So here I am, heading in completely the opposite direction to everyone else. What’s new? I hear you ask.
world and his wife (and family, presumably) are all driving to the seaside, like lemmings to the cliff top, with their buckets and spades, plastic dinghies, collapsible chairs, cool bags and picnic baskets. It’s what we do, isn’t it, at the first
hint of a long, sunny weekend?
I, who live at the sea-side, might be expected to be sitting in a deck-chair already, with a handkerchief tied at the ends on my
head, like Andy Capp, and a flask of coffee at hand. But, no, I am off to catch a hot train, heading inland to Hook in Hampshire. Why on earth would I do that?
Well, for the very good reason that it is grand-daughter Hazel’s fourteenth birthday and Merry Mayhem is promised all weekend. As you know, when Merry Mayhem beckons, I’ll be there. With bells on, as the Middle of the Darling Daughters would
Regular readers will remember Hazel (aka Hazel Bagel for reasons I can’t remember now.) She has occasionally taken over the Daily Blog for me and entertained you
royally. She also made a name for herself, you will recall, as a burger bun in pantomime last Christmas. Never was a burger bun more enthusiastically represented on stage. Ronald Macdonald would have been proud of her.
This is what you need to know about Hazel. She is one of those people who really does “light up the stage” when she performs. We have watched her as a plucky Dorothy in her Junior School
production of the Wizard of Oz (I wore my red shoes as a sign of support. Hazel was less than impressed.) We have watched her as an enchanting and brave Scheherazade in the play of the same name (I cried buckets.) But we have also watched her in many
a chorus, where she throws herself into whatever role she is playing with as much gusto as if she were the leading lady. In fact, to us, she is always the Leading Lady.
Off-stage, she is still a performer. She is, how can I put it? a little loud. Her nickname is Nutti, a clever play on her name but it sums her up extremely well. She is totally, delightfully, manically nutty. How does she manage to pull so many crazy
faces and still manage to look beautiful? When I pull faces, on the other hand, the Son In Law snaps me unawares and posts the results on Facebook so that everyone can have a giggle. It is a good thing that I am not vain. Or, at least, not very...
Yesterday the Birthday Celebrations started with a barbecue for 17 teenagers. I can see from the photos that my birthday banner has arrived and is hanging in its customary
place. However this morning I receive a text from the Youngest of the Darling Daughters (proud and loving mother to Hazel) saying that at some point during the barbecue someone made off with the “1” of “14” so that the banner now reads
“HAZEL IS 4”. I have been requested to bring a replacement letter. I suspect the Son in Law (proud and loving father to Hazel) who enjoys re-arranging the letters in my birthday banners to read something completely different. My Boy’s
birthday banner, for example, which originally read “FORTY NOT OUT” was re-arranged to read “FORTY NO TOUT”. More than one person was intrigued by it.
I have only once missed Hazel’s birthday, the year I was recovering from shoulder surgery and would have been a Bit of a Liability, even if I had managed the journey. So I’m delighted to be heading off to sunny Hook this afternoon.
Because what I haven’t said yet is that my Hazel Bagel, my Nutti girl, my darling diva is also the sweetest, most loving, grand-daughter anyone could have. Lucky, lucky
Happy Birthday, Hazel Bagel. Even the sun won’t shine as brightly as you today!