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Practically perfect in every way - My hour for tea is half-past five, and my buttered toast waits for nobody.
Practically perfect in every way

Nothing says happy birthday like a needle in the arm. That probably should be rephrased. I was having necessary blood tests since my vaccination history is a box of lies. So much fun (and yes, my mother still manages to ruin my birthday from beyond the grave – that’s some impressive spite).

But it wasn’t that bad. Ok, it was melting hot, then insane storms, then it rained in the loungeroom again (thanks, Mum) but I did, somehow, manage to have the best birthday ever.

No, it wasn’t going to see Aquaman. Nothing against Aquaman and Jason, who was quite funny when he could be, and the film was adequate, though it looked like it had been thrown together by gamers (treasure hunt, big battles). Hugely derivative, too, as in oh look, this bit is just like Raiders/LOTR/National Treasure/Pacific Rim. Fortunately, I like most of those films. Also, points for the Stingray shoutout. Null points for the extreme closeup of the Lovecraft book, thereby announcing the trench tentacles practically before the opening credits.

Also, I had two martini expressos while watching the film, because there was a 2 fer 1 deal and it was my birthday. Do not do this. All hangover and no buzz. I’m still struggling.

Nah, Aquaman was ok, but it was Mary Poppins Returns that did it for me. Even getting up for the 9.30 am session with the worst hangover in my life. It was just…practically perfect in every way. Even with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s accent lurching into Dick Van Dyke territory (homage or miscalculation, you decide), I didn’t care, because Lin is a treasure and the sheer joy that radiated from the man could light up a decent sized town.

Emily was perfectly bossy. Colin Firth was a proper boo-hiss evil banker baddie (if that’s not a tautology) and as for Dick Van Dyke showing up and dancing on the desk, well, goodness. And I damn nearly fangirl squealed when Angela Lansbury turned up (Bedknobs is still one of my favourite films). And they had the penguins back for a victory lap.

Sometimes you just have to be in the right zone for a flick, and all I wanted for my birthday was a big pink sugary Disney confection, it seems, and it did the job marvellously. Helped along by an enormous lemon lime and bitters (and a glass of bubbly) and some very sticky but delicious satay sticks.

Lunch was downstairs at Papa Rich for my long awaited nasi lemak. It was ok, but it was the pink rose syrup milky tea with jelly that really did the trick (it was the only drink I could possibly order after Mary Poppins, seriously, it needed to be bright pink).

Best birthday ever. Ok, so it was gasping hot walking home, and the thunderstorm was quite exciting (in a dive under the couch kind of way), but I did (eventually) get to see the Colin Firth double on telly (Kingsman 2 and Mama Mia 1).