When we got there we were immediately taken aback by all of Nanna's birthday cards which were proudly displayed on her cabinet. We added to the other 16 (she's clearly a very loved lady) with a 'best Nanna in the world' birthday card (equipped with a Philippe Mario teddy bear on the front).
As we looked out her living room window Nanna chatted about how her friendly little Robin hadn't been to visit for a while, and giggled at how the birds are too lazy to eat the seed off of the fat balls as they'd rather it were loose. With that, Carl and I headed out back (like good little Grandchildren) and filled the tray of the feeder to the brim with nuts and seeds. Within 5 minutes of us leaving the new food a greedy pigeon (the size of a small child) plunked it's fat ass on the ledge and ate half of it. I then spent the majority of the evening clapping out of the window and threatening it's well being. No wonder her little Robin hasn't been to visit - Pavarotti the Pigeon is a pig!
Mama Lynne then took me out to Nanna's little front garden and we oohed and aaahed over her the beauty of her birthday flower basket we'd all got her which was proudly hanging by the front door.
And for good measure, I took a few minutes to photograph lots of Nanna's other lovely flowers - most of which have sentimental meaning. Such as her vibrant Fuchsia which lives in the gorgeous marble flower pot Granddad got her before he passed away.
And this lovely rose bush which is 3 separate colored roses intertwined in one. Nanna picked it as it represents her, Granddad and her son (Carl's Uncle Roy) who passed away suddenly last year. Lynne told me how Roy's red rose bloomed on the 1 year anniversary of his passing. What a beautiful sign that he's still there watching over Nanna and the family. I love special things like that - it reminds me that our loved ones are never gone. They're always with us, even when we can't see them.
(Pssst - Mom and Dad, I hope you noticed the butterfly globe in Nanna's special pot. She loves it and it's got pride of place in the garden. How sweet).
And we giggled at Nanna's little solar squirrel friend she loves (whose binoculars glow at night).
But feeding the birds and looking at all of those pretty flowers obviously made us SUPER hungry. So, we ventured inside for some Chocolate Button Birthday Cake. I love this cake because it always reminds me of the first time I met Nanna and Granddad, 5 years ago on my first trip to England. I was SO nervous (I remember sweating like a pig and desperately trying not to hiccup at an inappropriate time). I'd just sat down on the couch in their living room when Granddad immediately gave me a cuddle and began telling me one of his silly jokes. Nanna hurried in with her little trolley of goodies and offered me a nice cuppa tea and piece of chocolate button cake. I felt so at home and I knew right then they were such lovely people. After all, anyone who has an abundant supply of chocolate button cake must be pretty spectacular.
After cake we spent the evening chatting, telling stories, giggling, munching chocolates and sipping yummy tea. It was lovely, and I feel so blessed to have been able to celebrate her 78th Birthday with her. I think of Joan as my own Nanna and she's truly one of the loveliest, most adorable, women I know. Carl and I love her to bits and are lucky to have her in our lives :)
So this post is to you, my lovely English Nanna (Ya see, I told you you'd be famous after making an appearance on my blog! Hahaha! Now everyone can oogle over your cuteness). We all love you to the moon and back, you bring so much sunshine to all of our lives and we wish you many many more :)
Hugs and Kisses,
Manda and Carl (and Philippe Mario)