Jaqui's Daily Blog

A Birthday Treat - And I Was There

Our Boy telephones us. "Shall we just pretend that you have 'phoned me?" is his opening banter. It's only 10.30 a.m. but it's his birthday and he has obviously been Up With The Lark, awaiting a call from his Aged Parents. Who were, at the time, having their wayward locks trimmed by the Lovely Sue and so were otherwise engaged under the scissors / trimmer.

"Are you and Dad going to sing Happy Birthday?" he asks next. So we invite the Lovely Sue to join us and the three of us deliver a rousing chorus of the age-old birthday theme song. Hopefully it was a satisfactory performance, despite the fact that he felt the need to prompt us. At least our birthday card passed muster. It was the perfect card, I thought, when I saw it in the newsagents. All about how the son we were so proud of had become a loving father. Of whom we were every bit as proud. My only nagging worry was that I might - just possibly - have sent him the exact same birthday card last year. The Birthday Boy asserted, loyally, that he couldn't remember.

When your off-spring grow up, you don't often manage to spend their actual birthday with them. A telephone call, a musical rendition, perhaps a video call via Skype or FaceTime have to suffice. Today, however, we were going to be with him All The Way.

Today, you see, was the Six Nations rugby match between Wales and England at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff - and our birthday present was a ticket for the Big Match. "So long as it's a great game," I say but Our Boy is having none of that: "So long as it's an England win!" he corrects me. No namby-pamby, may the best team win for this most competitive fan. Unless it's England, of course. He is, indeed, his father's son.

I ask if any of his sons (known to you all as the Not So Very Little Welsh Boys) will be supporting England. He thinks possibly one of the bigger boys may do - not necessarily out of conviction, more out of sympathy. It being his birthday and all, you understand. The Duracell Bunny, aka Young Morgan, will, of course be supporting Wales being as Welsh as a leek. Or a daffodil, for that matter.

Come the afternoon, Mr B and I are ensconced in front of the TV. We can hear a Male Voice Choir singing Mr B's favourite Canon Lan in the background but the BBC doesn't believe in allowing its audiences to soak up the pre-match atmosphere as it actually happens, preferring to present us with a selection of pundits wittering away. At least Our Boy is there, singing "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" at the top of his voice.

I have planned my dinner preparations to the minute. As the teams troop in at half-time, with Wales just ahead, I head into the kitchen to prepare the vegetables and wrap the cod loins in cooking foil. Sixty minutes into the match, I put the fish in the oven and turn the gas on under the vegetables. Full-time - England has won, celebrations are in order, and our dinner is ready to be served up. It's not often I manage to be such Perfect Timing.

Of course I could have found a dozen alternative ways of spending my time. But on this particular day, on Our Boy's birthday, I wanted to share his day. I wanted to groan with him when Wales scored a try, to hold my breath when Owen Farrell eyed up the distance he needed to kick that strangely shaped ball over the bar, to exult when Elliot Daly snatched victory for the England team.

It was your birthday treat, my lovely boy, and - albeit vicariously from my armchair - I Was There.


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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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