With the extended blogging hiatus I have been on, I have missed out on recording so many special moments and milestones in the kids' lives and mine. One such occasion was Ayaan's 7th birthday.
His birthday falls bang in the middle of the summer vacation and consequently, we are usually never at home. This year, May found us in London, visiting my brother. This was Ayaan's second trip to London and even though he was only three years old the last time, he had some pretty strong (and happy) memories - especially of his visits to Hyde Park. (I blogged about our previous London trip here, here and here)
When I asked him how he wanted to celebrate his birthday, he immediately piped up with the suggestion that we have a picnic in Hyde Park on the day. He also had very specific ideas about his birthday cake. Before we left, he had managed to get his hands on this book called London Unlocked: A Guide Book for Kids from Treasure House. (As an aside, if your kid is of reading age and you are planning a trip to London. I highly recommend you get your hands on this book - both Ayaan and I loved it.) One of the places highlighted in the book is The Hummingbird Bakery, famous for their cupcakes. They also do cakes and Ayaan wanted his birthday cake from there.
Ordering a cake from them is no simple affair though. We had to call head for an appointment and land up at their Spitalfields brands for a consultation. We were met by enthusiastic young women who happily agreed to everything Ayaan said he wanted on the cake (not surprisingly, since I eventually got charged a bomb for each of those elements). What Ayaan wanted was a 'London cake' with:
- The Big Ben
- The London Eye
- The River Thames
- A boy
- A tree
- Some buildings
- A road
- A Double Decker bus
- Lots of sprinkles
And this is what he got: (the cake designer told me it was the most fun they had had with a cake in a while)
To say they met Ayaan's very exacting brief would be an understatement. And the look on his face when we opened the box was worth every penny I paid for it.
The picnic itself was a matter of great tension given that weather was chilly, with a chance of rain. We all showed up at Hyde Park in our best woolies and picnicked away merrily, freezing winds notwithstanding. Thankfully, the rain held off. Thank you for your rare and fortuitous co-operation, London weather.
In attendance were family and friends who live in the city, including Jai's sister (Ayaan's favorite aunt). There was only one other kid (a friend's daughter) but the three of them had a great time feeding the ducks and generally pottering around. All in all, the sun (the metaphorical one, since the real one stayed hidden behind ominous-looking grey clouds) set on a successful birthday picnic and a very happy and content birthday boy.
Here's another picture from the day: my Baby Godzilla devouring the Double Decker Bus off the cake.