Yesterday, I turned twenty-three. It feels a little surreal to be this age-- probably because so much of my life has been shared online and I distinctly remember having a blog and turning seventeen! This definitely isn't a "where did all those years go!?" moment because that time actually dragged rather a lot, but even so... twenty-three sounds awfully grown up.
My parents are currently away on holiday together, so I had to leave it to people outside of my family to feel those happy birthday vibes. On Saturday I met up with the usual suspects and we had a really fun day out together. It was the day of my homtown's Pride event, so there were many flags in varying rainbow stripes being waved around, lots of colourful outfits being worn, and much celebration and cheer.
I missed the parade as I ran late into town after a bit of a wardrobe crisis, but I saw the tail end of it as I arrived to meet my friends at the train station.
We decided to try out a new restaurant called Bolan Thai, which is upstairs in a small, quiet shopping arcade. The staff were nice and the food we got was absolutely amazing. I was especially into the starters/side dishes of satays, and coconut rice, which was so rich and buttery and delightful!The atmosphere was very relaxed, and even though the place wasn't empty, we felt very much at ease and like we had a fair amount of privacy at our table. They did not rush us to pay the bill or even seem bothered about how long we were sat there for which made such a lovely change from many of the other restaurants we've been to. I would definitely have food at this place again!
After eating our fill of some amazing food, we decided to head over to the Pride festival. It was a little disappointing in terms of content (mainly fairground rides blasting out music far too loudly, some stalls and one or two food vendors) but the LGBT talks on the main stage were interesting. I'd like to go to Pride another year specifically for the talks and joining groups etc, as it's not really a "browsing on a whim" sort of event.
After our walk around the festival, we decided to take some pictures by the river. From here we could hear a singer back at the festival taking to the stage to sing a very questionable rendition of "Teenage Dirtbag". It was distracting to say the least, but we got our pictures done, and not a moment too soon as it suddenly began to pour with rain. We rushed off to the train station, the location of a highly regarded dessert parlour. We each got ice creams and sat talking for a while, until I eventually said that the tension was killing me and I wanted to see what they'd bought me!
I was gifted a macaron print umbrella, a lap throw, and a super soft and snuggly macaron cushion! I am super excited to have these items to brighten things up when the bad weather eventually comes. Look how lovely and vibrant that cushion is!
We went off in search of Starbucks in order to use up some drinks vouchers, but the pouring rain meant that the coffee shops were all full to bursting, so we gave up and made our way to the pub instead. We sat around having drinks, sharing a couple bowls of chips, all of us feeling tired after a long day! We decided to get a jug of water for our table and were instead presented with a single glass.Naturally, we had to take the piss out of this moment.
All too soon it was time for us to head home!
🎂 🎂 🎂
The day of my actual birthday got off to a very early start as I had a job interview first thing that morning. I put on a simple suit (which included a black Bodyline blazer, haha) and set off for the long bus journey. I was interviewed by a panel of three people, then shown around the workplace. I got on with everyone pretty well and felt that I'd really given it my all.
Afterwards, I met up with my partner, grabbed a McDonald's Happy Meal (I was so hungry by this point as the interview started late, and then I got showed round for ages, then had to get my proof of ID documents copied... most of the morning gone!) and went home. My parents called me from Jamaica to wish me a happy birthday, and we chatted for about ten minutes about my job interview, how their holiday was going, and if I was OK with them getting me a t-shirt as a souvenir even though it wasn't really my style! (I told them I definitely want the t-shirt!) I changed out of my interview clothes and into a simple old school coordinate, before it was finally time to open my presents! Many of them were super cute old school accessories, two of which I had to wear immediately! After that, the cake!
I hope it's not breaking the rules, but I actually made several wishes when I blew out the candles! I am already on my way to working towards some of my personal/life goals so hopefully I can make them come true!
We decided to head back into town for a wander around. Sadly, my birthday was mainly overcast and humid, so we were constantly feeling sweaty and uncomfortable. Still, we remained in good spirits, and enjoyed catching up after not having had the chance to since Hyper Japan.
We checked out a couple of record shops. Nothing caught my eye, but my partner found something they wanted at each one, so I decided to treat them as the prices were cheap. They joked with me that it's not customary for the birthday girl to buy other people presents!
After a little shopping, we decided to get some nice pictures of my outfit.
This outfit is so basic but I can't help but love how I look every time I wear this jumperskirt!
I decided to pay the ice cream place another visit so we headed there next. I had the same as last time, a strawberry ice cream cone. We stayed chatting about current affairs and house prices (truly, I am aging) for a little while, had one last wander around the shops, and finally said our goodbyes.
I had such an amazing time celebrating my 23rd birthday, and it completely made up for last year where my birthday didn't get celebrated at all. At the time I convinced myself it was fine, but it wasn't. I deserve to feel happy and important on my birthday! This year, it was wonderful to get two different days out where I felt festive and loved, and I feel so much better for it. Here's to being twenty-three!
I'm going to end with what is, without question, my favourite Instax picture so far.
Thank you so much for reading, and I'll see you next time! ❤