I Must Not Assume There Will Be No More Surprises


It was very rash of me to assume that I would know the entirety of the group at our meal at Lal Quilla last night, and to predict what I would eat and drink.

On our entrance the staff, with their usual warm and friendly greeting, said that someone had telephoned the night before to add two people. We didn’t know anything about that, and in any case, Ian had made the booking. He had a quiet word with Raj and we were whisked to a larger pair of tables, according to the manager so we could spread ourselves out a bit. He presented us with a bottle of Beaujolais, so I did not drink Kingfisher. After a while I received a kiss on the cheek. Elizabeth had joined us. Soon afterwards, Danni and Andy came through the door. We were nine plus Poppy after all.

Finally, as we gathered ourselves to depart, a small cake with two lighted candles advanced towards our table followed by the entire staff group who led the family in singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me.

I’ve no idea why I felt rather muzzy all day. I dozed through a bit of Wimbledon tennis on TV, and managed a little weeding, watering, eradicating a few brambles, and tidying up after Jackie’s work on the rose garden. We took a rest with water on the patio from which I enjoyed

Garden view across Kitchen Bed

This view across the Kitchen Bed with its day lilies in the foreground and verbenas in a hanging basket beyond;

Petunias, geraniums, erigeron

pot planted petunias and geraniums over an erigeron carpet;

Mimulus and feverfew

and self seeded mimuluses and feverfew.

Dahlia and clematis

A dahlia nods to the clematis on the wisteria arbour;

Diascia, geraniums, bidens

 pink discias, red geraniums, and yellow bidens flow over the iron urn at the entrance to the Gazebo Path;

Crocosmia Lucifer etc

while blazing crocosmia Lucifer leads us into the Palm Bed.

rose Special Anniversary

As can be seen from this Special Anniversary rose, I haven’t dead-headed the Rose Garden today.

Clematis and solanum

White solanum and a bright blue clematis stream down from the dead tree at the end of the Brick Path.

This evening we dined on Mr Chan’s Hordle Chinese Take Away with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank tap water.

The moral of this post is that when I say I will report on an outing the next day, I must not assume there will be no more surprises.





  1. What a lovely surprise though! I imagine too many surprises at your advanced age may leave you feeling slightly muzzy headed 😀 And I imagine taking water in that beautiful garden will soon make you feel like a youngster again!! xo

  2. How nice to have a bit of surprise. It seems like a perfect ending to your wonderful birthday celebration. (And Mr. Chan’s for the next day, too!) 🙂
    Seeing the photos of your garden, is not quite like being there, but I suppose the next best thing. Lovely!

  3. I wish I can look out with equal satisfaction everywhere I turn; alas I am not good at tidying after myself. My place always look like I’m working on it with a spade here and an empty pot there; even at midnight.

    1. Me, too, Mary – I always think I am coming right back to the garden & then something else takes me away for days & there the buckets and hoes and wheelbarrow still sit.

  4. Sometimes, when you are at the nucleus of attention, you may feel muzzy! Somehow, all those flowers seem to be aware of your special day.

  5. It sounds like you had a lovely birthday. All the best for the coming year. Your flowers, as usual, are delightful.

  6. Hope you had a very happy birthday day and all weeklong, Derrick! Two candles means you are just a spring chicken!
    I loved the Special Anniversary rose and the brightly colored flowers here. My favorite colored roses are peach and this one is tipped a little darker on the edges.
    I bet we will see a bit of your gathering tomorrow (?) I love seeing Poppy and the others in your family. 🙂

      1. No worries, as we have become accustomed to saying around here! Everyone should “be in the beautiful moments” without a camera sometimes. Sounded like the best of times, with the lovely extra surprise family members joining your festivities.

  7. Happy Birthday from one July baby to another <3 hope it was splendid…I too am supping on a fair amount of water too, ha…. <3 must be the birthday thirst <3

  8. ooooh a birthday? Many happy returns. Am catching up with your posts backwards, so perhaps you flagged this in an earlier one. Anyway, hope it was full of lots of surprises as well as this one.

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