Tuesday, 9 April 2013

The next chapter.

On Thursday, after 17 years of anticipation, I turned 18. Obviously, I felt no different when I woke up in the morning and there are no startling changes in my appearance, but it feels like the mood is shifting or the atmosphere has changed. Weirdly, I feel reluctant to inherit all of the new things I'm allowed to do– not because I don't want to do them (I am definitely excited to go out on Saturday for a drink with my college friends), but because I don't know how. Everything seems new, even if I've done it before. So strange!

However, apart from all of the confusions of coming of age, I had an incredible birthday. And it lasted for a perfect 4 days (4 is my lucky number, after all). I woke up on the 4th April 2013, at 8.30 am (early for me) and found my phone alive with calls, notifications and texts from all my nearest and dearest's. Before I could even think about getting out of bed my mamma came in to whisk the birthday girl into the kitchen, being greeted by my pappa on the way down.

On the pouf were several cards, a large brown box, a pandora bag and a small white bag that my next door neighbour had dropped off the night before. A cup of tea was swiftly brought over by my doting mother (or paps, I can't remember), quickly followed by lots of clicking from my Nikon and complaining from my mum who is adamant that she can't use it. The video camera was set up and then I was "allowed" to open my gifts.

The pandora charm was from my Nanna and was a chinese "year of the pig" for my birth year of 1995– I LOVE that sort of thing. My neighbours had gotten me a lovely silver bracelet from bcharmed and my numerous cards were of course sweet and laden with green.


I opened the big brown box...

Ok, so it wasn't that big.

Inside I was instructed to open specific things, first was a birthday card, naturally, a bottle of Moët, then a box of shortbread. This stumped me a little. But none-the-less I carried on whilst drinking tea and eating shortbread and opened a small card– this was when I clicked. The card had a scottish flag on the front, handmade by my pappa, but inside it said nothing about Scotland, just love and kisses like a normal card.

Then... I was directed to some envelopes, labeled "Itinerary", "Spend", "Travel" and "Hotel". You can imagine my excitement. Without wanting to be hasty, or jumping the gun, I opened the envelopes and discovered I was going to Edinburgh for the weekend!! Not only that, but I would be staying in the 5 star Caledonian Waldorf Astoria in the Queen Suite, with a £50 voucher for lunch at their very own Galvin Brasserie De Luxe and I had a £100 John Lewis voucher! Then it occurred to me– who was I going with? After checking the train tickets and finding there were only two, I knew that I was finally going on my first proper trip away with a friend! My beauty of a girl, Jade would be coming with me and I couldn't have been happier. 

My grandparents (Cooks, mum's side) stopped by soon after this and came with a humongous parcel (this one really was big) from my great auntie and uncle. Two pandora charms (an 18 and a cat) and some wonderful Lush products that I am still yet to use.

Already wearing my PJ's from my grandma and granda, I opened their card– which they told me was just some cash to get what I wanted– to be completely shocked at seeing two theatre tickets for an Royal Shakespeare Company production of The Winter's Tale at the Festival theatre in Edinburgh. Oh my goodness. It's safe to say that I cried, and everyone was very pleased. I spoke to my Dad, Uncle, Grandma and Granddad Jensen who were all just as excited to see me as I was to see them and then I spoke to Jade to find out that she had known about the trip for months! After an eventful (to say the least) morning, it was time to get dressed.

The weekend before my birthday was spent camping just outside of Durham, we went for Sunday lunch at a lovely little tea room on the high street near M&S and mamma bought me an aran jumper from the Edinburgh Woolen Mill (coincidence?). I decided to wear this for my birthday lunch at the Hotel Du Vin in Newcastle, a treat from my mum.

Paired with a pair of cropped jeans from New Look (too old to give you a link to), my new tan cut-out heels from Primark (absolute bargain at £12!), my faithful oversized clutch as seen in Tailor Made, a gold chain passed down to me from my mum with a Chinese good luck charm that was given to me by my Dad (I'm very sentimental) and plain gold stud earrings.

To start I had the Escargot Bourguignon– Snails roasted in their shells with garlic and herb butter, which were beautiful and Mamma had the Oyster Tempura Served with ketchup tartar, amazing.

This was all washed down with a lovely glass of False Bay Rosé (Western Cape, South Africa) and a good natter. I went for the Spicy Tomato, Red Pepper&Black Olive Risotto, while mum stuck with her beloved Bistro Burger (I didn't blame her after trying it).

When arriving back at home there was a sign on the living room door requesting me to have a peek inside, so I did– obviously. To my utter amazement there sat a beautiful Victoria Pendleton, plum bike with a wicker basket on the front.

I've been wanting a new bike to take to France with us in the summer, y'know the typical old fashioned cliche of getting your baguette and a newspaper in the morning. Well now I can!! But just to be sure it was the right bike, I was taken to the shop to see the other two in the range. After lots of contemplation (i.e. sitting on each in turn and taking pictures to see which one looked best) I went for the Dalby, slightly less gears than the one they had chosen, but being more feminine.

Finally, I was able to get ready for the evening ahead. The ladies arrived, we drank cava (thanks to a friend from work) and got dressed.

You can find my birthday outfit breakdown here. The necklace was a gift from Jade (far right) for my birthday last year.

The evening was really wonderful. We went to the Shiremoor House Farm, which is just a local pub/restaurant but they do the nicest food and it's a lovely, informal converted farm house setting. I'll not go into too many details this time, you can just have a flick through the photos :)

Best cake and cupcakes I've ever had. Made by our lovely friend Tracey!



It was Nelly's birthday too!

Mamma, Emma (step-mum), Daddy, Moi and Gran Carole.

My Granda Brian, it's his 70th soon!

Granda and Grandma Jensen.

Granda and Grandma Cook.

This is Hannah, my longest friend– I've known her since we were 3 years old when we used to live across the street from each other. Our mums are still best friends.

My sister, Sarah.

The afore mentioned best friends.

My Granda George (I have a lot of Grandparents).



and Sophie!

My brilliant Dad and step mum got me some posh champagne, Chanel nail varnish (dragon red), La Vie Est Belle perfume and some money. I felt so grown up! Sas (my sister) gave me the most wonderful pandora ring with my birthstone in it– perfect. I got lots of money and some lovely little gifts from the rest of my friends and family!

I didn't expect this post to be quite so long, so I'll leave Edinburgh for the next one.

Jensen x


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