In this year of the Diamond Jubilee and London 2012 Olympics, one thing is for sure. Banners and bunting are making a major comeback. Though in our family, I must tell you, banners are, and always have been, big
My speciality (as far as banners are concerned) is the making of birthday banners. Today I am fully engaged in this thoroughly pleasing
pursuit because on Thursday, hurrah, it will be young Samuel's sixth birthday. As you doubtless know, from reading the Daily Blog, I do like to "tell it like it is." Sam's birthday banner will therefore
read, in multi-coloured capital letters, strung together on a length of string: "Samuel is Six". Simple. Straight-forward. Unequivocal. You can't argue with a banner like that.
This will be
the third birthday banner I have made in just over a month. A couple of weeks ago, I produced "Eleanor is Twelve". Three weeks before that I went completely overboard with "Hazel (is a) Teenager". In just over a month's time I will be working
happily away on "James is Four." My Magnificent Seven grandchildren (they have their own webpage on this site, if you haven't yet paid it a visit) keep me pretty busy on banner-making business.
Occasionally I am called upon to create a banner for a special occasion. Golden letters for my sister's sixtieth. Sparkly silver for the youngest of the Darling Daughters' fortieth. Pink and silver for my son-in-law's sister's fiftieth.
Most of the time, however, I stick to what I do best, using A4 multi-coloured card from good old W.H.Smith.
What sets my birthday banners apart from the rest, if you'll excuse me bragging, is that
they are all recycled. They will be put on display on the birthday itself and thereafter for as long as the Birthday Girl or Boy desires (Katie probably holds the record as she has been known to keep her banner on display from her birthday
at the end of April until her sister's banner arrives to take its place at the end of July.) However after the birthday banner has played its doubtless not inconsiderable part in the celebrations, the mothers and father of the Birthday Child know that
I will be expecting the letters to be returned to me, ready to be recycled into someone else's birthday banner.
The oldest of the Darling Daughters is the most efficient at this. She even returns
the string on which the letters were threaded. She would, I feel sure, have done well during the war-time years of Make Do and Mend. Not that I am (quite) old enough to have experienced the wartime years, you understand, but my lovely mum
did. This meant I grew up watching her saving even the smallest quantity of left over food, storing it thriftily in the fridge until such a day as it became uneatable and had to be thrown away anyway.
The Son-and-Only, unlike his oldest sister, always has to be reminded of the requirement to return the banner letters. I have had to threaten him with the unthinkable - being left out of my Last Will and Testament. Not the main Will, you
understand, but the part which I just know all the family will be contesting fiercely - the chance to inherit The Extremely Large Penguin Which Sits Outside the Door Whenever the Grandchildren Come to Visit.
Some might say that I am only thinking of myself when I insist on creating my banners from recycled letters. And it is true that I now have so many multi-coloured letters that I rarely have to make a new letter (though last year's
"Eleanor is Eleven" requiring no fewer than five recycled Es was, indeed, a challenge.) But what I love is the knowledge that every banner is made up of letters which were once part of another Birthday Person's banner, part of someone else's special
Birthday banners are a bit like love. What goes round, comes round.