It was a cold, crispy day in Harrogate and autumn leaves carpeted the Stray. One man’s greed engulfed Sri Lanka – the land of my birth, in the most serious constitutional crisis since independence from. British rule in 1948. It was also my birthday but there was no mood for celebrations.
As tradition demands, ‘milk rice’ – red rice cooked with coconut milk, was eaten with ‘lunu miris’ for breakfast and black Ceylon tea sipped. ‘Lunu Miris’ is a sambal made by crushing onions with chili and salt and finished with fresh lemon juice and Maldive Fish chips.
That evening, a glass of Corteaura Brut, made of Chardonnay in Lombardy’s Franciacorta, was sipped in silence before a supper of roast partridge paired with a precious bottle of Comte Senard Corton en Charlemagne Grand Cru 2005 brought back from a visit to the estate years ago. It is one of the very few red wines produced from the “Charlemagne” area of Burgundy which is normally devoted to Chardonnay. Abundant with charm and elegance, soft and rounded, acidity and red fruit in perfect balance, it was a real treat!
There were birthday greetings and good wishes from family and friends and video calls from my daughter in London and son in Germany:
- “Happy Birthday” – Gwynneth & Rhiannon Owen, Leeds
- “Have a lovely day. Relax, Enjoy and Celebrate. Best Wishes.” – E-card from Carol and Peter Murphy, Ackworth
- “Ann & I wish you a very happy birthday. I attach a photo sent from our birding friend Oz from a recent visit to the Arctic, showing something even longer in the tooth than us.” – Dr. Stephen Cameron, Pick Hill
- “We wish you a very happy Birthday and a year ahead of good health and happiness. With love and all good wishes” – Gemunu & Sue Dias, Colchester
- “Wish you a very happy birthday.” – Nadeesha Dias, Melbourne, Australia
- “Happy Birthday, Bernard! Best wishes and have a lovely day!” – Jane Trewhella, Otley
- “Happy birthday today.” – Fred Price, Harrogate
- “Many happy returns of the day. All the best. Hope you’re having a great day” – Deepthi Dias, Melbourne, Australia