I have to admit that I probably did go overboard in helping the Youngest of the Darling Daughters to celebrate (a few days early) her fiftieth birthday. Fortunately my daughter
has a remarkably forgiving nature where I am concerned, declaring stoutly that she expected nothing less of me.
I did worry a little when the Truly Wonderful
Kay, who helps me keep my house in order, said she would really, really not want attention drawn to the approach of such a significant birthday. Out of sight, out of mind would be her preferred default position. Her own significant birthday is still a few
years off but her other half is already making jokes about Saga cruises. Obviously I did listen to her point of view - but my preparations were too far advanced to take a step backward...
It isn’t my daughter’s actual birthday until Saturday so you could say that I was merely the warm-up act. But what a warm-up! Though I say so myself as shouldn’t (as my dear mum would doubtless have chided me.)
First of all there was the birthday banner - and in recognition of the fact that this was a special birthday (as in, one with an 0 at the end) I decided to invest in new
glittery card. Red and gold it was as befits a superior banner. I did have to resist the temptation to recycle the silver “Y” left over from the same daughter’s fortieth birthday party ten years ago - my banners, you have to agree, have quite
remarkable staying power. There was a slight problem when it came to stringing up the finished banner above the patio doors and the letter “S” tore slightly. I didn’t have time to cut out another letter and re-string the entire banner
but fortunately the situation was rescued by the judicious application of sticky tape. Honesty meant I did have to confess the mishap to the Birthday Girl who wasn’t unduly worried. Bless her.
Then there was the birthday cake which looked much like every other cake I have made for similar celebrations but, once again, didn’t pull any punches, spelling out my daughter’s age in white icing letters.
Where I did, perhaps, go a tad too far was over the birthday sash. I blame the Loft Insulation Project for this. Among the many “treasures” recovered from the
Lofty Heights were dozens of Mr B’s 50th birthday cards, many of them sporting badges intended to be worn by the Birthday Personage. Mr B had left these all intact and I simply couldn’t bring myself to throw them away. Carefully I removed
each badge and affixed them all to a new pashmina, thereby transforming it from stylish to over-the-top. I particularly liked the badge which declared “Aged to Perfection” and another which told the wearer there was no need to worry about turning
fifty when you still only looked 38. Which could have been designed with the Youngest of the Darling Daughters in mind...
We toasted the Auspicious Occasion with
Prosecco; sang Happy Birthday (without, for once, having to wash our hands at the same time); and enjoyed a Film Night in front of the TV, completely forgetting that Tottenham Hotspur was playing that night. What a good thing that it was a match to miss, as
things turned out.
Over the top it may have been - but as a warm-up to the Main Event, I like to think we provided a good basis on which to build. Indeed, the Youngest
of the Darling Daughters reassures me that she is prepared to embrace whatever celebrations are to come and plans to make the most of them.