Jaqui's Daily Blog

Sweet Sixteen!

On Tuesday next week, the Oldest of the Grand-daughters will be 16 years old. Sweet Sixteen, indeed!


Because Mr B and I can’t bear to miss out on any family celebration, we travelled over to see her this weekend, along with her other grandparents who are just like us when it comes to not wanting to miss out. Though they had driven all the way down from Oop North (as in Preston) which shows True Commitment.


Before we hit the road we had a Birthday Mission to complete – as in, a visit to the Balloon Shop (Mr B and I reckon we are probably the Balloon Shop’s best customers, what with all the birthdays to be celebrated.) We didn’t have much time so Mr B said I couldn’t spend ages choosing the Perfect Balloon – which was obviously a signal for Everything to Go Wrong. First of all we had to wait because there was another customer in front of us – fancy someone else wanting to buy a birthday balloon at the Exact Precise Moment that we did. It shouldn’t be allowed.  If that wasn’t bad enough, this other customer’s balloon (which was star-shaped and enormous) somehow escaped and floated up to the ceiling – which meant the shop keeper had to trot off and find a grabber after which even more time was spent rescuing the Errant Balloon.


At least this enabled me to take time looking through all the 16th Birthday balloons and choosing my favourite without Mr B hurrying me up, huffing and puffing about how nobody else would take so long to choose between three or four designs, all of them carrying the same basic birthday message. By the time the other customer had paid for his Super-Size Balloon and was bearing it out of the shop in a black plastic sack, I’d picked my favourite balloon.  However, it really wasn’t our day. No sooner was our balloon inflated than it popped – which meant I had to make a quick choice of a substitute.  By the time we had stowed our second choice balloon away in the boot and set off on our journey, we were both feeling all frazzled. Fortunately I had invested in a packet of Werthers Originals in the newsagents...


The guest of honour at the Birthday Celebration was, of course, young Faris who arrived with his mother, the Middle of the Darling Daughters, and set out to enchant us all.  Sweet Sixteen was not the least bit miffed, bless her, at someone else being the Centre of Attraction, being only too delighted to spend time with her youngest cousin. We were all desperate to see if he would smile at us so the poor child was grinned at, tickled, sung to – you name it, we did it, indulging in quite ridiculous behaviour in the search of a smile.  Baby Boy was not impressed. I think he almost – almost! – gave me a proper smile; however apparently to see him at his Smiley Best, you need to be around first thing in the morning. I have made a careful note...


We toasted Sweet Sixteen with champagne and had “Nearly Birthday Cake” ablaze with sixteen gold and silver candles.  We also had a Ceremonial Present Opening – we didn't open all of them, because her birthday’s not till Tuesday and wouldn’t it be dreadful if she had no presents to unwrap on the Day Itself? Mr B and I gave her a “skater dress” from Top Shop (which, incidentally, has to be the scariest shop ever for people of my age to venture into.)  It looked beautiful, if very short – but then if it wasn’t short it wouldn’t be a skater dress, would it? Sweet Sixteen said it would be perfect for when she went on her work experience.  Her father turned a little pale and eyed the hemline even more closely.


That was yesterday; this morning before we set off for today’s outing (of which more tomorrow!) Sweet Sixteen and I sat and chatted for ages over the breakfast table, laughing at the antics of a grey squirrel sunning himself on the roof of the summer house and watching us through the window with alert and beady eyes.  


A balloon, a banner, a cake with candles and a chat with my lovely birthday girl – memories are made of these...

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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