Having recently celebrated the Christmas which Mr B missed, being confined to a hospital bed at the time, I turned my attention this week to planning a Belated Birthday Bash. I hadn’t received much feedback about
any celebrations held at the nursing home where he was being held in Splendid Isolation on his 77th birthday - so I decided to assume we should go for broke, with presents, a takeaway curry from his favourite restaurant and a cheery rendition of Happy Birthday
over a cake with candles. It didn’t quite turn out exactly as planned but it was a Brave Effort on my part (though I say so myself as shouldn’t.)
did have a guest to help us mark the day in the shape of the Youngest of the Darling Daughters who, in her official capacity as the sole member of our “social bubble”, comes to help / support / check us out every few weeks. The timing of her latest
visit was particularly good, especially as she brought a birthday present for her father which was very well-received. He did take possession of several other presents on his actual birthday (including a rather splendid bottle of whisky which he brought home
with him unopened) but, not having been allowed to see him open them, I have no idea who gave him which gifts.
One of the loveliest parts of the Belated
Birthday Bash was a replay of the splendid video messages put together by our eldest granddaughter Katie. There on the screen the (Not So Little) Welsh Boys and their parents, singing Happy Birthday, followed by granddaughter Eleanor and her boyfriend Nathan
with their own special message. The Rascally Trio each insisted on having individual messages filmed, separate from their parents, while granddaughter Hazel enlivened her family message by waving her tap shoes at the camera and declaring that she had been
practising her tap dancing but fell in the sink. It’s one of her Grandad’s favourite, oft-repeated jokes. The Eldest of the Darling Daughters and her fella made sure to remind Mr B that Spurs were on TV on the evening of his birthday and
he must make sure to watch them. The message prepared by my Little Sister and her fella, predictably, was in rhyme. It would have been such a disappointment if they hadn’t followed their own tradition...
As Mr B watched each heart-felt message, I took photographs on my IPad with the intention of sending each one to its compilers. Sadly, when I came to view my photos, two were all blurry. Worst of all, one of the blurred photographs
was of Katie and her boyfriend - that’s the same Katie who had so lovingly persuaded the rest of the family to contribute and then put together all their contributions, contacted the care home, and arranged for the compilation to be played to her Grandad
on his birthday. Not for the first time I had cause to curse my shaky hands...
We showed Mr B his birthday cards all over again and then sat down to a delicious
takeaway curry, washed down with a splendid bottle of wine. All that remained was the Ceremony of the Cake and out in the kitchen I had prepared three cup-cakes, a candle atop each one. Unfortunately, in my excitement, I had completely forgotten that Mr B
doesn’t appreciate surprises and requires advance notice of any sudden departures from the current situation. Switching off the lights to herald my arrival at the table with flaming cupcakes (okay, you are right, it was the candles which were flaming,
not the cake) was met with loud and prolonged protests. Sometimes I think I will never learn...
Despite the Cupcake Fiasco, it was a generally successful Belated
Birthday Bash. When I reported back to the rest of our extended family, my nephew suggested that our next Second Chance Celebration should be New Year’s Eve. “Any excuse for a party!” he pointed out. Which led to a prompt response from Our
Boy: “Great idea. They can go to bed early as usual...”
He knows us so well...