Birthday Celebrations

Work hasn’t been great lately.

While I won’t go into details, I’ve found myself feeling utterly demotivated at the office… A stark contrast to the happiness of my family life.

That changed when I was reminded once again what lovely people I work with. As rife as my company is with archaic and petty management, my actual colleagues are just wonderful.

I was called into a meeting room today to discuss some methodology issues. The moment I walked into the room, I was hit with a “surprise!”

It was a wonderful feeling that blew the grey feelings clean out of my humdrum day. That feeling was closely followed by chocolate cake.

This isn’t the first time my colleagues have done something nice for me at the office, but I’m always humbled when it happens. I really must stop forgetting how lucky I am sometimes!

I also received a present with some lovely messages written on it.

Imagine my surprise when it turned out to be a Final Fantasy XIV mug and coaster!

I absolute love this! I have to find out how my colleagues even knew to get me something related to FFXIV. Only two people at work know I love that game and neither of them were involved in the present.

Celebrating with my family and friends has been equally wonderful. Now that we have a house, inviting friends over for drinks and nibbles is easier than ever!

I decided to buy pre-cut cake cubes simply for the convenience of handing it out to everyone.

“Son, smile at the camera.”

“Dada, what’s that?”

“Never mind, I’ll have some!”

Lunch with my parents proved to be equally delicious, involving a Sunday roast with all the trimmings.

And to think… all these celebrations were before my actual birthday! This all took place on the weekend as my birthday was on a weekday.

So for the actual day, I booked time off work to spend with my wife Elle and my son Zack. This was a thoroughly welcome 24-hour hiatus from the banal jobsworth management I have to face upon returning to the office.

We met with my in-laws for lunch before meeting a friend to check out a ‘gaming cafe’ called Heart of Gaming.

Strictly speaking, this isn’t a gaming cafe like you’d find in South Korea or Japan… those don’t really exist in the UK. But this is closest thing we have in London.

It had a small but nicely varied selection of games on offer. You pay £10 entry and all the machines are free to play for as long as you want. This meant I could finally fulfil my childhood wish of completing Time Crisis 2 and House of the Dead (yay for free respawns!)

Another good thing about Heart of Gaming is the freedom to bring your own controllers/games to play on their consoles. As we went on a Tuesday, it was pretty empty so we could have stayed for even longer if we wanted.

In the evening, Elle treated me to a birthday dinner at TGI Friday.

We hadn’t been to one in years and it seemed like a fun lively place to have an extravagant dinner.

The food was okay. Nothing particularly special. But the cocktails were nice.

My Long Island Ice Tea was quite sour but Elle’s Bubble Gum Daiquiri was tasty and my Mudslide was lovely.

All in all, it’s been a great birthday. Here are the presents I received.

A gift voucher for a Lush spa treatment called The Good Hour. I’ve had this before and like it very much.

Whisky and sake to enjoy. I do love some bourbon and Japanese whisky!

I also received Amazon vouchers… because it’s hard to go wrong with those!

For a nightcap to finish off the day, Elle and I cracked open the miniature bottle of 14-year old rum cask whisky (pictured above).

I’m incredibly grateful for all the wonderful memories I’ve been making. No matter how stressful work gets, I must always remember that I am loved and appreciated by the people who matter to me most.

Thanks for reading, folks. Have a good week 🙂

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