It was on the back of something else altogether - the last half of an email to Somebody Unknown, written on Monday
October 4th 1999. It’s a rather charming “blast from the past” but see what you think about it, dear reader.
Apparently, Mr B and I had
just returned from a holiday in Zante which was “lovely though the weather wasn’t quite as good as we had expected. Lots of lovely places to eat, though, so I have put on a few more pounds...” Oh, yes, I remember our holiday in Zante; on
our first evening we ventured out from our hotel to find the main drag was one British-themed restaurant after another, offering Everything With Chips plus an all-day full English Breakfast. Disappointed, the next evening we took ourselves off the beaten track
and didn’t have to look too far indeed to find all those “lovely places to eat” that I mention in my email.
On our first weekend back from holiday,
we went to see all our grandchildren. That is, all three of them - would I ever have imagined, back in 1999, that we would end up with a Tremendous Ten?
our first weekend back we went to see all our grandchildren, Anne and her Katie on Friday, and Hazel and Jack on Saturday. Hazel (who is the youngest and just over two months) is just SO beautiful - she smiles and coos at you, just as if she is talking to
you! Katie, who is two and a half, chatters away nineteen to the dozen and comes out with some really funny sayings. Anne was telling her off one day and Katie said: ‘Mummy, I’m really fed-up with you!’ Anne said she just couldn’t keep
a straight face! As for Jack, well he is the best of boys and leads me a merry chase whenever I see him...”
All of a sudden I find myself catapulted back
in time remembering those precious little ones as they were at that One Moment In Time. They are now, the three of them, All Grown Up. But still every bit as precious, of course.
My email ends: “I’d love to meet you again - do come to the party!” Which leaves me wondering anew - who was I writing to? How long is it since I last saw him / her? And just whose party am I talking about?
I search the email for further clues. I’ve signed off “love, Jaqui” so my mysterious person must be somebody I knew reasonably well. At least, not a casual
acquaintance. It sounds as if we had not seen each other for some time or why would I be so keen to “meet you again”? I’ve included my telephone number which suggests I’m not sure the recipient will still have my contact details.
Then I notice at the very top of the page, the subject matter: “Re: 21st birthday.” I do a bit of mental arithmetic (not my strong point but I can just about
manage it) and work out that the party must be for somebody born in 1978. For the life of me, I can’t think of anybody that might be. It’s certainly not a member of the immediate family but then it must have been somebody close enough for me to
be involved in their Coming of Age...
All of a sudden, it hits me - the occasion was the 21st birthday of the 3rd Staplehurst Brownie Pack, the pack I founded
with my dear friends Kay Newrick and Janet Wetherell. I was invited to the celebration along with the Eldest of the Darling Daughters and her daughter, Katie. Yes, indeed, the same Katie who used to chatter away nineteen to the dozen and was always coming
out with funny sayings. I still have a badge to mark the Happy Event. I remember I took along photos and scrap-books to show the Pack of 1999 what we used to get up to 21 years before.
The riddle has been solved! Except - I still don’t know to whom I was writing, back then on October 4th 1999. Who was it? And, almost as importantly -
Did she come to the party!?