Sunday, 29 July 2012

My belated birthday

well not really belated but belated in telling you about it.

So the three of us; me, Rolla and Beth hit London Town. To be fair Rolla was already there but she's never set a foot in Hammersmith before. We hit the Apollo to see Rhod Gilbert in his new show, The Man With The Flaming Battenberg Tattoo. For those of you who don't know about Rhod, his style is epic standup rants about life's minor irritations. His long suffering girlfriend is usually mentioned and their relationship plays a major part of this show. He says anger management has made him a more mellow person. Not! And yes, that is an actual tattoo.

On the Saturday, my actual birthday, we kicked off at Tate Britain and took the boat down the Thames to Tate Modern. Press passes got us into the Damien Hirst Retrospective. 

Like most people I knew about his work. It's difficult to miss some of the more derogatory reviews in the press. The impact of scale and detail is something reviews don't prepare you for. Some of the pieces in the Retrospective are huge and made a lasting impression. It was Lullaby, The Seasons that stood out for me. Four stainless cabinets with mirrored backboards and thousand of hand crafted pills lined up on shelves almost mesmerize you. The mirrors create a kaleidoscope of angles and colours in a display that initially appears formal and precise.

The short walk from Tate Modern took us to the Oxo Tower and my real treat in the shape of Summer Not Afternoon Tea.

Beth had Flower Power with the most gorgeous lavender macaroon. Rolla chose Berrilicious complete with strawberry and yoghurt ice lolly, dunked in white chocolate and sprinkled with dried strawberries. While I had Chocolate Madness complete with a coffee chocolate shot topped with advocaat foam. Each one came with a different cocktail.

Our waiter Mario was delightful and brought me a complementary chocolate ice cream complete with a candle and piped 'Happy Birthday' in chocolate ganache.

Another cocktail later we headed back to the hotel for champagne. As we walked along the Southbank we had an amazing surprise in the, now not so ample, form of Bryn Terfel. It was the closing free concert of Brynfest which formed part of the Southbank's Festival of World Music. It was a little Welsh sing song of 500 choristers and the Cory Band. I really didn't think I'd spend my birthday singing Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau along with Bryn Terfel. Thank you my lovely daughters!

They did say they arranged it just for me. They did, didn't they?