A very exciting day! Bob’s 68th birthday, plus Joseph and Janet’s last day before they head off to Nepal, and as a last Total Secret, Eddie’s brother and sister in law arriving from Australia in advance of his 70th birthday on the 10th!!!!! He has absolutely no idea, Pamela has been arranging it or months.
First thing Bob opened his presents in bed with a cup of tea. I’d bought him some really nice shirts in Fab India. Thank heavens they all fitted and look nice. He also had a handmade voucher from the Patnem Chai Shop good for 2 breakfasts for 2 from Joseph, Janet and Gloria, cards from Eddie and Pamela, Gloria and Roz and David. The girls sent through electronic messages and we will exchange presents with them when we get home.
Walked down the lane to the Chai Shop to have our first breakfast present. The Chai Shop is a Patnem institution, a funky little pink place right in the heart of the village. Nothing posh but a very steady constant turnover of food and drink of a simple but delicious standard. Their samosas and egg sandwiches are unbelievable but for breakfast we wanted to try their latest offering which is a masala omelette in a crisply griddled bread roll. The bread is a bit like a thicker pitta. All I can say is that it was unbelievably delicious and we will go back tomorrow for more. Also a total bargain at about 50p each.
We then picked up a cab and stopped at the Tubki to pick up Pamela and Eddie as the three of them were playing golf at the Lalit. I was along as buggy driver to Bob. The Lalit is a beautiful hotel, gorgeous grounds, very luxurious. The golf course is really really nice and generally empty. As it was today. We were the only players. They were only playing 9 holes today because Bob’s shoulder is still not right and Eddie’s back is none too clever either. Anyway, a most enjoyable round on the pristine greens. Everyone enjoyed it.
Finished about 1130ish and headed straight down to Salida and the beach. It was boiling by then. Oh, yes, and joy of joys: The Russians have gone!!!!!! Pamela and Eddie saw them leaving the Tubki at breakfast time. Obviously they smiled and via hand signals let them know how much they'[ll be missed. LOL
Straight in the sea for a cooler and then stretched out on the loungers. After about 30 minutes another excitement! Dinesh arrived for lunch there. Dinesh was our main man at Salida for 4 years and we always keep in touch with him via Facebook. He is working in Agonda this year and has a girlfriend. Serious! It was lovely to see him, much hugs and he promises to come back for dinner before we leave.
Had a bit of lunch and downed a Kingfisher!!!!! I never drink beer but it was just the job as we were so hot. Spent the afternoon at the beach. Which is where all the plotting started to get complicated. Eddie’s brother and sister in law were due to land at 230 and we had a plan in place to keep Eddie at the beach till they were safely in the hotel and then get them down to Namaste where we were having dinner, where they would surprise him!!!! Then Air India decided to complicate matters and make their flight down from Mumbai very late. Over 3 hours late! We huddled in the sea hatching new plans and thinking that Eddie was probably getting very annoyed by our constant mind changing over the evening’s activities.
Came back to the hotel about 430 and Marylyn and Clive had a lovely vase of flowers for Bob and a chocolate birthday cake. Very nice of them!
Went down to the beach at about 630 and met up with Joseph and Janet and Pamela and Eddie who were already there. By then we knew that Jane and Lee were just on their way in the taxi. A further mystery was the whereabouts of our friend Gianna due to arrive at Eve’s at around 6pm and from whom there was no word!!!! It was a lovely sunset made the lovelier by some delicious margaritas and some vegetable pakoras to stave off hunger. At about 745 Bob made an excuse and went up the road to the Tubki hoping to find Jane and Lee there. They arrived just after and after a quick freshen up came down to the beach and crept up behind Eddie. What an amazing joyful surprise meeting it was. He had absolutely no idea and a lot of hugging went on!
Ye She came along and she brought Bob some chocolates and some lovely dates!!!!! Tucked into a lovely dinner and more cocktails followed by the birthday cake. Gianna finally arrived thank heavens. Her flight from London had been 3 hours late and she’d missed her connection in Mumbai. All was well though.Then finally, an amazing firework display. John had gone up to Margao weeks ago now and got me a big box of fireworks for tonight. I’d lugged it down the beach yesterday when Bob went to Chaudhi. The fireworks did not disappoint! Lots and lots of rockets. Really good. Strolled home to bed about 1130. One of Bob’s best birthdays I think. If only the girls could be with us. One year…. I hope!!!!!