It’s my Birthday and I can cry if I want to….

Tales from the forgotten festive babies…

As I wake-up I instinctively reach for my iPhone to be confronted with a deluge of messages, as to today is actually my birthday. I quickly scroll through replying my thanks and appreciation surveying who actually remembered this year, the absent messages sometimes saying more than those who have sent me an essay of words.

I have mixed feelings about this day, which marks when I first entered the world. Along with the usual issues with getting older bringing you closer to the inevitable end, it’s a feeling of excitement and genuine dread, resulting in a ball of anxious energy that fills my stomach with butterflies and awkward knots. Sprinkled with those odd moments of sadness that tinge your day, you dare not mention for fear of being reprimanded by your friends and family “It’s your Birthday… cheer-up, you should be happy”

As my 30 *coughs* something Birthday falls upon the closing of the year in that strange lull between Christmas and New Year. When most are still recovering from their festive hangover and anticipating the New Year’s celebration, I’m quietly turning a year older.

That reminds me a special mention to all the festive babies, the forgotten few whose special day is often overshadowed by the birth of Jesus. “No I don’t want a joint Christmas and Birthday gift and no you can’t owe me one after you get paid in January and no I won’t be combining my party with the New Year’s celebration and finally no you can’t use that leftover Santa paper to wrap my gift.” My middle name Abiodun literally means being born during the festive period, another blatant reminder from my parents, anyway as usual I have grossly digressed, back to the point.

Christmas wrapping paper not acceptable for birthday gifts..

 

Christmas wrapping paper not acceptable for birthday gifts..

I can’t help but take a retrospective look at the last 12 months events. The highlights include my summer in Asia, finally setting-up my blog and building new relationships. I also think about the things I’m not too happy about, it’s hard not to think of everything I am yet to achieve. In this modern age of social media it’s too easy to measure your own success against the achievements of your peers.

I’m constantly confronted with the statement “by now I should have…..”
Been married, had a small litter of children, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, paid off my student loan, reached my goal weight, registered my nectar card. The list is long and deep, covering a range of topics, which cloud my thoughts on a daily basis. It doesn’t help with the added pressure of comparing oneself to the “modern women”, which includes looking like a 20 year old, while having perfect children, still dressing effortlessly fabulous and thighs that defy the laws of physics. All the while maintaining an amazing career and showing the rest of us you can have it all; I’m talking about you Beyonce!

Whenever I’m feeling this way I think of the Billy Joel song Vienna.
“Slow down, you’re doing fine
You can’t be everything you want to be
Before your time”

However rather than dwelling on the things I’m yet to do, or even may never do I will focus on what is actually within my control. Firstly by asking myself the following:

Three things I have learnt about myself this past year?
Three things I will be doing differently this coming year?

Answers to the above in my next post, now I’m off to eat cake without any guilt, because it is my Birthday and I can if I want to.

Thanks to all my friends and family who despite me do all they can to make this day special.

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Brunch at Hoi Polloi, Ace Hotel

Those that know me well, know I love a leisurely brunch on lazy afternoon, catching-up with friends whilst enjoy good food. On this gloriously sunny afternoon I met with my friend Carina, location Hoi Polloi, Ace Hotel, Shoreditch.

It was my first time visiting Hoi Polloi, though I had been to the Ace Hotel on a number of occasions. The entrance to the restaurant is not the most obvious, as you make your way through a florist or if like me who got very confused the neighbouring bar. Once inside I was delightfully surprised by the spacious yet intimate space. The Art Deco touches, mixed with the soft leather booths and paneled wood, resulted in a comfortable and inviting dining environment. The menu was presented as an old newspaper and our table water is served in old glass milk bottles.

 

However the highlight of the day was the string quartet playing some of the best pop classics, myself and Carina found ourselves pausing in conversation to enjoy the music. I have heard Beyoncé Crazy in Love a million times, but I got to enjoy it as if for the first time and found myself wanting to sing along.

The clientele were what as expected for this part of London; think bearded, clad in denim and ironic take on fashion representative of East London.

I ate stacked pancakes topped off with bacon and maple syrup, undoing all the good work I had done in the gym that very morning. Though there was no remorse as they were wickedly delicious, certainly worth another visit.

Hoi Polloi Pancakes

The staff were friendly and we didn’t feel at all rushed to hurry-up and leave, in fact we could have easily spent the whole afternoon hanging-out and chatting.

 

For more about Hoi Polloi Restaurant visit: www.hoi-polloi.co.uk

 

Hoi Polloi, Restaurant Review