Saturday, 23 April 2011

Happy Birthday to me!

Today is my birthday.  It has been a very nice birthday, complemented by the unbelievable weather we've been having.  Today it was 28 degrees centigrade (that's 82 degrees Fahrenheit).  I'll just remind you folks that it's April, not August.  We've also had not a drop of rain since I can't remember and the ground is dry enough to just blow away.  TLH said he'd heard something on the news the other day about the reservoirs only having 80% of the water they should have at this time of year, so unless we get some persistent downpours soon, it looks like we're heading for another hosepipe ban within the next few months.

Anyway, this year I didn't buy myself any fancy presents, unlike last year when I took my saved up pennies to London and became the proud owner of a Mulberry Bayswater handbag.  I'm currently saving up for a new saxophone but as that's likely to be a four-figure sum, it's going to take me a little while to get there.  But TLH did give me a long sleeved specialist running top and a couple of books off my Amazon wish list - 'Just Kids' by Patti Smith and 'One' by David Karp.  And my lovely friend Sam brought me a bunch of yellow lilies.  I know some cards have got caught up in the post, what with us all being unable to move for bank holidays round here, but the ones I have received have been funny and lovely.

However the most exciting thing we did today was to buy a new car!!  Unfortunately not as a present for me, more's the pity, but as a main commuting car for TLH.  The cost of the petrol consumption on our old Range Rover has been killing us for the past few months and we've been debating replacing it with something newer and far more economical. But then the contract he's been working on has been extended, possibly until the end of the year, and while the contract was only a few months, it was possible for me to exist without the use of a car, but this has started to get old now, and there's places I'd like to go that I just can't get to using public transport.  So we started thinking about getting a second car, one that TLH could use that would be small, efficient and economical, and I'd get the Range Rover back.

We umm'd and ahh'd, and thought about and discarded almost as many cars as you could think of and then, for some reason, at the beginning of the week we started talking about a Smart car.  You know the ones - little upright 2-seater jobbies that have been around for a few years now but are still iconic and cool.  We did some research online and discovered they're made by Mercedes Benz and although you don't see many of them for sale secondhand, there were quite a few available at Mercedes Benz World at Brooklands, Weybridge, which is only about 20 minutes drive from us.  So yesterday we decided to drive over there, primarily just to see if TLH could fit in one - he's over 6 feet tall, so being able to fit is a priority.

Mercedes Benz World is the swankiest car showroom I've ever been to - it's definitely a place for petrolhead boys.

They have a museum onsite, as well as a skid pan, a test track and an off-road circuit, and the place was heaving.  I presumed it was full of man-boys using the driving experience gift vouchers given to them for Christmas, still they looked like they were having fun, spinning their cars around at high speed on tarmac slickened by spraying water.

Anyway, we found that, much to our surprise, TLH fitted comfortably behind the wheel.  In fact, the little car was positively Tardis-like inside.  A tiny boot but big enough to take a week's shopping.  Little hidden away storage compartments.  We came back home and thought about it some more and decided next stage was a test drive.

So back we went to Brooklands again this afternoon, where TLH had arrange to test drive a neat little black turbo-charged number.  And, yes, we bought it!  We get it next Saturday and then we'll be bombing about all over the place in it.

This is it - TLH insisted on taking a picture of me in it.  You'll see why there's not many photos of me in this blog, I just don't take a good picture.  But just concentrate on the car instead:

Cute car, huh?

After this excitement, we took ourselves off to my favourite Thai restaurant of all time - the Rum Wong in Guildford.  The food here is utterly delectable and it's a very popular restaurant.  They have a room at the back where you can sit on the floor and recline on triangular cushions, eating off low tables, but we sat in the main area.

It's always so hard to choose what to have when everything on the menu is just so yummy.  But we started off with chicken satay and pork wontons which I forgot to photograph, but I remembered with the rest of the food we ordered (although we'd eaten half of everything before I did remember).  We had:

Moo Yang Nam-Pung.  Barbeque pork marinated in honey, soya sauce and sesame seeds.

Pad Thai.  This is the traditional dish of Thailand and is fried noodles with bean sprouts, ground peanuts, chopped salted turnips, eggs and chicken.

Talay Pud Namprig Pao.  Prawns, scallops and squid sauteed in sweet chilli sauce, garnished with crispy Basil leaves.

Ped Yang.  Special roast duck served off-the-bone with soya sauce, pickled ginger and fresh cucumber slices.  I didn't bother photographing the small bowl of jasmine rice.  It was a bowl of white rice.

Yum yum.

We are now home, royally stuffed.  I don't think I can get off the sofa to stagger up to bed.  And I don't want to think of all the calories I've just consumed, but I suppose I can always run them off tomorrow.  And if you believe that....


Anonymous said...

Many Happy Returns Mrs J - it was Lenin's birthday yesterday (and the real Lenin too she tells me), and Her Madge the day before, so it is obviously a very select time to have a birthday.

One of my neighbours has a Smart Car - in fact she has just replaced it with a new one so she obviously likes it.

OmegaMom said...

Happy happy bday! And what a cute little car! I've been eyeing Smart Cars for a long while as a scoot-around-town idea.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday! Hope the day was everything you'd hoped for - Smart car and all!