Monday, 7 March 2011

Heavens to Betsy!


The title of this post comes straight from the mouth of my lovely friend Jenny, who often seems to utter these words. This weekend I found myself with good cause to exclaim them myself for I think I received my most surprising birthday gift ever. No, not the wonderful Orla Kiely stem print cake, above, made by Mr Teacakes' own fair hand. That was surprising enough...but there were even grander surprises afoot.


I think I first began reading about Tatiana & Alexander nearly eleven years ago and the characters in these Paullina Simons books feel as real to me as those in real life. Their love affair begins in war-torn Leningrad in 1941 and concludes, three books and 2000 pages later, in America when Tatiana and Alexander have reached old age. Russia, and specifically St Petersburg, are described in such detail that I have always harboured a secret desire to go there and see the many places mentioned on the pages of these books. But it was an utter shock and surprise to open my birthday gift from my husband this year and find a travel guide to St Petersburg and then to learn that he had arranged for me and my sister to jointly celebrate our birthdays there together in May (once the snow has melted!). I still can't quite believe it. I want to write a stream of words that might sum up my happiness, surprise and delight...but I don't think I can find quite the right ones or quite enough of them, so this post is short, as for once I am left a little speechless (or should that be typeless?).

Florence x

Ps. The cake was delicious.

19 comments:

  1. How luckly! And for both of you to go, what a bonus. I went to St. Petersburg last year and it was really, really interesting. The sub way was beautiful and the variety in buildings were amazing (and the old Soviet apartments are grim). Make sure to allow plenty of time for the Hermitage too.

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  2. Happy Birthday! Mr T's cake is exceedingly impressive.

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  3. Happy Birthday and what a wonderful husband you have! How nice it will be for you two girls to spend that time together..enjoy

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  4. You've got to be kidding! I did the exact same thing! In college I read and fell in love with these books and characters and when the opportunity arose to do a study abroad in Russia, I immediately jumped on board. I didn't tell my friends or family the real reason I wanted to go though :) You will love St. Petersburg. It really is beautiful (even in January, though I would've loved to experience something closer to the white nights as you will) Happy Birthday!!

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  5. That sounds wonderful! Two very lucky girls...!

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  6. Oh wow, I'm insanely jealous! I went to St. Pete's on my way to Moscow and on to Siberia. it's real old-world faded glam, you'll love it! I'm not sure if you'll catch the White Nights, we did and it was June, it was amazing, so strange to be walking around in the sunlight at midnight! Can I come?

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  7. Happy Birthday! Your husband's cake decorating skills are very impressive indeed!

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  8. He is obviously smitten with you which is such a compliment after many years of marriage. How lovely!

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  9. Happy Birthday and what a fantastic suprise for you. I always think birthdays are special and what with that magnificent cake and thoughtful present what more could a girl want. Enjoy. x

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  10. Happy Birthday. What an amazing cake and a fabulous present. You are one lucky lady! Hope you have a fabulous time.

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  11. Happy birthday!
    I've said it before and I'll say it again, you've got one heck of a husband there!

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  12. OMG! You lucky duck! And I love the cake! He's a keeper, your Mr Teacakes.

    Happy Birthday!

    PS Have you ever thought of writing a book? I love how you write!

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  13. Many Happy Returns of the Day, Florence!

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  14. A M A Z I N G all of it...you are so lucky!

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  15. Goodness what an amazing husband! The cake was incredible but the holiday as well is just amazing!

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  16. Quel cake! Not to mention pressie - he's a keeper! Happy Birthday best wishes for the year ahead. x

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  17. Aw, how wonderful!! Happy Birthday from your newest follower. :) I am just loving your patterns and tutorials, you always find the prettiest fabrics! I hope you'll come visit us over at The Little Birdie!

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  18. Christine - we are staying very near the Hermitage, so I'm looking forward to that.

    Adrianna - that completely delighted me to learn your reasons for going were the same! Hurrah! I knew you were a kindred spirit!

    Danielle - that's such a kind comment...I started one once...but only got half way through (fiction, not craft-related)...

    Thank you so much for your lovely comments and birthday wishes.

    Florence

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  19. Wow! and that's just for the cake. I'm feeling rather foolish for being so happy that I finally managed a light, well-risen cake - the first since moving to the US and trying to deal with their different flour, butter AND sugar.

    That sounds like a great trip. I'm getting all excited about visiting home this summer, but I do miss the days of travelling to explore somewhere new.

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x

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