And I've bought her a piano. We needed something to put all her cards on.
I'm joking of course. She only got six. Frankly we could have fit them all on a spice rack. Oh, and I didn't buy her a piano either. I did, however, arrange for Nana Mouskouri to pop round and perform an open air concert in celebration of her birthday...
It's no wonder the Greek economy is in trouble.
Anyhoo, Nana Mouskouri's love of motoring aside, the reason for Lisa's apparent unpopularity is that we left home on Friday, before the inevitable weekend deluge of birthday cards, and are currently at my parents' house in St Leonards. As we speak, the postman's probably back there in Brighton, trying to shove the five hundredth gift through our letterbox, and charging Royal Mail a fortune in overtime.
I was intending to finish work at 4pm on Friday, so that we could drive over here before sundown, but as it transpired I was asked to pop up to East Grinstead at short notice to screen the former Prime Minister of a commonwealth country. Which is not what I was expecting when I got up that morning. So by the time I'd staked my claim to a mention in the new year's honours list, and battled my way back through the bank holiday traffic, it was 6pm and I hadn't even packed. As a result, when 9pm came, and I should have been relaxing on my parents' sofa in St Leonards, telling anecdotes about major world leaders, I was actually queuing with my family at the drive-thru McDonalds in Polegate.
As it happens, Friday had been a momentous day in other respects too. It marked the end of Amelie's intensive week of swimming lessons, which had seen her go from drifting with armbands, to swimming entire widths unaided in both front crawl and backstroke. So as a reward, Lisa e-mailed Channel 5 and asked for someone to give her a thumbs-up live on air. We were hoping for Rylan on Big Brother's Bit on the Side, but to our surprise, Amelie got a mention on Friday morning's Milkshake, just after Fifi & the Flowertots. The presenter congratulated our daughter on her swimming success, and gave her two thumbs up. It was a memorable moment. Which is just as well, as we didn't record it.
Our reasons for spending another weekend with my parents were to take advantage of their babysitting services, so that I could take Lisa out for a meal. We duly did that yesterday afternoon, enjoying a couple of hours of fine dining at one of Hastings' swankiest restaurants. Namely, Pizza Express. Amelie and I also walked to the nearest bakery for a selection of cakes for Lisa. And then ate them on the way home.
The food which shows the most love, however, is the food you make yourself. So I arranged Lisa's toast in the shape of a heart this morning...
But in the meantime, we're trying to keep smiling. So thank you to the people who sent the cards pictured above, and Happy Birthday, Lisa. You might have more fours to your name than an England cricketer, but I love you very much. xxx