romanian recipes at the weekend…

Oh, and of course I also had that birthday present to myself, the piccolo 🙂 and a delightful altered book from Helen. I haven’t studied it fully yet, and I have a horrible feeling that when I do I shall not be intelligent enough to understand. But it is a beautiful and powerful item to behold – the various photos simply do not do them justice. Thank you Helen. Now when did you say your birthday was? Is LibraryThing absolutely up to date with all purchases?

Yesterday my new 1GB memory card arrived for my camera. Which reminds me of something else I must do … but, I digress. Then today, Vanilla Ninja’s fourth album, Love and War arrived (actually released on my birthday). Now a three-piece rock band, they are as good as, if not better, than ever. I’m not sure which is my favourite song yet. The fact is they are all damn good. 😉

Actually on my birthday, I had an enjoyable evening with friends. Caroline, of car-share fame, cam round, as did other Bicester locals, Stacy, and Lucy and her boyfriend, for birthday drinks and deserts and the First Annual Bicester Sloe Gin Festival. Only two entries this year: an Otmoor vintage from Lucy and Andy, and possibly the last Blissford vintage from myself. No winners, as they were both equally good, although both different again from any other sloe gin I have drunk. Every bottle seems to be unique.

Less than a month now before my holiday and Venice. Can I finish my novel before I go? 8,500 words or thereabouts? Vote now. You decide…