My 36th birthday was celebrated in lockdown on Sunday 17th May 2020. Instead of going for a bottomless brunch with the girls in Cardiff, followed by copious cocktails, it was spent all on my own. Want to know how I pushed the boat out?
What to do on a birthday in lockdown?
I live with my partner Michael, who works for the police. They have had all of the leave and lieu cancelled, and are unable to take any time off. He had to work between 10am-8pm on the 17th of May. Even if he could have taken it off, there was no point. It’s not as if we could have done much together. It’s not as if we could go out for food, head out on a pub crawl or even visit somewhere for the day. So, it was down to me to plan the day, and to make it a little bit different from the usual monotony of day to day in social isolation.
Birthday in lockdown activities
My happy birthday in lockdown ideas were limited, so I settled on indulgence. Hey, it’s was my birthday, after all! Mike kissed me goodbye, but I stayed snuggled under the covers until around 9.30am. Staying in my comfy PJs, I entered the kitchen to make a birthday breakfast of mushrooms, bacon, fried egg and baked beans with a bucks fizz of course.
I then ran myself a bath, using my favourite bubble bath, used a face mask and washed my hair. Like so many of us in lockdown, I can’t remember the last time I washed hair, it must have been a week. Just as I was thinking of climbing out of my lazy lukewarm lagoon when the doorbell rang. I scrambled out of the bath, trying to cover myself up with my bathrobe as I ran down the stairs, then frantically looked for my keys. The delivery driver had gone, by the time I opened the door, but I had my first present of the day. A bunch of blooms and a bottle of Prosecco from my bestie.
I had bought myself a birthday in lockdown t-shirt, but it didn’t arrive in time. (At the time of writing this, it still hasn’t come, and I have lodged a complaint with PayPal – wish me luck!) Instead, I wore a new dress, one that I bought before the shutdown madness began. I blow-dried my hair, and even put some eyeliner, mascara and lipstick on. All dressed up with nowhere to go!
Birthday in lockdown decorations
The day before, I had made myself a balloon arch. No one wants to be using all that puff up on their big day. Mike absolutely hated it! Especially as he has to duck and squeeze through it several times a day. (It’s still up, even though they are starting to deflate, but because it annoys him, I’m trying to make it last.)
Birthday in lockdown presents
So, you’re probably wondering why Mike didn’t give me a present before he headed to work? It’s because I already had it. Since buying our house, I have wanted a bike, but it has been on the backburner. As lockdown began, I wanted to get one. I was thinking worst-case scenario, what if I needed to get to work or the shops, but there was no petrol? What if I needed to visit my parents? Mike, however, talked me out of it, saying it wouldn’t get that bad, and I could wait until my birthday in 2 months.
Things haven’t changed for him; the working shifts, seeing his colleagues, local residents and prolific offenders are all the same. He walks the beat a lot and doesn’t appreciate it when I drag him out to explore the local area on his days off. So, he quickly came around to buying me a bike for my birthday. Now though, every other person has decided they need a bike too, and waiting lists are long. However, he’s lucky – he always is – and he managed to bag two. Of course, with him working, I had to go and pick them up.
My parents and brother also bought me accessories. I have my sexy helmet (safety first people!), shock-absorbing gloves and water bottle holders are on the way.
Afternoon tea for one
The early afternoon was spent making and preparing an afternoon tea for myself. I am successfully following Slimming World, as it makes it easy for me to continue to cook from scratch daily. So, even the sweet treats were on plan. I had some of my favourite things; prawn cocktail, celery, gherkins, pickled onions, carrots, cheese and chutney, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, Eton mess, jelly with oranges, scones with jam, four berry cake and chocolate cake.
Happy birthday lockdown wishes
While I indulged on my afternoon tea, with a bottle of Prosecco, of course, I had a virtual birthday party. I asked my good friend Alexa to put on a party playlist, and I video called my friends and family throughout the afternoon. It was great to see every one, even if it was only on my phone screen, and I smiled and laughed. In between bites and sips, I even danced around the garden like no one was watching. Unfortunately, at one point, there was. Luckily it was Mike, arriving home from work, but he scared the bejeezus out of me as he popped his head over the garden fence. I may have actually screamed out loud!
It was amazing to have a few drinks with him, and video called a few of our other friends together, until very late in the night. However, it had to end. Mike had work at 8am, and so did they. However, the sitting in the sunshine and a few bottles of Prosecco had taken it toll, and it was time for bed.
Celebrating a birthday in lockdown
Well, my 36th birthday was definitely an odd one. If you’d asked me a few months ago, it was not how I thought the day would have gone. I definitely didn’t know I’d spend it on my own. However, I made the most of it, and celebrated lockdown style!