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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Hand-madeToday's post brought with it another two birthday cards. The first was handmade by the sender, is very pretty, and arrived in an envelope crafted from arty home-made paper, which clearly took a lot of effort and thought. The second was bought in Morrisons and contained a pound coin. Which one did I prefer? You decide.

But muchos thankos to Carol & Weevil for the kind thought. The stalking school would be proud of you both. Although you're clearly well behind a certain someone who sat opposite me last night and produced recent photos he'd taken of Shotley Gate Village Store.

Anyhoo, having made my fortune on the birthday gift horses yesterday afternoon, Lisa and I set about perusing the online menu at Frankie & Benny's in preparation for our night out. Unfortunately I defy anyone to click on that link and not then spend hours playing with the little blue balloon which floats up the screen every few seconds. Needless to say we were fighting over control of the mouse for some time, and ended up being late. But on the bright side, we knew what we wanted to eat.

So we headed off into Ipswich to meet Crash n Donna. Unfortunately we also met hordes of Ipswich Town football fans heading for a home match, meaning it was impossible to park outside the restaurant. After driving around in circles for ten minutes, we took the decision to park in a nearby car park which charges £2.50 for up to 5 hours. Except, as the man on the gate cheerfully told us, when there's a football match on, when the price goes up to £3.50. But fortunately it was my birthday, so Lisa paid.

At Frankie & Benny's we met our fellow revellers, which included a guy called Steve, who'd come all the way over from Ireland just for my birthday meal. I think. Crash had spent the day shopping, and was planning to give me one present per course - a plan which lasted for about two minutes, before his resolve crumbled and he handed me the lot before the starters arrived.

The first gift I received was a Birthstone Fairy for the month of July. It contains a ruby, and promises to bring me "love, good luck and happiness". You can't ask for much more for 49p. And you can see how pleased I was, by the photographic evidence on Crash n Donna's blog.

The Ideal GiftSure enough, I was soon blessed by immense good fortune, when I found myself being handed a garden gnome and a pair of socks. The socks feature this fetching design, and as you can see, they're the ideal gift. No, really, it says so. Personally though, I don't feel they're anywhere near as ideal as the eye massaging glasses I received two minutes later. I'm not sure if they've undergone the entire range of exhaustive clinical trials, but I clearly look good in them, and if I ever want to give myself a headache at short notice, they should come in handy.

So thanks guys. My cup runneth over. And I'll let you know how much I get for it all on Ebay.

After enjoying an evening of broken ribs and breasts (or pork & chicken if you prefer), we headed off to The Plough, where we shouted at each other from a distance of 18 inches, and wondered why we'd chosen a pub with a live band. I'm reliably informed that Mads had been there that night, but fortunately for her she'd had the good sense to have left by the time we arrived.

So that was yesterday. Today's the day for getting back to my diet and doing a cheesecake detox. So obviously I'm off to Pizza Hut for another binge...