Got good loot :) Including perfume (Ange ou Démon, thanks Jo & Chris), earrings (purple! :D, thanks to J's parents), book tokens (thanks to Phil, Helen & Sam, and to my parents (who also got me a little book of cats in the British Museum) - and I've already got one book in mind to get with them (there's a paperback of A History of Christianity due soon)), books (on photography, medieval Europe & the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám - thanks to J :) ).
Read some of the photography book during the day yesterday - that's the only one I picked out myself ("Digital Photography Masterclass" by Tom Ang), and I'm finding it thought provoking at the moment - it's mostly about things to think about or things to try & play with etc, rather than rules & how-tos. Which is what I was after - and it's got a big section on image manipulation/post-processing which is half the fun as far as I'm concerned (and whilst I'm pretty sure he's using Photoshop, it's still about concepts etc so I should be able to apply it to The Gimp). Not going to take it on holiday though, coz it's fairly weighty and I'm not gonna be able to play about with any of the stuff there!
What I will take away is one of the medieval Europe books - "The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change 950-1350" by Robert Bartlett. It's a lighter/thinner paperback book, with small text, so something to get my teeth into ;) The chap who wrote it is the one who presented the programmes about The Normans that J & I have just watched, hence why J chose it (and the other medieval one is also by him - "England Under the Norman and Angevin Kings 1075-1225" - but is a much weightier tome so will have to wait till I'm home again).
I am taking other books, of course, just that's the one from my birthday loot :)
Had a pretty relaxing day - bit of poking around on the internet, bit of reading, bit of cooking (and eating and drinking), bit of zombie hunting. A good birthday :D