• Marie Bateson

A Lockdown Birthday

My husband turned forty yesterday. FINALLY. I turned forty in October 2019, so I've been waiting five long months for him to no longer be able to say, "Well, I'm still in my thirties, so..." at every opportunity.

Needless to say, forty is a pretty big one, as far as birthdays go. Coronavirus cancelled all the plans I'd had for celebrations, the bastard, and so I spent the days leading up to his birthday scrambling for ways to make hanging out at home with his family feel like a celebration. All I can say is, thank goodness for online video chats.

We started the day by having breakfast with his family, who are in Sweden and Australia. It's funny that it's taken a global crisis for us to set up things like this - so simple and yet such a lovely way to start the day. Sweden and Australia still aren't under a lockdown so when we recounted the highlights of our week so far - going to the grocery shop and taking the recycling out - I'm sure they found it as fascinating as Win apparently did.

After we'd finished our French toast and said goodbye to his family, Daniel got a workout in, showered and had another video date with two of his best friends while the kids and I prepped for his birthday celebration. We spent the next few hours decorating his cake, making cards, painting a big banner, hanging up balloons and setting up for a BBQ lunch upstairs on our terrace. At least the sun was out!

At 1pm, we popped open a bottle of cava and started the BBQ, but not before introducing Daniel to his guests of honour:

You know you've gone proper lockdown loco when you invite life-size dolls of England's royal family, a stormtrooper and an inflatable shark to put around the table for lunch.

At 3pm, our Valencian crew all joined in singing Happy Birthday to Daniel and then we played a giant virtual game of beer pong together. I had to let Daniel win - it was his birthday, after all.

Next up was a game of mini-golf, where each successful hole won him a clue as to the location of his present.

He really wanted the present we bought him, but honestly, it's like the ultimate irony considering we're under lockdown.

It wasn't exactly an ideal birthday but definitely one to remember... and a very good excuse to have an enormous party when this nonsense is all over. Happy 40th, Daniel - there's no one else I'd rather be under house arrest with! xx

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