Jaqui's Daily Blog

A Birthday, A Candle and Autumn Leaves

I can never quite understand people who don’t like birthdays. I mean, what’s not to like? There are presents! Cake! The singing of Happy Birthday at various levels of tunefulness and volume!


Mr B, as regular readers know, is not a great fan of his own birthday celebrations but I always ignore him because, you know, it simply wouldn’t feel right not to mark the Passing of the Years in style. I suppose the fear of growing old might be one of the reasons for trying to make the day of one’s birth no more special than any other day of the year but, let’s face it, what’s the alternative? Live for the moment, I always say. Today is a gift - that’s why they call it “the present.”


Talking birthdays and presents, I am pleased to report that my Little Sister Maggie is every bit as fond of birthday celebrations as I am. We are, you might say, Truly Kindred Spirits. With the emphasis on the word “kin” of course.


Yesterday was Maggie’s second birthday. Her actual birthday was the day before. She shares her birthday with Prince Charles and, when she was very small, I used to tell her that they played the National Anthem on the radio in her honour. She believed me for years. 


I was determined to make the day as special as I could - after all, why have one birthday when you could have two? The house was spotless, thanks to Kay who helps me out every Wednesday; she played what she called “Beat the Sister” all morning, trying to finish off the cleaning before the Guest of Honour and her fella arrived. In the event, she was trotting off down the garden path, just as Maggie and Baz turned up outside in their car. You could say Kay’s timing was exquisite.


Outside on the doorstep, the Giant Penguin, all dressed up in a woolly scarf (well, it was cold out there) and a hat shaped like a birthday cake including candles. In Days Gone By, the hat used to play “Happy Birthday” but, alas, no longer. I know what you are thinking, isn’t the Giant Penguin intended for visiting grandchildren? Well, strictly speaking, that is so - but then my sister Maggie is a Big Kid at heart and would be very disappointed should she arrive at an unadorned doorstep.


I had in my mind the fact that my sister always knows when her birthday is approaching because she can walk along a pavement, kicking up the Autumn leaves. Hence, laying the table, I scattered tissue leaves across the white table cloth - red and green and orange and yellow. While we were saving the present opening till later in the day, I did want the Birthday Girl to open one particular present - and thereby hangs a tale…


At last week’s Crafty Group our esteemed leader, the Lovely Linda, showed us how to make Christmas candles. Holly and ivy and all that. Except that I was captivated by the colours of the wax - green and yellow and red and orange. You are starting to see a connection, I can tell. Rather  than a Christmas candle, I determined I would make an Autumn Leaves candle for my sister’s birthday. “How many leaves?” a fellow crafter asked me, “It’s not that big a candle…” She was looking at the small pile of wax leaves I had carefully modelled - would there really be room on my candle for all of them? 


But, as regular readers know, I am possessed of the Usher Gene which enables those fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to be blessed with it to cram absolutely anything into the smallest space. Think milk and fridges, or towels and airing cupboards. Or, in this case, how many Autumn leaves can you artfully affix to a candle? The answer being, however many I’ve made.


Being my sister and a Kindred Spirit, Maggie loved everything. The fish and chip lunch, the opening of presents and cards, the birthday cake I’d baked which she declared delicious - which is High Praise coming from one who makes the most amazing cakes for other people’s birthdays. She was overdue a cake baked just for her.


Much, much later as I was getting ready for bed, Maggie sent me a message via WhatsApp: “I love all my pressies but especially my beautiful autumn leaves candle. I can just feel the love with which it has been made and I will treasure it forever.” 


Oh, yes indeed, I cried…

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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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