Birthdays, Cantankerous Doctors, And Cornwall Blue Skies, Or, Saturday Morning at 9:14am

The village of Portwenn:).

Well, tomorrow is my birthday. Not notable, I’m turning 56. Doesn’t feel like a particular milestone of aging, but it’s still The Day.

I love birthdays. My mother did a good job of turning the key to the door of special. Growing up in a family of four, we mostly shared. I know, I know, what about all the money? My mother’s New England heritage resulted in an awful lot of If You Have Candy It Will Be One Bar Split Four Ways, that’s what. Probably good for us. Certainly good for us.

On our birthdays, however, sharing played second fiddle. We got to choose what was for dinner. We also got to request a cake from the local baker, decorated however we chose. We got a Party.

While I’ve had some dramatic birthdays in my midlife – at 40, a party for 75 with passed appetizers, bartended mixed drinks and lawn flamingos; at 50, at the end of a 20-year marriage, a float on a little rented outboard motorboat in a lake in the High Sierras –  my favorite may be the birthday when I turned 6, and my Mom invited my friends over for a spiderweb toy hunt.

I think my first reaction was, “Wait, I have friends?” With a birthday in late September, I don’t think I’d figured out yet that the other children in my classroom were those things I had read about called “friends.” Then I remember delighting in winding string through the house. And finally the cake, covered with an icing spiderweb.

It’s also true, for whatever reason, that after all these birthdays I like to give presents as much as to get them. So this year, for my 56th, I have a present for  you. I apologize to the British among us, to whom this is not new. Feel free to ask me which American series I like, if you are curious. But for the rest of us, I want to make sure you’ve heard of a television series called “Doc Martin.”

It’s about a doctor who has to leave London and move home to a small village in Cornwall. Which appears to be a beautiful part of the world, by the way. The doctor’s lack of social filters provides the sour to Cornwall’s sweet – and the host of characters in the show are all well-played. You can find it on Netflix Watch Instantly, or Hulu. Hulu’s speed is terrible, but it is free, and good for a test watch. The only other thing I’ll say is that I sleep well after an episode or two of the show.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone, full of gifts of one sort or another.

Image via Corrie and Ian on Travel Blog

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  • Lisa,
    Best wishes for a wonderful birthday. May all your wishes come true.
    Here are some birthday candles iiiiiiiiiii

  • Happy Birthday Lisa, 56 are the years that I will. As Paula says, from the blog DettaModa, age is only a number.

  • Sending early Happy Birthday greetings, and hopes you have a splendid, glorious day. :)

  • Happy Birthday! Have a wonderful weekend.

  • Happy Birthday Lisa. Enjoy this next year.

  • Happy Birthday Darlin’ !
    I turned 58 on the 11th, and I’m married to a slightly more charming version of Martin ;)
    Wonderful show.

  • Happy Birthday Lisa! Many many more happy & healthy years.

    I will check into Doc Martin, Cornwall is indead very special, beautiful and has some outstanding gardens.

    56, you are just a baby!!!!

  • I am glad the series has made it across the high seas. Martin Clunes is great as the doctor and yes Cornwall can be as beautiful as it looks provided the sun is shining. Happy Birthday

  • Happy birthday!
    Love your blog.

  • Happy Birthday to my Twitter Mom!! I hope you have a wonderful day and you enjoy every moment of it.


  • Do tell us what you choose for your birthday menu, your store bought cake and how you will wish in a brand new year amid the life of privileges. Warmest wishes for a year ahead for of contentment and grace.

  • I added you to my blog roll. You newly titled site.

  • Happy Birthday and plan on an exciting, adventurous year ahead. Doc Martin IS really great!

    Art by Karena

  • Happy Birthday, Lisa! My mom did birthdays for us four kids just as your mom did: we specified the meal and the cake—mine was always roast beef and yorkshire pudding and a chocolate cake with white frosting, my mom is a fabulous cook—with the exception that our birthdays were always family affairs. We were not much for parties. It was more dinner, an endless dinner table discussion, and then all of us retiring to the livng room to read a book.

    One Doc Martin nit from an obsessive: I think Doc was from London. Have you encountered his terrible, chilly parents yet? Claire Bloom’s take on Doc’s mom explains everything about Doc. Corwall is where Doc would come to spend holidays with his Aunt Joan.

    Doc. Martin had the same effect on me that it had on you; I’d sleep well after a couple of episodes. I do miss that program.

  • I hope 56 is filled with positive energy, laughter and many wonderful adventures. Thank you for your birthday gift to us – just what I was looking for to hold me over until the next season of Downton Abbey begins. Happy, Happy Birthday Lisa!

  • And a very Happy Birthday to you! Love the idea of the candy bar split among you all. Hope your year is filled with all the best you give to us.

    Doc Martin, a treasure of a show. Love it.

  • Happy Birthday, Lisa. Thanks for the Doc Martin tip.

  • Happy Birthday, Lisa! I hope you’ll find a special way to celebrate. We’ve watched an episode or two of Doc Martin and love it.

  • Happy birthday to you, Lisa! One nice thing about age is the freedom to express one’s feelings (in every respect) without so much concern for other’s opinions. I did love Doc Martin and miss it now that you mention it. The coast of Cornwall is simply magnificent.

  • Happy birthday Lisa. May you have many more.

  • Happy Birthday Lisa x

    Doc Martin is filmed in Port Isaac, Cornwall, which is where we spent a week of our honeymoon. (they were actually filming when we were there, which was quite exciting!)

  • Happy Birthday!

  • Well……….Happy Birthday Lisa! 56, you are just a young girl still. Thanks for the gift, I am hunting for a new series and this sounds perfect. Enjoy the party, whether it be quiet or loud. xx

  • Wishing you a wonderful Birhtday tomorrow Lisa!!! May it be a day filled with loads of heartlifting joy and lot’s of love (sending some from my neck of the woods, as we speak)! ♥
    xoxo J~

    BTW- Thanks for the Doc Martin tip…on my own this weekend and was looking for another world to escape into! :)

  • Happy Birthday, Lisa. May the coming year be full of joy.

  • Happy Birthday Lisa!
    Thank you for your weekly gifts you give of your blog….have a wonderful and creative 57th year!
    And that Doc Martin–what a guy! He is a rather pumped up version of Mr Bean, I think. Only the Brits could invent a character like that!

  • Happy Birthday, Lisa. Your blog is all the present we need from you, even without spiderwebs.

  • I will definitely check it out on Netflix! Happy birthday!!!

  • I wish you a Happy Birthday!

    As for the friends–the wonder you describe at age 6 is still very real to me at my age. I think I’ve never gotten over the wonder and often wonder how many “friends” I have.

  • Happy birthday from another Doc Martin fan!

  • Best wishes to you on the anniversary of your birth. May the coming year be a good one.

  • Have a wonderful birthday! I loved your comments about your special childhood birthdays. As the eldest of a very large family, I especially appreciated my parents making sure we each had one day that was truly ours, from first thing in the morning ’til our eyelids lowered at day’s end. May tomorrow be as satisfying for you as one of those special early birthdays — and thank you for the gift of a new show. I’ll be sure to check it out.

  • The happiest of happy birthdays to you, dear friend! Cheers!

  • Happy, Happy Birthday, Lisa!
    I’d like to give you a bit of gratitude: You write a unique and compelling blog for those of us not-20, and some of your posts have helped me muster courage when I had none, convinced me to put some effort into being stylish, and reminded me I could still date (value added). There are more, but those are the ones that keep getting replayed in moments of weakness.
    Thank you!

    7:48 pm
    Lisa said...

    This makes any effort or trials or tribulations worthwhile.

  • Lisa,
    Wishing you a wonderful birthday and a very happy and joyful year.

  • Happy birthday, Lisa!

  • Happy Birthday and hope you have a wonderful day, and upcoming year of course too.

  • Happy birthday. I do hope it was a wonderful day and the year ahead is full of great experiences. Thank you too for the gift of Doc Martin. I watched an episode this evening which I enjoyed. BTW it is also available for free to Amazon prime members and the connection speed was just fine.

  • Happy birthday Lisa! May your day be wonderful and the new year full of beautiful surprises!

  • Happy Birthday, Lisa. The satisfying concluding episode of Doc Martin just aired last night on our public television station (British Columbia). A great recommendation!

  • Happy happy birthday! I hope it turns out to be notable after all!

  • Happy birthday to you . It is good to see a picture of Cornwall on your blog , the UK has lots of areas worth a visit but so many folk do not see beyond the capital . Whilst London has many important attractions ,it really is worth getting off the tourist beaten track . I’ve travelled alot in the US & you have some wonders of the world but the little places always made a big impression too – an America that isn’t often on our TV . I would love to come back for more but my dogs will not allow it .

  • Happy birthday, lovely Lisa!


  • Happy birthday Lisa! Enjoy your special day: )!

  • 56 wishes for your birthday! Write about anything you want, but just keep writing. You have a good blog…High WASP or not. :)

  • Happy Birthday or Many Happy returns of the day Lisa.

  • Thank you all so much. You’ve become part of what “friends” means to me now. Thank you again.

  • Happy Birthday — hope it was fabulous!

  • Well, a happiest of birthdays from one staunch Doc Martin fan to another! The unrelenting quirkiness of the characters keeps me on board season after season. Although they nearly lost me after the episode where he ran over the canine. My family came running to see what was up when they heard me screaming. Not so secretly, I would love to live in town there, but fortunately I appear to lack the requisite obscure health maladies to do so.

  • Happy Belated, dear Lisa! Your blog is a great gift to all of your readers.

  • Happy belated, Lisa. I hope it was a great one.

    Your trip down memory lane here with the spiderweb birthday has me remembering one of my favourite parts of birthday parties as a child: putting together the “loot” bags for my friends. That bit, selecting all exactly the right little things, was always one of the best.

  • Happy Birthday Lisa, that was a really entrancing read.

  • Happy Birthday! I love Doc Martin! I’ve been telling people at work to watch it, but they just look at me quizzically. Silly people. I will now direct them to you.

  • Also: My local (DC) PBS stations air Doc Martin, so check your local listings.

  • happy birthday lisa!! hope it is a wonderful one!

  • The happiest of birthdays! exx

  • Happy Birthday, Lisa. I can attest that 56 doesn’t hurt too much, having survived it for several months now. It’s very much like 55 with is very middling 50s, isn’t it? I’m a bit worried about being 57 next year, which is really sort of starting to sound like 60, but -hey- that’s a ways away (like about 9 minutes, judging from the speed of time this year). Anyhow, I hope you had a great birthday.

    Thank you so much for the present. I live in Britain but have never encountered Doc Martin. I shall look him up in the Radio Times…

    Thanks & Happy Birthday again!

  • A very Happy Birthday to you! May this coming year bring you good health, good friends, and good fortune. best, always, stephanie

  • Happy belated birthday wishes.

    I’m sure it was a wonderful day and i bet you were wearing something special.

    If you lived closer I’d send you some flowers.

    xo Jane

  • I hope it was a happy birthday!

  • I am so behind, so wishing you happy belated birthday!! I hope it was a wonderful day!

  • Happy belated birthday! I hope it was wonderful. I love Doc Martin too.

  • Finally found you again and am catching up. My love and I adore the Doc Martin series!!! We have also hunted down all the other movies with Martin Clunes. Just wonderful, and hope there will be another series. We, too, are awaiting the next season of Downton Abbey.
    hearty belated birthday wishes.

  • This is very belated, but I had to thank you for recommending Doc Martin. It’s so nice to watch a show where people act like real people and aren’t being constantly cruel to one another, which seems to be the trend in TV writing these days. This is a breath of fresh air. If you aren’t watching Downton Abbey, I’d highly recommend it – it’s in a similar vein.

    I hope you had a wonderful birthday.

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