Jaqui's Daily Blog

A Day of Birthday Surprises

<p>Let me set the scene:</p> <p><br />The Eldest of the Darling Daughters arrives with her family for what she believes will be a low-key celebration of her forthcoming 50th birthday with Mr B and me. One week early, the first of many fun-filled BirthdAy-Related Events. - but, as I always say, why have one birthday celebration when you could have, well, several?</p> <p><br />Out in the garden, enjoying the late October sunshine, the surprise guests. The remaining Darling Daughters who can generally be relied upon to behave themselves in company. Plus Our Rascal and The Twinkles, who generally cannot. As surprise guests go, our party had everything.</p> <p><br />Katie and Elle, daughters of the Birthday Girl, almost gave the game away when they saw their mum selecting a bottle of champagne from the fridge at home to bring with her. "Will one bottle be enough?" Katie enquired, before remembering that, as far as the Most Important Member of the Party was concerned, one bottle would certainly be enough. "I think I got away with it.." my granddaughter confessed later.</p> <p><br />While waiting for the arrival of the Birthday Party, Rascal and The Twinkles make themselves at home in the back garden, unpacking the box of toys which I had hauled out of the garage and exploring the flower beds, drawn by the colourful windmills still whizzing around in the breeze. All but one of the windmills, I am pleased to report, survived their attentions.</p> <p><br />"Surprise! Surprise!" we all yell, like Cilla Black in manic overdrive, as the Birthday Girl arrives. "Hope you don't mind your day being noisier than you bargained for?!" It was, I think it safe to say, a rhetorical question.</p> <p><br />Champagne corks pop, bringing a comment from our next door neighbour on the other side of the fence where he was also entertaining. We would like to have shared our champagne, in the interests of neighbourliness, but we weren't sure if it would stretch that far.</p> <p><br />The Twinkles aren't the only twins enjoying the sunshine in the back garden. Nestled among the wispy branches of the tamarisk tree, two enchanting baby collared doves. Young Faris is enraptured, continually visiting the tree throughout the afternoon and begging to be allowed to hold one. For hold, read squash? his mother suggests. You can have too much love. If you're a baby dove, that is.</p> <p><br />A birthday banner in red and gold letters; a meal of Madras beef curry cooked by my own Fair Hand, a chocoholic birthday cake - extra gifts for a Darling Daughter. Plus a keepsake present which gave Mr B and me so much pleasure in the planning and design of it. It is a heart shaped print made up of words and phrases summing up our eldest daughter. Katie and Elle particularly like the inclusion of the words "brave" and "sporty", witness (had we but known it) to their mother's unfortunate and painful encounter with a gravel court while playing netball last week. I think she is pretty amazing to still be playing competitive netball at the age of fifty (minus one week.)</p> <p><br />Mr B's favourite words are "very special." I'd originally suggested "special" but for Mr B that wasn't good enough. When our Anne was born she was the very first person he had known who was his own flesh and blood, having been adopted as a baby. Very special, indeed.</p> <p>"Good friend to many." "Wonderful mother". "Darling Daughter." "Always there for us." Coming up with the most appropriate words and phrases carried us pleasurably back through the years since she was born, one chilly October morning in the bedroom of our ground floor flat in Uxbridge. "Just like a skinned rabbit!" my friend and next door neighbour's father commented - and I was so incensed for she was my first born, my pride and my delight.</p> <p><br />Yes, that was my favourite phrase, of the many we chose with such care to describe our beautiful, clever, determined daughter.</p> <p><br />First born. So very special.</p>

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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