Last weekend I celebrated my birthday, and to kick things off I organised the ultimate day out, a trip to Millport.
I had this all planned out ages ago, something a wee bit different for my birthday. I have been to Millport before but not for many many years.
I met my friends at Central Station bright and early to get to Largs and then ferry it over to Millport.
We arrived at 'On Your Bike' in Millport to get - on our bikes! It was very busy and I must thank Eilidh and the staff who helped us as it was as seamless as it possibly could be giving that we were such a big crowd.
I had 17 fellow birthday goers - mostly family and friends. I had hired a seven seater 'conference bike' and remaining adult bikes to see us round the island. The conference bike has one 'driver' in control of steering and brakes, and the rest are seated around in a circle. Very peculiar looking.
Surprise birthday sash and balloon safely attached to me, and I was egged on to the driver's seat. Then we were off. We tackled the first hill no problems. I must say it was hard work, much harder than a normal push bike but so much fun. My niece Olivia didn't like her view from her bike seat so she was our mascot in the central basket for our journey.
We passed some Millport landmarks, stopped off for mini Mars bar breaks courtesy of my mum and had several changes so everyone got a shot on the novelty bike. I actually enjoyed time on a normal bike, gave me a chance to appreciate the occasion and see the conference bike from a by standers point of view. Definitely some sight.
Things that I'll remember from the day include the toots from passing cars, funnily enough they only happened when it was an all girl bike. The sing-song started by my mum as we passed the ferry terminal to keep us going on that last stretch. The waves of passers-by and fellow cyclists and also the people snapping our picture on the bike. Celebratory status or so it felt anyway.
It was such a laugh. All in all it took us two hours to do which in the conference bike is good going apparently. We were well chuffed with that considering all the change overs. Needless to say having not been on a bike in years I certainly felt like I was still pedalling as we handed the bikes back. I also felt like I got a good workout which helped feel less guilty about all the food and drink to come.
Cycle ride over it was time to reward ourselves with a picnic. The best picnic spread I have ever seen. Lots of thanks go to my mum for this one as she had even made her famous homemade quiche (my favourite) to add to the goodies. My amazing sister had also baked for me, cupcakes and marshmallow top hats, with help from Olivia of course! They went down a storm. Especially seeing as Hannah and Lucy from England had never had the marshmallow treats, they were mightily impressed. What a sheltered childhood they must have had.
We had positioned ourselves on a good stretch of grass just near the crocodile rock, another Millport landmark.
What I didn't know was I had more surprises to come. Novelty '30' glasses, party hats and then presents! My sister had managed to locate a hula hoop, and not one but two skippets.... If you are unaware of such delights- basically its ball on a string attached to a loop. The loop goes round your ankle and hey presto. Hours of fun, or in this case hours of attempting to skip and hula. It was the perfect way to enjoy the lovely day after the jam packed morning.
Unfortunately time ran away and it was time to head back to Glasgow as I had evening plans. We managed to get back to Largs but missed the Glasgow train and had to wait over an hour for the next. Oh well McCabes it was to get us started.
Back in Glasgow we headed to Pony in Bath Street to meet more of my wonderful friends. One highlight of the evening was the face painter I had hired. Lisa, from allsmilesfacepainting. Without a doubt so talented and so much fun. Reliving the youth as much as possible. The girls kept it girly with beautiful flowers and glitter, whilst the boys eventually got involved and at my party I had a boxer, tribal warrior, famous wrestler, Harry Potter, Batman and not forgetting the Siberian Tiger. I have to say I had such a great night and would like to thank all who came along and took part. I'll cherish these photos forever.
I'm 30. I'm halfway through the year and half way through my task. The weekend and birthday was incredible, and to top it all off I even got presents. Such thoughtful presents. I'm so lucky to have such amazing family and friends. I'm guessing this is how cloud nine feels.
Special thanks to the travelling girls, Han, Lucy, and the Landan girls Louise and Emma making the trip up just for me. Not to mention my family, mum and sister Joanne in particular and of course to all my friends.
I'm still smiling. Thank you Millport. That's me halfway, number 15, complete.