I hit 27 this weekend, affirming my status of falling into the “late 20s” age bracket, taking one step closer to the big 30.
The weekend started off in style with an early finish at work, thanks to the France v Uruguay quarter-final match. With a seemingly easy win, the streets were buzzing with noise as I headed home to freshen up before catching the train with my boyfriend to the Stade de France.
He’d bought tickets months ago for an Ed Sheeran concert as a birthday treat. We’d got VIP tickets as these were the only ones left, but it turned out to be a good choice with access to the lounge, great seats and unlimited drinks during the concert. Now, I’ve been to concerts and festivals before, but I wasn’t at all prepared for seeing such a big star in a sold-out show. As the music blasted out on the opening “Castle on the Hill”, I felt tears in my eyes and slightly emotional at just how good his music was. I even surprised myself at how I knew the lyrics of every song inside out… I must listen to him more than I think!
The following day, D-Day, arrives. I’m nervously awaiting the England v Sweden match, remembering as a kid in primary school watching my team be knocked out of this stage of the World Cup. 2 goals up and then the final whistle blows, a sigh of relief – England will, for the first time in my lifetime, be heading to the semi-finals. My birthday celebrations can begin.
After being spoilt with gifts, cards, flowers and champagne from mon amour, he’s taking me out to Loca, an Argentinian restaurant in the 18th, just behind la Butte Montmartre.
We started with Boudin Noir, Oeuf de Cailles et Haricots Verts for me (Black pudding, Quail egg and Green beans) with Stracciatella, Aubergines et Endives for him (no translation needed) which was absolutely delicious. Our main consisted of a deliciously tender Entrecôte steak with barbecued potatoes and leeks for me, with an oh-so-fresh octopus, tomates confites and grilled cucumber for him. We washed everything down with a glass of Malbec each, enjoying the breeze and sounds of football fans next to open doors, before strolling back home via Sacré Coeur.
As we get older, we come to expect less from birthdays, to dread getting a year older, forever closing in on the next “milestone” birthday. But for me, as the years tick by, I always feel surrounded by love and excited for the year to come.