Jaqui's Daily Blog

Decisions, Bus Shelters and a Birthday Cake

I do like decision-making in a changing room.


Oh, no, for heaven’s sake, don’t start - a changing room is not a person capable of making decisions, for better or for worse - but honestly it is far, far too hot for such discussion. I am referring to the fact that granddaughter, Hazel Bagel, took no fewer than six dresses into the changing room at Debenhams, despite the fact that we were a little Pressed for Time. How decisive (and, therefore speedy) would my Golden Girl be, given the momentous importance of her decision? After all, her mother had a dentist appointment which she couldn’t miss, while brother Jack was downstairs in the Men’s section, grumbling via his mobile phone that he was getting bored, especially as Debenhams didn’t appear to cater for men under thirty. I couldn’t quite work out whether we were talking age or waist size here but I did catch the note of urgency. There are few things worse than being stuck in a department store while your sister searches for the ideal outfit for her Graduation Ball. 


Hazel’s other grandmother had played Fairy Godmother, giving her the money for her ticket to the Most Auspicious Occasion in an envelope on which she had written: “You SHALL go the Ball!” I do love a fairy tale, don’t you? All she needed now was the perfect outfit and, while Jack prowled the Men’s Section downstairs, the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I pulled a couple of seats out of a vacant cubicle so that we could take the weight off our feet while waiting.


Amazingly the very first outfit Hazel tried was The One. Okay, she did feel the need to try on the other five, just to make sure she was right first time - and as time ticked by her mother did have to leave me in charge (sort of) while she headed off to the dentist - but the decision was an easy one when it came down to it. The addition of a matching clutch bag and the purchase was made. We could head off to the prom where I was keen to show my grandchildren the bus shelters...


Unless you live in Worthing, you are now thinking that I have finally slipped into senility. If you are fortunate enough, like me, to live in this lovely seaside town you will know of the latest community initiative to brighten up our promenade by painting the ugly looking black bus shelters in a variety of bright, pastel colours. Set against the flower beds - planted up by local groups, businesses and individuals - they look fantastic. Well done, Worthing Journal and the Town Centre Initiative! Jack and Hazel expressed appropriate acclamation - after so many years they know how to keep their grandmother happy.  


To repay them for keeping me happy, I took them onto the pier where, as we waited for their mother to join us, we bought ice-creams (two flakes each, please) and sat watching the sea while chatting about growing up, independence and the relative delights of living in town or country. 


It will be Hazel’s birthday on Friday so this was a the perfect opportunity for Mr B and I to start off her Birthday Celebrations a couple of days early. We could have bought a cake, but I was determined it should be home-baked and that the Birthday Girl should lend a hand by cutting out icing letters spelling “HAZEL BAGEL IS NINETEEN”. I really, really wanted to add a hash-tag as I hadn’t realised that my letter cutting set included such a thing but the Birthday Girl didn’t seem too keen for some reason. Perhaps this was a #toofar?


A roast chicken dinner, the opening of our present and card, followed by the traditional Cake Ceremony. I love that moment: the flaming candles lighting the shining face of the Beloved One as everybody crowds around to sing their hearts out. Every birthday it is the same; every birthday I have to catch my breath in order to cope with that strange lump that inexplicably invades my throat. 


“We certainly packed a lot in!” the Youngest of the Darling Daughters texted me when she arrived home. 


We always do.

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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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