Regular readers may remember me telling you all about my Birthday Banner Dilemma.
Though, possibly not, on account of having
so many other things to think about. Like Brexit, for example, you ask? On balance, however, I am convinced that most reasonable people with their feet firmly on the ground, will find solace in consideration of a solvable problem...
To recap. In consultation with various Darling Daughters, it was established that, after the age of 21, grandchildren would no longer have to display one of my famous (though only within the family)
recycled birthday banners on their birthdays. Unless, of course, it was a Significant Birthday, as in one ending with a “0”. It would be slightly ridiculous, we agreed, if various grandchildren were still displaying banners in years to come proclaiming
“Eleanor is thirty-seven” or “Sam is forty-three.” You know it makes (no) sense.
However, the first test of this new rule came with
the 22nd birthday of the oldest granddaughter, who happened to be spending a birthday celebration day with her Grandad and me this weekend. Was there anything in particular, I asked my Katie, that I could do to make the day special. Oh, no, she said - just
a banner! Oh, dear, oh, dear, I have fallen at the first hurdle.
I thought long and hard about this Banner Problem and eventually arrived at what I considered
to be an excellent compromise. Katie would have her banner but, in recognition of her age and with a nod to the Bingo Hall, it would read “TWO LITTLE DUCKS.”
It was a very good thing that I had found a solution as Katie and sister Eleanor arrived at our house on a Mission. They had discovered a photograph of Katie on her sixth birthday, posed beneath her banner (of course it was one of mine, who else’s
would it have been?) pointing upwards to the banner with her arms around her younger sister. Now they wanted to recreate the moment - knowing it would be a giggle, bearing in mind that the once little sister was now the taller of the two. It would have been
a sad day, indeed, had it all come to naught for the sake of an absentee banner...
As usual, we packed a whole lot in to a short afternoon. A party tea, with champagne
for those of us who like to celebrate with a Bit of Fizz; lots of chat; a game of boules in the garden - then down to the seafront for a semi-serious game of putting at Marine Gardens where Mr B used to play bowls not so very many years ago. One of us scored
a hole in one, one of us came a dismal last. I leave you to work out which one was me...
Back home in time for birthday cake (yes, made with my own fair hand,
courtesy of the Divine Delia) and the singing of Happy Birthday before the family departed for an evening at the greyhound stadium. It had been a Very Good Day.
we said our goodbyes and everyone piled into the family car for the short trip to Brighton, I noticed something about the Birthday Girl. “You’re wearing your birthday ear-rings!” I said. Indeed she was, she nodded, wearing the special ear-rings
we gave her for her twenty-first birthday last year.
And after they have departed, I think of the many reasons why I love this granddaughter of mine, not
least because she always wants me to know that what matters to me also matters to her.
So she makes sure I know that the coaster I made once upon quite a
long time ago at a crafting session now sits on her desk at work where lots of her colleagues comment on how beautiful it is. I always tell them, she says proudly, that my Nanna made it for me and so it is unique. People often say that about my crafty efforts
- but not always with the same meaning.
She reminds me, as we pass the bowling green, how she once won a bottle of whisky for top score in an Open Day Competition
at the Bowls Club (she was under age so we had to vouch for her before she could accept her prize) and recalls the many games of putting we have enjoyed over the years. So many memories over the last twenty-two years and Katie doesn’t forget.
Last year on her 21st birthday she sat in our back garden and read every word of the Grandparents Book I had written for her, because she knew it mattered that my Labour
of Love was recognised.
Happy 22nd birthday, dear Katie. I hope you know how much you mean to me.