Oh, no! How did that happen?? I am still not too sure how I reached this bend in the path, but everyone around is more than happy to remind me that I have arrived at that bend which has a sign post reading 40 in very big letters. Strangely, I do not remember passing so many sign posts before this one. May be one of those things in life that your memory just didn’t remember to remember, the brain has some wonderful ways of forgetting the unwanted, and at times not remembering the wanted (very embarrassing as my Better Half loves to say that “age is catching up”! I think it’s more to do with maturity!!).The near and dear wanted to pass by and wish me all the best ( I don’t know if it was for making it this far or if the wishes are for another 40, but either way it felt good), so my better half decided that we should invite the gang for a simple dinner. Now simple dinners in this part of the world is normally a home cooked meal which we would have loved to do, but as I am on chemo and my better half is also on the mend from a operation, things had to be arranged from outside. Word got around that a dinner was in the planning and a few people volunteered to cook up some curries and make some sambols that would go with stringhoppers, so it was decided that stringhoppers, were going to be the meal of the day!
My Better Half being the “Perfecto” that she is, wanted to have a great cake to celebrate the occasion, as usual it had to be from “Fab” as they have done some wonderful cakes for us in the past. So off we go to Fab at Nawala to see what they could do for a special occasion like mine (How many times do you get to turn 40???). We have always found the staff at this Fab outlet very friendly and helpful, but this time round we were not that lucky, they just gave us 5 catalogues and left us on our own, I was not sure if it was the unbearable hot weather that had changed their mood or if actually the standard of service had fallen short since our last visit, we were not that surprised since it seems the trend in Sri Lanka these days, customer service is taboo, its been avoided like the flu.
The cake catalogues were more for kids B’day cakes and there was nothing for a celebrating adult, I wondered if it was a crime to have a B’day cake made when you are at my age, or was it a Sri Lankan thing that you should just buy what’s at the counter and serve it looking utterly surprised?? Finally, there were not much of choices; it was either a normal box type of cake or a star shape. I felt that the STAR was a better choice as the box type is just a block of cake with decorative sugar. The STAR was going to come home and it was going to be in purple, not bad for a choice….Maturity here I come!!
The B’day got a theme STAR’s, so every thing was going to be star’s, from the lanterns (vesak was the next day, great timing) that hung at the entrance to lanterns that hung in the sitting room all were star’s, the napkins were decorated by my dear Aunty Phil ( who still can cross a stitch ) with many coloured star’s of different sizes, man Friday of the house (he comes from the tamarind government junction or Siyabalanduwa) was so excited and entangled in all wiring that I thought he might end up roasted for dinner, and my Better Half kicked the operation a side to do her magic in the kitchen and produce one of those ambulthiyal & chicken curries that make me hungry even now. Thank God no one got the idea of dressing me up like a star (I suppose it’s because I look like a star on any given day), but it was great and all turned out to be just right!
The near and dear finally gathered to celebrate either the arrival or the future which ever, but it was a good feeling to have all at home for a meal. As usual a bit of the past was pulled up from under the rug to try and make me blush (if that’s possible at maturity), but that did not work as dinner was served and everyone was more in the attacking mood than wanting to hear where and how I had screamed bringing Mt Lavinia beach to a stand still and done this and that at this and that age (no, I am not going to bore you with the details…for sure).
Finally, the wonderful purple cake made an entrance with everyone joining in to sing “He is a Jolly Good Fellow” (didn’t know I was considered to be one) now that was unexpected and I felt a bit shy ( funny, how when your heart is at 18 and your body has moved on you still could feel those feelings of a long time ago, I still hear Wham in the distance….), then came the usual “Happy B’day” song and everyone gathered around to crock in many tunes more like a un -conducted orchestra, the kids wanted to blow the candles before I could even stab the cake, but I beat them to it and did the needful.
It was a wonderful evening, thanks to my better half getting all things arranged and everyone dropping by to celebrate the occasion. The strings with chicken curry, fish ambulthiyal, potato curry, polos curry, seeni sambol, coconut sambol, was just great, as a side dish we also had some chapathy as usual a cousin was involved, which was an addition for anyone who had had enough of strings for the moment. The desert was a gift from a cousin which had to be my favorite “Smashed Meadow Pudding” or as commonly known “Marshmallow Pudding” which sadly, I am restricted from eating due to chemo therapy drugs playing tricks with my blood sugar levels.
Its great to be able to celebrate an occasion with the near and dear, a big thank you to my Better Half for all the ideas and arrangements that went in to place. Thanks to all who pitched in to help with making the food and decorating and to all who turned up to remind me that I had reached that funny bend in life’s path where, “Men are supposed to start getting naughty and accepting that life with a pot is not that bad, while women keep wondering where the years went while fighting even harder to hide the pot that came without the beer”
So, I am not sure if I should get naughty….. but how could you start when you never stopped since being a teenager?? May be this decade will throw a few answers to that question too.
Still 18 at heart, hoping the feeling never goes away! WHAM!………Wake me up before you go, go……