Happy birthday to me….Happy birthday to me….Another year of being Fabulous….Happy birthday dear Me!

My husband both surprised and rather impressed me the other day by revealing that he had given considerable thought to buying me a bottle of Le Labo, Santal 33 perfume for my birthday.

It was a complete and utter surprise on account that
a) he has already purchased me a beautiful vintage emerald and diamond ring and

b) I had never even heard of this relatively exclusive, handmade, celebrity trending ‘must have’ perfume.

Is it remotely possible that my husband is more ‘on point’ than me?
The use of a highly irritating term that has been seriously over-used to the point of it no longer being ‘on-point’ is an obvious irony that I hope you will fully understand.

It turns out that this fragrance is only available from some of the most prestigious of outlets; Harrods, Liberty and Selfridges to name but a few and I was suitably impressed that he had not only ‘considered’ it as a gift but had even gotten to the stages of registering an account with Liberty of London, and actually adding it to his shopping basket before his hesitation and natural reservations about purchasing it set in.

As it was he didn’t buy it and in reality was never going to because he already knows full well that buying me a gift that I have not previously mentioned or specifically chosen for myself, or have never even heard of is likely to be met with the ‘WTF’ or ‘This does not compute’ face:

or that I would perhaps have taken one quick look at its totally un-blingy packaging and assumed it was some “cheap crap from China” and at £125 for 50ml, it is certainly anything but cheap!

Santal 33, Le Labo

Yes, that is right, I am a total nightmare to buy for BUT since I already know this, he still absolutely gets to revel in the bonus points for having thought of it, even though I don’t doubt for one minute that this is indeed why he mentioned it to me and even showed me his shopping basket, but kudos where it is deserved “Well done darling”.

Also, if I happen to come across a sample of it anywhere in the near future and decide that I genuinely like it, then I will fully expect him to make good on his offer.

“Dear husband, I have now officially given this fragrance my seal of approval, please go forth and purchase it immediately.
Your Queen.
P.S. still utterly impressed! “

So, yes I’m more than happy with my gorgeous birthday ring, naturally, since I chose it myself

My new Preciousssssssss!

and my husband is more than happy with the extra gazillion bonus points he has earned for merely having had a genuine, bonafide gift idea of his very own.
He’ll be riding that high for some months to come bless him.

We also took our, now customary, trip to Spain for the week that incorporates my birthday. It has become something of an annual tradition for several reasons:
a) I am a wonderfully deserving though slightly spoilt brat
b) May is a lovely time of year to visit Spain; not too busy, not too expensive and often some of the most clement weather in Spring rather than the overbearing heat of full-on Summer, not to mention that the Bougainvillea is in full bloom at this time of year! That’s just a little ‘in-joke’ for my Bestie!

Also, I might add, MY birthday ‘treat’ of a week in Spain is hardly something that my husband has to suffer to any great degree. He naturally gets to enjoy it too, so it’s not ALL about me.
Mostly, but not all.

This time we returned to Roses in Catalonia. We previously spent a few days there last year and instantly fell in love with it, but we really wanted to get a proper feel for the area this time, especially since we may go ahead and decide to make it our permanent home in a few years time.

We decided to have a look at some property listings during this visit.

Now, I know that you cannot begin to compare bargain French rural properties and what you can achieve for your money in one of the cheapest areas in France to what you will get on the coast in one of the most sought-after areas on the Costa Brava, but even though I fully know there is no possible comparison to be made, my brain just won’t allow me not to comment each and every time.

“Wow, that’s expensive, you could get a 5 bedroomed, detached house with several acres of land for that money back home”

and each time my patient husband will reply like he is tolerantly dealing with some remedial dip-shit

“Yes, but you WON’T get the sea view, the access to all the bars and restaurants within walking distance and all of this” his long arm would sweep a wide arc to simply indicate ‘everything else’.

I don’t know why it falls to him to convince me each and every time of these stunningly obvious points. It’s me that actually desperately wants to move to Spain, he would probably be equally happy living out the rest of his days in sleepy, rural France.

I guess I would love to be able to simply pick up our lovely French farmhouse as it is, plonk it onto a perfect promontory and be blissfully happy, but that is often my problem. I don’t really visit the real world very often, I live in a world of fairy tales and dreams and online searches of only the best and most beautiful things in life.

I don’t factor in the need for the dull and the boring, where to park, where to put the bins, where we will store all our bits and pieces that we rarely use but need all the same.

In my mind, where reality does not really factor very highly, a two bedroom, tiny little house with a terrace and a sea view to-die-for is ample for sipping a morning coffee before bimbling off to the shops or the beach, or equally perfect for partaking of an evening glass of Cava or two before retiring to our neat and fastidiously tidy little love nest.

Naturally, my husband will always shatter the whimsical illusion by saying something like

“Where we will store our bikes or your entire shoe collection for that matter?”

and I will logically have to concede that practicality does have to take somewhat of a precedence over pretence. Not the bikes. I couldn’t give a rat’s arse about those but ‘my shoes’ well, they are a different matter entirely. 

So just how do you move from a large four bedroomed house in France that is full of things that you absolutely love and will absolutely not want to get rid of, not to mention that we have a cavernous barn that is equal to the size of our house that is home to all manner of things, essentially a very, very large shed. How is that achieved without a million pound budget?

Where I imagine we will live
The reality, given our current budget!

 Hmmmmmm… how indeed? Will I compromise on the sea view? Absolutely not! Am I prepared to downsize my possessions, for instance, lose the forty or so pairs of shoes that I never wear and the entire wardrobe of evening dresses that haven’t seen the light of day for at least five years? Don’t be ridiculous!

And therein lies our problem and I’m not even the Hoarder in our family. I’m a positive saint compared to my Mum, my Aunt and my brother!

Oh well, I guess we’ll just need to keep searching for that perfect yet completely elusive property which I suspect means plenty more trips to Spain…….such a hard life! 😉

Right, I’m off to enjoy several glasses of Cava, followed perhaps by several more. We might even stay up past 10.30pm!!!!
Happy birthday to me….. happy weekend to you!

The Virtual Recluse

For no other reason than it made me laugh.





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