Friday 24 February 2017


Time does funny things when you quit drinking.

Initially, it grinds to a shuddering halt. Every hour feels like a day. It seems like the film of your life has switched to slow-motion. You have to take a day at a time, because each day lasts a lifetime.

Then, time starts speeding up again, and the better you feel the faster it goes.

The really great days, the ones you want to hang on to, slip through your fingers like sand, whereas the difficult ones you wade through like mud.

The year before last was the longest one ever. I gave up drinking, then, just as I started motoring away happily again, I got hit with breast cancer.

There's nothing that slows time more than waiting for test results which will tell you how close you are to death.

(To read my cancer story, click here)

But I've speeded past the last year so fast that I can't even see it in the rear view mirror. Whoosh. Gone. And suddenly, it's my birthday.


And, so far, it's a perfect day.

Birthdays used to be about big stuff - huge parties, grand gestures and monumental hangovers, but now I realise that it's a combination of little things that really makes you happy.

Today started with breakfast in bed. We all had breakfast in my bed (including the dog). Then Mr SM did the school run - isn't that the best present ever?

Well, actually, it's not, because I was given the best present ever....

For the last year, every time anyone in the family has had a birthday I've painted them a plate. It has their name on (large) and an animal that represents them, then round the outside I paint about forty adjectives that describe them.

For the last few months, every time we've had a family meal I lay out all the 'special' plates, and I sit there in front of my ordinary one.

Then today they gave me my own plate. They'd designed it and painted it in exactly the same style as the ones I'd made them.

In the middle is my favourite animal (a warthog. Any more warthog aficionados out there, or is it just me?), and the words round the outside include:


I cried. Obvs.

Now, however rotten my day has been, I can sit down for family supper and feel blessed.

As for the rest of the day, I have a hairdressing appointment booked which means that not only will I have great hair for the day, but I'll also get to spend TWO HOURS reading Grazia and finding out what's new with Brad and Angelina.

Then, dinner somewhere posh with Mr SM.


Love to you all,

SM x


  1. A great bug, round ceramic hug!! How beautiful! What goes around does come back 'round, eh SM? Happy for you. And a very HAPPY Birthday!

  2. Have the happiest of birthdays, darling SM. Sounds like a perfect day, enjoy it. Big hugs to you, xx

  3. Happy Birthday SM! I hope you get some yummy cake!

  4. Have a very happy birthday! xoxoxo

  5. Wishing you a very Happy Birthday! Thank you for continuing to inspire folk like me. Enjoy Grazia :) xxx

  6. Have a wonderful day SM.


  7. Have a super awesome birthday, SM!!

  8. A very happy birthday to you, SM! What a wonderful idea the plates are. (I may have to steal it) Enjoy your day! Xxxxx

  9. Happy Birthday SM ... Our second grandchild has been born today!! How wonderful it is to be in this moment ... Sharing and never forgetting :-)

    1. Huge congrats! That's awesome and definitely worth being sober for!

  10. Happy Birthday SM!! I hope your day has continued to be perfect. This is my first comment but I've been lurking on your blog for over a year. Thank you for all your fabulous posts. x

  11. Welcome Springyfeeling! Go for it - you've done the hardest bit before so you know you can do it again! We're with you xxx

  12. What a fab present, no wonder u cried! Hope the rest of ur day has been equally memorable. Happy Birthday SM! 🎈xx

  13. Happy birthday sm!! Hope you had a fabulous day that you deserve!!!! It will be my first sober birthday this year, can't wait! Xxx

  14. Ah, Happy Birthday! I hope the whole day was as good as the beginning. What a sweet, thoughtful present. Hope the birth'day' vibes continue throughout the weekend. Many birthday blessings to you! 007Mum

  15. Hope you had a wonderful birthday. Your morning sounds like it was wonderful and your family seem to get it. As for warthogs, anyone who grew up around the time of The Lion King loves them. Pumbaa was adorable. And the real animal-- too cute. Happy birthday.

  16. What a beautiful gift! Happy Happy Birthday! xo

  17. Happy Birthday SM
    It is the little things that bring us joy. The large gestures can tend to fall short I find and take so much work. That would be the perfect Birthday for me! I will have to look into those plates as my Son is turning 12 and he would love that plate as a present.

  18. Wow, I nearly cried (talking of which have you seen Lion?!)
    More to the point you deserve your wonderful plate and all those lovely descriptions. Happy Birthday!! xxx

  19. Beautiful gifts one and all.* Happy belated birthday!