Jaqui's Daily Blog

A Double Celebration

My Son in Law, husband of the Youngest of the Darling Daughters, says it's a good thing I was able to listen to all the sweet things people had said about me, as incorporated into a touching  speech at yesterday's Double Celebration. It means, he explains, that I won't need to be at my own funeral. It is an interesting thought.


Another Son in Law inspects my bruised and swollen Operation Eye and asks me what the other fella looks like. I am enchanted to think he believes I may have come off on top in my Bruising Encounter.  The remaining Son in Law drives us all round the houses on our way to the party in a bid to avoid traffic jams caused by the Goodwood Festival of Speed and manages somehow to find the positives in taking what my dear Dad would have called “the scenic route.”


Meanwhile the Darling Daughter in Law almost gives the game away when she phones me the night before the party - but doesn't quite spill the beans that My Boy will be forsaking her midway through a relaxing hotel break to surprise me by his presence.


I am always grateful that these loving in-laws manage to negotiate the undoubted pitfalls of marrying into a family like ours, with all its traditions, its unspoken priorities, its sheer craziness. Bless them all, as someone more gifted than I once sang.


“Where's my Mum?” I hear someone bellow - but there are lots of Mums present and I wasn't expecting My Boy, so it never occurred to me that I was the Mum in question till he appeared, like a rabbit out of a hat - before me. Yes, indeed, the Usher Gene went into overload, what did you expect?


Hazel, my Party Partner, looks gorgeous, as I knew she would. I for my part am wearing my Jungle Book dress as I told you I would. My best friend from my long-ago schooldays has donned her brightest, most colourful dress in a gesture of solidarity; when we stand side by side to have our photograph taken, the people behind the camera have to shield their eyes…


What a wonderful gathering of family and friends! How beautiful the garden looks, with its flowering baskets and colourful bunting! How tasty the food - trays of sandwiches, scones with jam and cream plus bowls of strawberries with mini meringues and squirty cream! I'd been persuaded by a friend who helpfully drove me to the supermarket that buying strawberries labelled “Perfectly Imperfect” would save me lots of money - then had a nightmare the night before the party that they would turn out to be misshapen and unappetising. In the event they were, well, Perfect.


Here is Tala, the older of the Twinkles by one important minute. She is sitting up at the party table replacing candles onto the remains of one of the two birthday cakes ( one for each Birthday Girl, you know it makes sense.) As she does so, she is singing “Happy birthday, dear Nanni” under her breath, finishing the refrain by blowing on the candles. She sings it again and again, totally engrossed in her game. I want to pick her up and hug her but I don't want to spoil the Magic of the Moment.


Here is Harry, Hazel’s boyfriend, who is horrified when I tell him I have never been clubbing in my entire life, despite my Great Age. I tell him I will join him and Hazel when they celebrate on Thursday night. What a brilliant idea, he chortles. It's a great laugh and we keep up a running joke all afternoon. What he would say if I actually turned up on Thursday night - in all my Jungle Book finery of course  - we will never know. Unless, that is…


 A massive thank you to the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and her fella for hosting such an amazing afternoon of fun and frolics. Thank you to the Eldest and the Middle of the Darling Daughters for transporting us there and back in greatest comfort. Thank you to My Boy for helping to make my day just by turning up. 


Thank you to Hazel Bagel, my Golden Girl, for sharing her 18th birthday Family Celebration with me - not every 18 year old would want to share such an auspicious occasion with their grandmother. Particularly one looking as if she has just stepped out of the pages of the Just So stories.


And thank you to everyone who came to help us celebrate, surrounding Hazel and me with so much love and joy.


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Pat | Reply 03.07.2017 22:43

Wouldn't have missed it for the world. xx

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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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