Xiamenese dreams!

…XX…XX… Happy birthday, Mark!
…XX…XX… I hope you have a fabulous day
…XX…XX… and that the birthday monkeys
…XX…XX… bring you everything that your
…XXX… heart desires.
…XX…XX… Plus a cake. :slight_smile:
…XX…XX… Big hugs,
…XX…XX… Rog

Warmly seconded (if a little briefly).


I don’t know about the birthday monkeys, but I know the poodles have a surprise in store for you. Happy birth-day!

[size=150]HAPPY BIRTHDAY [/size]young fella, hope it’s been a good one! :laughing:

Happy birthday! (Heh, still Monday here.)

Well, thanks all. As I’m currently in the UK on the next stage of my retirement strategy, and down in lovely Exeter, for the first time in 12 years I’ve spent my birthday with my family … minus son-in-law, unfortunately, as he was working. But being together makes it special.

Actually, I kept quiet about my birthday in Xiamen, so only a few people knew. The problem is, in China it’s “Teachers’ Day”, and if it had got round among all my students that it was also my birthday, it would have become most embarrassing, particularly as I would have had to suffer enormous quantities of Chinese birthday cake — a small amount of tasteless sponge, covered in cream like shaving-cream (and I can’t stand cream in any form) and bits of fruit as decoration.

My daughter and her now husband were in Xiamen 9 years ago at the time of my birthday, while I was still at the TV Station. Our Managing Editor always insisted that there should be a lunch-time banquet for me, and Fiona reminded me yesterday of her amusement at seeing me at the banquet wondering what to do with the most enormous slice of such a confection, where the cream had been coloured a particularly unappetising, acid yellow. I’m afraid I emulated whoever it is in “Groundhog Day”, stuffing enormous amounts into my mouth when no-one was looking, swallowing immediately and washing it down with a glug of red-wine. As my wife says, you can eat anything — well almost — if you think of it as a pill and wash it down immediately with whatever’s to hand!

Anyway, back here, we didn’t do anything special, apart from have a wonderful venison pie — from Wessex Pies, if you can find them — for lunch as my choice. And a good bottle of wine for dinner.



Many happy returns of yesterday, Mark.

Or you could you drive a half-dozen miles to Nobody Inn in Doddiscombsleigh, where, if my memory serves, the pies are to die for, and the cider (I remember far more clearly) is made from the same trees that kept my ancestors generationally blotto when they lived in Town Barton, a drunkard’s crawl away.

Happy Birthday.


Didn’t think of that one. I’ve been there and the food is great, and the wine list and, if I remember rightly, the list of some 50 or so single malt whiskies they have on offer … in Devon, cider and great regional beers go without saying.

The trouble is not getting there, but driving back afterwards … :laughing: The Nobody Inn is more somewhere to book a room for afterwards, not somewhere to have a lunch when you can’t enjoy the other delights!


Looks good, Hugh. My daughter’s comment when we came back with the venison pie — there’s a garden centre just outside Exeter that stocks them — was “Am I surprised?” … I love venison and she knows it!

Thanks for your wishes!