Where were you in ’82?

Well, I can’t hide it any longer – today is my birthday. Happy 26th to Me. 

We had friends over for cake on Saturday night, then went down the road to a cozy hotel pub, then back to the house for more good company and some frozen pizza. I think the crowd left around 4 a.m. Leave it to my Irish friends to throw me a good, long-winded party! 

Here is the cake – I’ve been experimenting to see if I could get away with making our wedding cake this fall. I still need some practice with the actual “sponge” part, but it tasted good. Yellow cake, coffee buttercream icing, Nutella, fondant over all, trimmed with shaved chocolate, hazelnuts, and coffee beans. 


Yes, I AM aware that I misspelled “birthday.” Frank was teasingly spelling it out to me wrong as I wrote it and I didn’t even notice that his plan worked! Boys!!! Ah well, it just looks like I spelled it with a Drogheda accent. 🙂 I also followed an old Irish tradition in the baking of this cake and hid a ring and a coin inside the batter. Legend has it that whoever finds the ring will get married and whoever finds the coin will be rich. There are other things you can include (like a thimble for spinsterhood, a matchstick for an abusive husband, a pea for poverty, etc.), but I decided to only bake the nice things into my cake. 🙂 Ha ha. 

It’s a blustery, overcast, chilly grey day for my birthday, so I may just stay inside with a book or the new movies I received as gifts. Or maybe I’ll make myself a hot bath with a Lush bath fizzy and a good cup of coffee. Or I may head out with my CV again, knocking on doors for a job at one of the local pubs or restaurants. 🙂 I should probably do the latter. 

A year ago I was in Williamsburg, VA, on a little vacation following the Baltimore wedding of my friends Annie and Mike (who just had a baby!!! His name is John, but I like to call him John Boy). It was fun and beautiful, but I had massive allergies and I missed Frank. So it’s nice to be here with him this year, even if the weather isn’t quite cooperating. 

Strange to think 10 years ago I was having a Sweet 16 party. Or that 20 years ago I was only 6. I wonder where my life will lead me by the time I turn 36? I imagine lots of things for myself, but am a bit too shy to record them here – I might jinx myself!

In other news, Frank and I’ve been taking some really nice walks lately, by the river, on the beach, through the fields outside of town. Here are some photos from our last jaunt a few days ago with Frank’s dad and the dogs, out near Oldbridge and the Battle of the Boyne site. 

We came upon this huge old manor house, probably 18th Century, derelict, but still solid. If you cut back the trees, it would have a beautiful view of the Boyne River. We decided one day we’re going to buy it and fix it up, like in Grand Designs! This is part of the amazing old kitchen, with tons of ovens built into the walls and a gorgeous brick ceiling. 

Definitely a fixer-upper. 

I couldn’t resist picking a collection of the incredible wildflowers. Now they’re in a vase on the mantel, still looking lovely. 

The fields at dusk. 


2 thoughts on “Where were you in ’82?

  1. Bonnie

    Happy Birtday! I wouldn’t have noticed the cake unless you said something. Hope it does turn out to be a nice day. The pictures are lovely….hard to believe you actually live there.

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