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Days to remember

Starry night by Juskteez Vu
Photo by Juskteez Vu
This weekend, under a bright, starry sky, I sat with friends beside the fire bowl in my garden, hugging a glass of bubbles as my birthday celebrations started early. Monday was the actual day I turned 21 again, and because friends and family insisted that I shouldn’t work on such a momentous occasion, I wiled away the unstructured hours with my dear friend Sophie in London, taking in exhibitions and nibbling on Japanese delicacies. It was such a joy to slow the clock, get off the wheel of our crazy schedules and catch up properly. 
The half century feels the right time to step back for a second or two, before starting to cook for my next round of birthday celebrations, when family and more friends will come round for tapas, ribollita, a favourite red wine from a friend’s organic vineyard in Provence, and some of Patricia Michelson's La Fromagerie cheeses. Cheese is my weakness – ever since living in Paris a decade ago, I’ve loved great sourdough bread, unsalted butter and cheese such as Saint-Marcellin. Perhaps I'll also serve some dried black figs which come wrapped in vine leaves, as they look amazing on the board and go beautifully with goats' cheese especially. 
Nourish cheese by Jane Clarke
Taking a moment to savour good times with those we love is something that shouldn’t be reserved only for birthdays, but occasions like this give us a great way of marking the years and making new memories with those close to us. So, happy birthday, happy together day, happy ‘Well, that wasn’t so bad’ day to us all. Let’s celebrate.


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