My birthday was yesterday, and it turned out to be quite a nice day.
I had trouble getting myself out of bed in time to make it to the flea market at Vanves. Many of the stallholders were packing up as I was strolling around, but I did get there in time to pick up a few things (mainly for others), but including a 5-euro enameled pitcher, just the color I've been wanting, to use as a vase. And then my friend Carole very conveniently bought me a lovely sunny bouquet for my birthday, so it got put right to use!
My parents sent me a lovely card, which you can see there; and my friends at work bought me TWO birthday cakes. I didn't get a photo of the pink one, which we enjoyed with champagne at work on Friday, but here is the one my friend Abby brought me:
I mean, I feel it's far too chic to cut into!! How amazing is it?!
My boss bought me a box of macarons from Gerard Mulot -- 24 caramel. This stems from a joke regarding the macarons he buys each year for our kick-off-the-year representational party, where we invite our contacts to start off the school year -- known as the rentrée here in France. He carefully chooses the flavors he wants, and the first year, said order excluded caramel macarons, which are my favorite. I complained of discrimination, so on my birthday he brought me a box exclusively of macarons (evidently the lady at the shop, when he asked for this, said "ONLY caramel?" in disbelief). It's a sweet and lovely gesture and means you can share with abandon, because you don't have to worry about others eating all of your favorite flavor -- your favorite flavor will still be there!!
Then some friends of mine from work treated me by gathering together in my neighborhood last night before Marco and I were going out for birthday dinner. This was especially meaningful, as I hadn't mentioned my birthday to any of them ahead of time -- they only found out the prior day at lunch. Because, of this group of five, we had just celebrated the birthday of one December 19th, the second was December 25th, and I just feel guilty mentioning/expecting to be celebrated so soon after the holidays when everybody is partied out; I didn't want to make it feel compulsory, so I hadn't mentioned it. But because my boss got together this celebration for work on Friday, of course they found out. Next thing I knew, one had insisted that we get together for drinks, so they came to my neighborhood and we shared a couple of bottles of champagne ... and they arrived bearing gifts besides! (A way to make me feel additionally guilty -- I was just so touched they were taking time out of their Saturday to come my way.) So that was very very sweet, and really touching.
Then Marco and I went for dinner, to l'Ecailler du Bistrot, for seafood. We had some wonderful oysters to start, and then each of us had a half a lobster for dinner. The bizarre thing, to me, was that the restaurant didn't distribute the bibs we get used to in the States, and the whole thing made me want to bring Marco on vacation to Boston and Maine. We had a simple burgundy that was nice.
My nieces called to wish me happy birthday, we skyped, and of course Facebook and email brought well wishes from near and far.
So, a lovely birthday it was, and now I guess I'd better go see what that elegant cake looks like inside! Purely disinterested research, I assure you!