A Birthday

by Stephanie Gilmartin in , , , , ,


Sunday was Dan's birthday. Except, one day isn't really long enough for a birthday, so I planned more of a weekend. 

On Friday night we went out for bratwurst then caught the Wayne's World double bill at the

Prince Charles cinema

by Leicester Square. Totally forgot how good it was. Schwing! Dan must have liked it, anyway - he wants to go back for beer and pizza night to see Old School in April. Personally I like the look of the Harry Potter marathon, except you have to dedicate a whole weekend to it.

Saturday morning was a big surprise - I had organised kayaking, on the Thames.  Except it was freezing. And raining. And Dan had a cold.  He did not look impressed when I told him. 

Thankfully, Dan perked up when we got there because his friends Tomo and Fliss had come along too (another sneaky surprise, ha!) and the lovely organisers bought us all hot drinks and Portugese custard tarts because it was so miserable. 

If you grow up in Scotland, though, you go on so many rainy school trips and holidays that you learn to enjoy anything despite the rain.  Borrowing fleeces and waterproof definitely made it easier, and I knew Dan would enjoy it despite the initial moaning. Eventually.

Once you get on the water, it's totally fine.  You're quite sheltered from the wind, you get to wear these weird oven-glove things to keep your hands warm and the tide means you don't have to paddle ALL the way. Which is a relief.

 I love this picture of Fliss. The Kayak London team were really lovely and told us all about the river and its history. It was cool getting to see all the big landmarks from a different angle too.

[all kayaking photos from

Kayaking London

's Facebook page]

After all that exercise we needed some massive pancakes from My Old Dutch on the King's Road. Then we went home and fell asleep for two hours, and were accidentally an hour late for Dan's surprise birthday dinner with his friends. Oops. 

Sunday was even better, because Dan's whole family and two pet dogs came to visit and he had NO IDEA. I made him hang up the washing to keep him out of the way (I was NOT popular for those 20 seconds), then let them all in and got them to sneak up the stairs. The dogs weren't very good at the sneaking part, but it was still brilliant -I've never seen Dan look so confused.

We took the dogs a walk around Greenwich Park then went out for a massive pub lunch. It was a shame it was still raining but I still had a really nice day and I know Dan did too.

[Thank you to Dan's dad John for taking this picture]

Dan's favourite present so far appears to have been his running shoes from his dad - apparently I now have to get up and go for a run whenever Dan wants, even if it's raining. Well, I suppose I did make him go kayaking...

I like our route along the Thames path. The Greenwich Guerrilla Knitters have been out in force, and the further we get the more "yarnbombs" we see. Considering the Thames path is a bit of an industrial wasteland, it does cheer up what would otherwise be a dull route on a rainy day.

[photo from Greenwich Guerrilla Knitter's Pinterest page]

I am ready for a bit of sun now though, please.