“Can we watch The News?” Jack asks us. We all gawp. I find myself recalling the time when his sister, then aged about 9, fluttered her eye-lashes at the young man waiting our table at our favourite Indian restaurant
and asked sweetly: “Could I have a sparkling mineral water, please?” in her most grown-up voice.
Jack reminds us that next week he has a General Studies
exam for which he cannot revise as the subject matter could be just about anything. The News seems as good a starting point as any. We all watch The News with fresh eyes, trying to work out which items might make it onto next week’s exam paper.
I doubt if the egg-throwing incident on Britain’s Got Talent will feature as a General Studies topic.
Mr B and I don’t usually watch Britain’s
Got Talent but one of the things I love about staying with different members of the family is unconditionally sharing life as they live it. Eating what they like to eat, playing the games they enjoy, watching the TV programmes they watch, listening to the
tunes they choose on the car audio system. Vive la difference! (Yes, Jack had French homework too...)
On the way to beautiful Alice Holt Country Park for our Family
Day Out yesterday, for example, we listened to the soundtrack of Seussical Jr – a full-length musical being presented by BAOS Limelight, the youth theatre company of which both Jack and Hazel are members. Jack plays the Mayor of Whoville and Hazel is
the Sour Kangaroo. You have to admit that, when it comes to the juiciest parts, Hazel (who, you will surely remember, starred as a burger bun in pantomime at Christmas) always manages to land them. The Sour Kangaroo, contrary to what you might think,
is the Diva Queen of the Jungle, loud and sassy. How very, very Hazel...
For my part I have been roped in to help with the publicity and at the moment I am busy
writing character sketches for all the main parts. Take a look at www.facebook.com/seussical.jr.baos.limelight to see what I have been up to. If you are a Dr Seuss fan, or have littl’uns who love anything magical, then this would be right up your
street. Let me know if you’re coming and I will persuade the Sour Kangaroo to give you her autograph. Can’t say fairer than that...
Talking of magic,
you will doubtless be pleased to hear that as a result of extending my birthday celebrations by a couple of days, everything turned out hunkey-dorey (as my mother would have said.) We enjoyed a great family meal out on Friday evening at an Indian
restaurant, enlivened by the fact that the staff refused to accept that we had ordered enough food for all of us. For example, we ordered 8 poppadoms. “Sixteen poppadoms,” said our waiter, writing it all down conscientiously on his order
pad. Then we ordered four lots of pilau rice with our main courses. “Only four?” he queried, crossly, counting us up around the table with obvious discontent and muttering an audible "Humph!" which sounded, for all the world, like the Sour
Kangaroo at her most diva-esque. Mind you, we did munch our way through all sixteen poppadoms before our mains arrived.
The next day was our Family Day out
and a chance to introduce my lovely sister, brother-in-law, niece, great-niece and great-nephews to the newest member of the family – Young Faris. King Baby took it all in his stride, even when my sister and I sang that treasured old favourite
“Dooby Dooby Do” in unison over his pram. The look on his face was a picture – Faris does arguably the best “what are they like?!” expression ever seen in a three month old.
We didn’t actually do a great deal all day but, as Mr B would say (and did) there was no danger of our jaws rusting. There was even a chocolate birthday cake for Jack and Hazel’s other grandmother and me
(our birthdays are within a few days of each other) and, of course, the required rendition of “Happy Birthday.” There was another Birthday Girl enjoying her celebration picnic just a few yards away. Her birthday balloon announced that she was One
I wonder what I did on my first birthday? Did I have a picnic and presents? Was there a cake and did it have candles? What a pity I can’t remember.
Thank you, Family, for making this year’s birthday one to remember after all.