Monday, July 04, 2011


Happy Independence Day, United States. As ever, I imagine you've been celebrating my birthday with fireworks and barbecues. Hope you had fun.

Above are the lovely flowers that my department gave me on my (have I mentioned this before, Fran?) last day of work.

On the same day, this wonderful array of gifts for Unborn Grandson arrived from Dianne of A Month of Sundays - - who with amazing generosity sent them all the way from Colorado. All hand-made and beautiful. She had created them, and a pink set, for her potential grandson/granddaughter, who turned out to be the most beautiful granddaughter. So these things in "boy"colours have come to Daughter 1. Aren't bloggy people so kind?

Here is Daughter 1 admiring the shawl, or as Dianne calls it, afghan.

And the lovely quilt.

Son-in-law models the cute hat.

Where are we in these pictures? We're having afternoon tea in the Roxburghe Hotel in Charlotte Street. Do we do this a lot? No. This is the view from the window beside our table.

When I was a girl, I went to school near this hotel and used to pass it every day on my way to a long, boring bus journey home. As I trudged past, hungry and tired (cue violins...) I used to see ladies sitting by the window having afternoon tea. And I thought: when I grow up I'm going have nothing to do but to sit there doing that.

And of course it never happened. Until Saturday, when Daughter 2, home for the weekend from London, had summoned the troops to foregather there to celebrate (slightly early) my 59bth birthday.

Another view out of the window, on to Charlotte Square with its Georgian architecture. This is part of Edinburgh's New Town ("new" as in built between 1760 and 1830).

The square has gardens in the centre. Look! Sunshine! It was actually quite hot.

Here's Daughter 2 with my mum.

And with her dad.

Son and his beloved.

Daughter 1 with hers. Grandson is due in two days now! I wonder if anyone's told him.

The afternoon tea was rather good. Not perhaps healthy. But delicious.

We managed to eat an impressive amount of it - though did have to admit defeat eventually. However, not before Son had popped a final, thumb-sized ├ęclair into his mouth. "It's just like eating a big vitamin pill," he declared.

Thank you so much, family - and particularly to the world's greatest organiser of celebrations, darling Daughter 2. Now, alas, she has returned to London with a dose of tonsillitis. I do hope she feels better soon.


  1. I wish I was back in Edinburgh -what a lovely treat!

  2. What a delightful afternoon! Happy Birthday!

  3. Sounds like a jolly time was had by all! Happy 59bth. b'day! Foiled, here, by unexpected early closing of P.O. But late is better than never... Dianne came through in style!

  4. Belated birthday wishes....looks like you had a wonderful time.

  5. Happy birthday Isabelle, so glad you had all your family together. Looking forward to more glad tidings...and photos.

  6. Looks like a great time was had - and a super tea - by all. Have they decided on a name yet for the baby, are they waiting to see what he looks like? My sister cahnged her son from Timothy to Jonathon when he arrived because she said he didn't look at all like a Timothy!

  7. Forgot to say, Happy Birthday!

  8. A belated happy birthday, to you.
    afternoon tea is certainly a feast worth giving up a diet for, at least once.

  9. Oooh, what wonderful gifties from Dianne! Happy Belated Birthday -- I love how we do fireworks for your birthday -- nothing that exciting ever happens on my birthday. I'm so happy for you that all the children were home. Can't wait to see that new little grandson!

  10. Very happy birthday - what a lovely occasion. Is Edinburgh a traffic-free zone? Just look at those empty streets.

  11. I love the afternoon tea - what a great way to celebrate your birthday! Happy Birthday!
    And we are all waiting for the birth announcement, of course....SO exciting!

  12. i KNEW i was forgetting something - Happy Birthday to you!

  13. Thanks for taking us along to the family feast! Sharing this way is delicious, and completely calorie free. Yum!

  14. Many Happy Returns, and thanks for sharing your pics and cakes with use! LOL ♥

  15. Belated happy birthday. How wonderfully scrummy it all looks, including your family!