"Nanna, you’ve got Snapchat on your I-Pad!”
That’s Katie, my oldest grand-daughter and, dear reader, she
sounds quite impressed with me. I am tempted to nod wisely and let her imagine that I am Super Trendy and Technically Able – but I cannot tell a lie, even one by omission, so I have to admit that it was her cousin Jack, on his visit a few days
earlier, who had installed Snapchat for me. He also installed a number of other free “apps” for me, including something called GarageBand which, to be honest, doesn’t sound like anything I might use now or in the future, though I am happy
to be convinced otherwise.
Katie and her sister Eleanor take charge of the I-Pad (also, regular readers will recall, known as the Us-Pad, on account of the fact
that Mr B and I lay equal claim to it.) It’s only after they have left for home, several happy hours later, that I find they have saved in my Photo Gallery literally dozens of images of themselves. This would be most welcome were it not for the
fact that all the images are of distorted faces – enormous noses, crunched up mouths, twisted features, gnarled foreheads. None of the images look at all like my very beautiful girls. I have no idea how they transformed themselves but I shall have
to find out in case the same process, conversely, can turn me into a beauty.
Even the distractions of the I-Pad fade into insignificance when the Main Attraction arrives. The Youngest Cousin,
Young Faris aged almost eight months now, has come with his mum, to join the fun. He isn’t a bit interested in the I-Pad – but he is fascinated with the buttons on Ellie’s shirt and with Katie’s long, eminently pull-able hair.
His mum, the Middle of the Darling Daughters, hands her small son over to the tender administrations of her two nieces, knowing he will be in the safest – and most adoring - of hands.
We are gathered together for a belated celebration of the Eldest of the Darling Daughter’s birthday. When your children are young, the fact that you are with them on their birthday is something you take for granted –
indeed, where else would you be? When they are All Grown Up and don’t live with you anymore, it’s rare to see them on the day Itself unless the Big Day falls on a weekend, for example.
A couple of years ago, we took a day trip to France with the Middle of the Darling Daughters and her fella to celebrate her birthday. It was a memorable occasion for all sorts of reasons: a speedy car ride, a blowy
trip on the Cross-Channel ferry, a productive wine-buying session in a hypermarket, followed by a delicious lunch of moules frites (it had to be done, according to the M of the DDs) after which I livened up proceedings on the journey home with a quite spectacular
fainting fit in the middle of the ferry’s Duty Free shop. Apparently even the ship’s captain came to kneel at my side, like the Prince in Sleeping Beauty but unfortunately I was away with the fairies and missed this once in a lifetime experience.
I’m not sure I will ever be invited on a Birthday Trip again...
Yesterday’s birthday celebrations passed without any such histrionics on my part, in
fact I think I can safely say that I was very well behaved throughout (though I say so myself, as shouldn’t.) Mr B made a roast chicken lunch, I made my famous apple pie (well, famous within the family at least), the Eldest of the Darling Daughters opened
her presents and then almost managed to break the Musical Cake Knife trying to carve her way through the chunky biscuit base of her birthday cake.
Ah, the birthday
cake! Katie helped me by lighting the ten candles and turning out all the lights in preparation for a Grand Entrance. Singing “Happy Birthday” at the tops of our voices, we presented the cake for the traditional Blowing Out of Candles. Young Faris
gazed at the lit candles in wonderment – after all, he is not yet eight months old, he hasn’t seen many birthday cakes in his short life.
If you happened
to read my latest post on The Way We Were, you will have read about the Eldest of the Darling Daughter’s sixth birthday (see photo of all three Darling Daughters way bach then.) Yesterday, stooping to hand her the birthday cake and looking
into her dear face – well, it might have been the glow of the candle-light, or a flight of imagination, or a mother’s fond fancy but, do you know, I saw my six-year-old again.
As clear as clear can be.....