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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Celebrating 55 Years of Life

Another birthday has come and gone and it was a very good day. We had decided to check out the show Bend It Like Beckham. We had loved the movie and had heard great things about the musical. We had also heard that every day you could get front row seats for £15! So we headed to the box office in the morning to see if we could score some decent day tickets, and we did! Now sitting in the front row is a very different experience but it is still a lot of fun and for that price, you can definitely afford to see it again from further back if you want to! So, with the evening sorted, the rest of the day was left to our own planning. I fancied going for a proper afternoon tea so we found this great place, The Wallace Collection, whose restaurant is a this gorgeous courtyard that is flooded with natural light and real foliage yet protected by the elements by a huge sunroof. In fact, you feel as though you are walking back outside when you enter the restaurant. It was the perfect choice for us as we dined on tea sandwiches, scones and jam, and three different mini-desserts. It was all quite delicious, served in a beautiful manner, complete with one single birthday candle and the perfect way to spend the afternoon of my birthday.
The Wallace Collection is quite impressive and is completely free! We wandered through the rooms of this beautiful house taking in the gorgeous and prolific collection of porcelain, paintings, and sculptures. The house itself was a treasure to behold and most impressive were the rooms devoted to the armory collection. Of course, I was thinking about how lovely it was to spend this afternoon with my own knight in shining armor! I am glad that we don't have to battle with these weapons in today's day and age however. 
And then it was time for the show! The curtain was this wonderful display of things that were going to unfold during the show. From the first moment of the show until the very end this was one entertaining, feel good, moving experience! It was a total girl power show too which I loved! So many roles were for young, athletic girls and it was so great to see them celebrate athleticism! The cultural divides that inevitably occur between immigrant parents and their children were at times humorous while equally heartfelt and moving. The depiction of "Posh and Becks"(Victoria and David Beckham for you non-English superstar aficionados) at the end of the show was nothing short of campy hilarity and the lyrics to the songs were often so beautifully poignant you felt touched deep down inside. All in all, a great show to bring young people to, especially girls, but as a jumping off point for discussions about culture, choices, dreams and passions. The taste of Bollywood in the dancing and the music were excellent and deeply reminded us of many things we experienced in India two years ago. We left with a spring in our step and a song in our heart..the best way to depart from the West End of London.
My birthday was great this year. Of course, I dearly miss my parents as I celebrate taking another lap around the sun. Over the weekend we celebrated in a few different ways. Friday night a new friend from church who happens to be a great cook came over and showed me how to make chicken pot pie. The crust was epic and this was the biggest pie I'd ever seen... very, very delicious as well. She also whipped up a lemon drizzle cake that was melt in your mouth yummy!
Another group of friends came over on Saturday and I set the table and prepared a nice meal and it was so good to have people gathered around our table. Another couple had us over for dinner on Sunday night and we celebrated with chocolate sundaes, singing and a candle to blow out! And yesterday was just one good thing after another. It was good to share the day with Doug and Tanner.
Tanner update: The vet called yesterday and we were so relieved to know that they are not recommending any more surgery. That is great news because we were not going to do any anyway. They are saying that it seems he's contracted the most rare of problems...a muscle inflammation that they think they can treat with oral steroids. We were so relieved and are willing to give this a try. I am not sure any of us can stand that cone for much longer. The wound from the biopsy is not healing all that well since he keeps knocking the scab off even with the cone on so we'll see what they say about it on Thursday. Other than being a bit bored by not being able to exercise, he remains our loving, loyal companion.
The weather remains mild and lovely. No major rain storms for a couple of weeks and temperatures still quite warmish for autumn. The European time change is Saturday. So far, there is a lot more day light here than there was in Stockholm by now so all in all, the coming winter does not feel overly daunting just yet!
I've kept up with the running and so far am finding some rhythm in it. It's still pretty tough at times but I like the program and I like the women. I'm pleased that I've stayed with it.
I feel very thankful for my life. Doug and I are enjoying life in London with all of the many fun things to do, the church is filled with lovely folks and a great spirit of service and hospitality and our dog remains our faithful companion. I don't love all that comes along with getting older but it beats the alternative and for this I am very, very grateful.