The combination of a "significant birthday" and yet another lockdown meant that the celebrations would have to be confined to something at home.
Looking for a way to make it memorable, I took up Mark Poynton's offer of a bespoke four-course meal.
Mark is chef patron of MJP@TheShepherds in Fen Ditton, just outside Cambridge, and formerly of Michelin-starred Alimentum.
Mark, who has appeared on Great British Menu, started his career aged 15 in Chester; after several quick promotions, he moved to Cambridge to work under Daniel Clifford for seven years at the two Michelin-starred Midsummer House.
He then moved to Alimentum as Head Chef, became Chef Patron within a year and went on to gain a Michelin star and three AA rosettes.
Mark sent me a suggested menu and outlined the sorts of wines that would go with them.
The food needed little more than assembling or warming up and came with full instructions.
As to the wines, I picked out a few highlights of recent months and lined them up; this was not a time to be experimenting with anything new or unusual.
Marks and Spencer Very Rare Dry Oloroso Sherry made by Lustau, this is a complex and warming yet bone dry Oloroso; rich and intense with spiced Christmas cake prunes, toasted hazelnuts and exotic citrus peel.Colesel 'Cartizze Dry' Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG despite the name, a sweeter style of Prosecco from Cartizze, Prosecco's top region. Golden sandy yellow, delicate, fresh and elegant with a creamy mousse and aromas of ripe stone fruit; full and off-dry with white-flesh fruit and a mineral persistence. Very deft and precise.