Birthday honours...

First of all, I just wanted to thank everybody who read my last post, particularly those who shared it or left comments. It seemed to resonate with many people...I think because it's a very common experience (although it feels so very personal to each one of us) and the more knowledge the better. I hope it helped someone. I found it a very cathartic post to write, anyway.

On to happier things! Our wonderful next door neighbour, Eric, celebrated his 96th birthday earlier this week. We had a small tea party for him, and I baked a cake...

 It was a soft lemon sponge, filled with lemon curd and frosted with white chocolate whipped buttercream. On the top, as you can see, were fresh raspberries and dried raspberry add a little zing!
 We kept everything simple...tea, cake, strawberries and elderflower cordial....all served in the absolutely magical room that Eric himself designed (he is an architect)....overlooking his serene and very beautiful garden...
 He takes such pride and comfort in it, and has a regular gardener who comes fortnightly to mow and trim to his very exacting specifications! I gave him a little help blowing out the candles...
 ...but he made a pretty good job of it himself!
 Eric is truly one of the dearest and most inspirational people I know. He's very lucky (as he acknowledges) to have kept in good health for all but the past year...he suffered a fall not long before Christmas which has caused and exacerbated other problems. But his personality and spirit are what shine through. He's kind, accepting, funny...he has so many friends from all walks of life and every generation, which is a testament to his lovely nature. I once asked him his secret. He gave me this advice:
Always look forward, never backwards...what's gone is gone.
Keep an open mind. You can learn so much from others, however old you are.
Let it be. Only worry about things you can change - leave everything else alone.

Wise words.
Happy, happy birthday. Proud and honoured to know you, Eric. A true gentleman, in every sense. xx


  1. Such wise words, indeed! Happy birthday to your dear friend Eric! You are a doll to bake such a lovely birthday cake to celebrate his 96 years! What a lovely little gathering, simple is perfect! I wish him all the best! xx

  2. Happiest Birthday Wishes, Eric! Very wise words indeed. I hope he had a lovely birthday.

  3. Rachel, I love the cake you made for Eric! Happy Birthday to your wise friend. I just love his garden--so beautiful. xoxo ♥

  4. I enjoy all the posts you write, whatever your state of mind it is always lovely to read.

    This birthday cake! What can I say but so worthy of such birthday.

  5. What a lovely friend! And such wise words. His garden is just exactly the kind I like. Truly and inspiration. Thank you for sharing, Rachel. xoxo

  6. Yes!! Talk less; listen more- very wise! Oh, he's a charmer- I can see why a little tea party was in order! So kind of you!! What a dear and wonderful friend you are!!

  7. Beautiful. I will write down his advice. Wonderful indeed!

  8. Hi, Rachel! This is Erin from I Heart New England. Just letting you know I'm back on Blogger with a new blog, Bygone Living. I hope you will check it out and we can reconnect!

    P.S.- Happy Birthday, Eric!

  9. Oh, that cake sounds heavenly!
    I appreciate the advice from Eric, wish him good wishes from me, I am too late for his birthday! xx


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