I was disappointed when I realised that James would be back at work on my birthday. I was disappointed when I learnt that my mum was busy and I was disappointed when I remembered that all my friends were at work and that I'd be spending the day with my thoughts.
And even though John whispered "appy bu-ay" sweetly to me over breakfast, and my mum rang to sing me a happy birthday chorus, my mind was still heavy when I awoke and I still managed to start the day in tears.
And it wasn't until we arrived at an unexplored woodland and began making our way through the trees, that I realised that I'd been gifted the most beautiful day imaginable and blessed with the best company that I could hope for on my birthday.
I followed John as he made his way off the beaten path and explored the winding track that ran beside the water's edge, and I lingered when he stopped to fish in the stream, put stones in his pockets, climb trees and collect sticks.
We chattered and sang as we wandered amongst the trees, and as we walked I felt my thoughts unwinding in the warm air, until my mind felt as free and light as the leaves that danced overhead.
Hazy bursts of sunshine filtered through the canopy, making shadows shiver across the bracken, the sound of the river sang to us as walked, and everywhere we looked there was magic.
There were bearded tree trunks and tiny villages of mushrooms, hollow trees where owls perched by night and tiny waterfalls trickling through the rocks, white horses glimpsed between distant trees and gnarled trunks that grew straight out of the rocks.
I'm not sure how long the two of us were lost in those woods.
I know that we stopped by the waters edge for a picnic, I know that when our little path hit a cliff we had to retrace our steps through the undergrowth, and I know that when we finally re-emerged from the trees the sunshine had blanketed the world in warmth and my day had been transformed from a shadowy stretch of hours into a truly beautiful birthday.