Today saw the end of my birthday celebrations when friends took the farmer and me out for lunch. I must say that I have been deeply touched by the way everyone has rallied round and made my birthday such a lovely occasion. I know it is only once every ten years that one has a big O, and eight of them is a red letter day indeed, but friends and family have really made a tremendous effort and I thank them all most sincerely.
Today, a gloriously sunny day, saw us driving across through Ribblesdale again, past the three peaks and on to Kirby Lonsdal - the second time this week. After a wander round the very pretty gift shops and a few purchases we met our friends in Avanti, our favourite Italian restaurant, for lunch.
Sadly A couldn't make it as he had picked up a nasty tummy bug - if you are reading this get well soon A. So the five of us had a delicious lunch - puds are shown in the photographs below but the whole meal was a delight. The restaurant has a real Italian flavour, not least because dogs and children are more than welcome. In fact toddlers seem to roam around and be welcomed by all and sundry.
Afterwards a trip round the supermarket bought the ingredients for making the Christmas puddings, so after tomorrow, when we are going to a friend's birthday lunch, I shall make the puddings and we shall all have a stir and make a wish.
As we were leaving the restaurant my friends presented me with the most beautiful bouquet of white roses, chrysanthemums and lilies.
The flowers my grandchildren sent me on my birthday were just going past their best, so I have hung the roses from that bouquet up to dry out - and the house is still full of flowers.
The return journey, with the sun low in the sky and the shadows making stripes on the hills as we drove along, was so beautiful. The autumn leaves are almost all fallen and lie in deep ribbons along the sides of the road. I kept my eyes open for bushes with berries on them as we know there are waxwings in the area; over from Scandinavia, these wonderful birds are searching for berries and going ever further westwards as they gobble them all up. They should head for the supermarket car park in Kirby Lonsdale where we parked - it is full of berried shrubs and not a bird in sight.