They do have a tendency in later life at their children’s birthday gatherings, to go on about their children’s past exploits. This at a time when everyone else is well into the party spirit and talking about what’s happening next week!
Worse still, if it’s a birthday with a big O attached they may even start chatting away about your actual birth! No surely not!
Tell all and sundry about your home birth in London, when your dad had decided to decorate the kitchen that very week. It would only take a day or so. “Oh yes it will” “Oh no it won’t” So where was the hot water and fresh towels supposed to come from? ‘Call the Midwife’ had nothing on us! But guys did that sort of thing in those days! Or paced hospital corridors until it was all over.
But even when my waters broke. you still refused to make an appearance. It was only when the ambulance had been booked to whisk me away did you decide to slip into world with that first indignant cry.
1. London Zoo in the 60s. 2. Painting of our second house. 3. You and your brother in Ashburton Park.
You were such a mischievous child. I don’t know how many times you fell into the Norfolk Broads (your grandparents’ idea of an ideal holiday). We sometimes wondered if it was ‘accidentally on purpose’ as you laughed, bobbing up and down in a a life jacket, enjoying the whole drama of it all.
You practically taught yourself to read with Dr Suess and that ‘Cat in the Hat’ a bit like the leather one you made yourself last year. Rather than wait to be taught to read you just got on with it, especially with your favourite comic character ‘Sparky’. Your best loved toy was leggo. And later you set up your own printing business when you were still at school. That old Adana came in handy and who else do I know with that kind of enterprise?
Later you learned your first computer language from books, bought from the money you earned by doing errands on Saturdays from your Grandad, when he ran the Jubilee Craft Market in London.
Exploits of course, our first camping holidays in the rain, grape picking in France on your own, the trip to Berlin with friends on motor bikes! Motorbikes for goodness sake! (heart in mouth times for mothers). And you actually saw the wall came down.
When you left home to share a house with friends I was so proud of you but how I wept when you actually walked out the door! A year later when you gave a party one of the mums arrived with pizza to re-heat and it was then that you all discovered the oven had not worked for 12 months! Oh the joys of takeaways!
No surprise you were successful in the world of IT and often the first with a new development in that field! You found an enterprising wife in Caroline, with all sorts of interests including bee keeping and running the local cub pack and I’ve got amazing grandchildren into the bargain! I am sorry that our marriage didn’t last but glad your dad is still around for you. We were lucky to have had sons so different but both so enterprising and caring.
This week at least no one in the class was expected to contribute to a play station as was reported in the news recently. We come from the generation where one’s child invited one or two chosen mates round to tea and were dead chuffed if they turned up with a small gift.
One of the highlight’s in recent years was when you decided to be a Punch and Judy professor. Travelling up to Covent Garden to the Punch and Judy May Fayre and how the children laughed at the unforgettable performance to launch entertainment on the Terraces in Rottingdean.
Thank you for just being you, and teaching me how to fish, helping to fix the ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ puppets, how to do podcasts and for the hand tooled key fob you made for mother’s day.
Happy Birthday – a special week for you!