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My Birthday Picnic by a Castle

_dsc2175-2Human narcissism reached a new level when we decided to make the day that we were born and the very same day every single year onward a (self-proclaimed) special day. And creatively called it our “Birthday”.

A day where we could demand for cakes, feel smug about a Facebook wall full of pseudo-well wishes, and pressure our friends into delivering all kinds of sacrifices like we were the gods that save human race from Brexit, feminism and hurricanes.

You think people really care?

Now think about why the Birthday song sounds like a terrible chant and is only made up of four bloody words. 

Thanks to extensive commercial exploitation, elaborated celebration of this day is now a norm.

And the seemingly complex but, in actual fact, very simple human minds are swayed to believe that lavish celebrations and expensive gifts are tokens of deep, unrequited love.

In other words, if you want to know how well-loved you are by your family and friends, lug all your birthday gifts to a pawn shop and check how much they are worth.

Love is a mass noun turned countable.

Two weeks before my birthday this year, somebody asked me, “What do you want for your birthday?” (This, by the way, is the most romantic question one could ever ask a girl – a straightforward invite to “please extort me”. I love it.)

“Picnic by a castle.” I said, and proceeded to look at him like my world would crumble and fall into a gazillion little pieces if that didn’t happen.

So, it did.

Like a scene pulled out of a movie, it did!

I effing love birthdays.

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We drove to Chantilly that beautiful morning with food and drinks in the picnic basket. I was so excited, I was smiling and singing all the way.

You should have known by now that I am someone who values experience more than material possession. So having a birthday like this was equivalent to being stuck in a lift with James McAvoy – a pinch-me moment in heaven.

Château de Chantilly was originally the estate of the most distinguished French noble family, the Montmorency. It was later rebuilt by Duke of Aumale, who was son of the last king of France.

A great collector of precious books and paintings, the Duke’s collection has made the Château’s Reading Room the second largest library in the country.

With Raphaels, Titians and Botticellis, the Art Gallery is now a feast for the eyes. The many princely suites, on the other hand, give visitors a glimpse into the life once happened in this magnificent estate – the reception hall, the sitting room, the music room, the Prince’s office, the salon and the bedrooms.

I would gladly trade James McAvoy for a taste of how it’s like to live here just for a day.

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This estate is a 115 hectares of playground, complete with its own garden (that is more like a park), forest ground and a stable that can easily pass off as a mini-castle.

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The Great Stables was a joy.


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Ponies and horses and equestrian show… now all I need is a big cake with Chantilly cream and a knight in shining armour. 

Oh praise the narcissistic advocate of Birthdays.

With love x

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