Before COVID19 turned 2020 completely upside down, I had been planning celebrations for my 40th birthday. But, as has been true for many people, the pandemic threw those plans (and a surprise birthday holiday organised by my husband) completely into disarray. Instead, I faced this landmark birthday at home, isolating with my family. However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom - contrary to what I was expecting in the lead up, spending my 40th birthday in self isolation ending up being quite wonderful and relaxing.

Birthday in lockdown

Since lockdown started, I have been Bhavini Makwana stood in front of a wall on which 40th birthday bunting and balloons hangtaking advantage of the increased amount of Facebook Live events hosted by musicians, singers and speakers on different topics. On the evening before my birthday I was listening to , a singer and songwriter who had previously hosted and performed at a charity fundraising event of mine, and he dedicated a special slot during his Facebook Live to wish me a happy birthday. Happily, he also sang one of my all-time favourite songs! I listened to a few other artists that evening, who also played my requests and did birthday shout outs. The next morning, I started my birthday with a relaxing bath, as my bathroom was turned into my private spa, with bubbles of both sorts. I was then treated to a decadent morning as my kitchen was transformed into a patisserie, serving delicious pancakes with an assortment of fillings. Luckily, we were blessed with beautiful weather and I was able to spend the rest of the morning relaxing in the garden, soaking up the sun, listening to music and playing different games with my guide dog.

Afternoon tea in the garden

The next surprise was a scrumptious afternoon tea, made up of a selection of sandwiches, the homemade scones I made the day before, some samosas, spring rolls and a range of cakes. Those that know me know that I love afternoon teas, but until now I have never had one outside in the sunshine and with music that I love.

My guide dog Colin also enjoyed his lunch with us but was imitating me a little too closely, lying in the blazing sun too much for his own good. We had to keep taking him inside to prevent him overheating!

Later on in the day, I came in to the house to find it decorated with banners, balloons, streamers, cards and presents. My kitchen had been turned into a mini bar and I wiled away some time making cocktails, dabbling with a few creations of my own.

FaceTime connections

Whilst I cannot see the people at the other end of a Facetime call, I received many lovely calls on my birthday and I really appreciated those who took time to call. I was hugely grateful for the effort the children and my husband had gone to in making it a very special day. My family joined me on an app called Houseparty and we all had a virtual cake cutting. By this point my garden had been transformed into a private dance floor, and I finished the day dancing with my husband – a magical ending to a magnificent day.

Sun and relaxation


Good Friday to Easter Sunday involved more relaxing in the hot sun, and two days of BBQs. I really felt I was actually on holiday: food and drink available without me having to lift a finger, no cleaning or cooking, just having fun in the sun with my family and guide dog (minus the sea and sand)! Who would have thought I was in my garden? It certainly felt like I was somewhere more exotic.

It made me realise that making the best out of a situation, the most out of the resources we had available and technology helped make my 40th birthday in lockdown an extremely memorable one! Thanks to my family, I feel very blessed!

If you are anticipating spending a special day or milestone birthday in lockdown, be sure to get creative with what you have available and try and make the most out of the situation you are in. Have fun and create memories! Why not tell us about what you got up to?

Written by Bhavini Makwana, Engagement Manager for London Vision.

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