comments 24

Happy Birthday, Lovely Daughter #1

cakeMy baby was fifteen years old yesterday!

I took her shopping in Brighton for a present to celebrate.

Now both Lovely Daughters are pretty unmaterialistic and this is especially true for LD #1. I wanted to buy her something really nice, because she hadn’t wanted to have a party this year.  She has rarely enjoyed parties in the past, as big crowds are not her thing.

However, it was really hard to get her to like anything she saw.  We saw lots of chunky jumpers, and some thinner sparkly ones, but unlike LD #2, she prefers layers.  What we really want is an All Saints outlet in Brighton…  although we would never actually buy anything from it, as it’s far too expensive.  However, we like to get their clothes second hand on eBay: graphic T-shirts for LD and thin drapy cardigans for me.  Their leather jackets are beautiful too but completely out of our range, even second hand.

Talking of leather jackets, LD was slightly less negative about a pretty little leather jacket we saw, concentrating only on the problems with size as opposed to an outright No.  They didn’t have her size, so we were going to have to guess it and order it into the shop.  I said that if she put together all her birthday money from grandparents, and from my sister, and all the money she’d saved by not having a party, it would be do-able.  But she still wasn’t able to say yes!

We went to have lunch in Browns while we thought about it.  It was mad in Browns.  You can see why, as you can have a delicious hot dog lunch in a beautiful environment for just £8.  LD had the fish cakes, because there was neither a Margherita pizza or a Fiorentina pizza on the menu – although at home LD is a brilliantly diligent eater, when we go out if the menu doesn’t include any of these three things, we might as well not bother going inside!   Browns was good, quick, friendly service.  The only thing is that you are so squashed into the table next to you, and the tables themselves are tiny, and covered with adverts for different offers and menus, which is a bit stressful when you are trying to eat something messy like a hot dog, and also reaching over to eat the rocket off your LD’s lunch.

We had a lovely talk about school over lunch and she’s been thinking hard about what she wants to do with her future and how to get there.  I think and hope that one of the consequences of me enjoying my life more is that I am putting less (sub-conscious) pressure on her and so making her more relaxed and able to talk to me.  It wasn’t so good for her before when I was more tense 😦

After lunch, we went round the cute store.  LD liked the things inside, but didn’t want any of them… so back we went to the jacket shop and explained that she would like to order the out of stock item.

Shop assistant had a brainwave and said – “I’m sure I put one of those on the mannequin this morning!”  We held our breath, as there were several similar jackets in the shop, but none of the exact design and size LD had liked.  And lo and behold, it was the very jacket, the last jacket in the shop.

When we got home, I looked on the website and it had totally sold out. So we really did get the last one available!

This afternoon, her boyfriend turned up at our house with a big chocolate cake he’d made.  Lovely Daughter #2 came into my room a bit later and said, “It’s a good thing I didn’t choose the Sully onesie!”  Monsters Inc was the only film they watched repeatedly together as children.  They just couldn’t get enough of it.  It was clearly a formative influence, as Lovely Daughter #2 bought herself a Monsters Inc onesie last week.  After a bit of deliberation, she decided to go for the Mike one.

As my two children don’t talk to each other much, I can only assume that Lovely Daughter #1’s present from her boyfriend, a Sully onesie, was a total coincidence.  But how strange the things that bind you together as a family, even from way back.

This evening, it rained (again) and I was grateful for my woodpile.

I also decided to make this pumpkin soup:


I added a stock cube to this recipe and also I couldn’t get 1kg of pumpkin into my pan.  So I did the same thing with 750g.  I was attracted to this recipe after my disaster with roasting the pumpkin revealed that it was quite a watery thing.  I thought the carrot and celery would add a bit of beefy spice, which it did.  It was really tasty.

After a week of eating out, I need to lose some weight!  So I have a feeling it is going to be soup for lunch for the rest of this week…



  1. Thank you for trying my recipe:D I’m glad you liked it, actually you did the right thing by adding beef cube. I used to add one, but now I switched to vegan versions for all vetegable soups. Hope you had a good weekend!

    • I’ve found that usually veg stock is just as good but I only had beef!

      Thanks for the lovely recipe. I searched several on WordPress before I found yours. The best thing about blog recipes is they have been tried out by real people and tend to work.

  2. Happy birthday to your daughter! It sounds like you had a lovely day together and were able to connect nicely as well. I am both excited and scared about the teen years.

    Thanks also for the link to the recipe. I love pumpkin and we still have 3 fresh pumpkins left over from Halloween.

  3. It’s such an amazing feeling to get the last of anything that’s available, so I can imagine this jacket will be a treasured favourite for a long time to come! Very impressed with the boyfriend’s cake efforts, such a sweet gesture. Sounds like you had a really nice time for her birthday 🙂

    Try not to dwell on what was, you’ve come a long way and I’m sure that period has already been forgiven &
    forgotten by the Lovely Daughters.

    • He is a very sweet boy and she has excellent taste in a partner!

      Thanks for the birthday wishes and I think you are right – the more positive going forward, the more we can make a different and more open life for ourselves.

  4. Happy Birthday to your daughter on Her Birthday Denise. You two seem to have a very tight bond,one I am sure you appreciate.

    • You are right about a bond. We had a very tight bond when she was little but seemed to lose it after the age of 9 or so. Maybe it was too intense. She was more aware of her dad dying, being the older of the two. She always understood more than most children of her age. Maybe being so close and feeling me so close around her was a burden and she needed her own space.

      It doesn’t mean that the bond isn’t still there though. We had a really special time when she was little and that will always be part of us.

      Thanks for your good wishes 🙂

  5. Happy Birthday to LD#1! Sounds like a lovely day and it is really so true that when we are calmer and more relaxed (because we are happier!) our children do pick up on this and open up more.

    Great about the jacket, love it when that happens, your daughter must be delighted!

    So nice to be able to share the everyday lovely things in life and make the most out of them…lunch with your daughter, delicious pumpkin soup and a wood fire to sit by on a cold, rainy November evening. Moments of bliss to savour for the simple joy that they bring 🙂

    • I really value being able to record these little pleasures here in my blog and to be able to share with so many lovely people.

      Thanks for your birthday wishes, and for always being there.

      Big hugs.

    • Browns used to be THE place to take your parents when they came to visit at Uni.

      Very soon I am going to BE that parent!

      You can so easily see why it’s successful.

    • I told her, you’ll be wearing this into your twenties.

      Or if she’s not I will 🙂

      Her boyfriend is so sweet to have baked her a cake. I used to worry (when do I not worry?) that she’d have difficulties with relationships because of not having any role models to base upon, but I think she’s doing just fine. More sensible than me!!!

  6. It sounds like you and your daughter made some special memories! Did you bake the cake? It looks great and very yummy! Happy belated birthday to your daughter. By the way, I love the puzzle piece trim…I’m a big time puzzler!

  7. Absolutely love shopping in Brighton. After living there for a year learnt my way around the lanes pretty well, near the GBK restaurant there is a particular reddy brown dingey looking second hand shop that used to stock tonnes of allsaints clothing. Not sure if ever saw leather jackets but I managed to get a few bits from there and reasonable prices!

    • I love that area around the GBK restaurant (this is a landmark with the girls as well – although it’s a shame the colour changine wall has gone). I would never have known about the red-brown shop – I will defintely check it out.

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