Thursday, 19 March 2015

When is a balloon not a balloon? When it is family

Just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean it's not true.

On Monday night 'the girls' took me out to celebrate my big birthday.  When the eight of us arrived in two taxis at the restaurant they persuaded me to enter first.

Aware they were about to spring a surprise of some sort I entered slightly warily,  The corner table was set for  8 with a string of 6 helium balloons in the centre and one larger one with "Happy 80th Birthday " was tied to the back of 'my' chair.

Little glittering sparkling tinsely bits were strewn over the table top and there was a little box with  a small cuddly bear in front of my chair.

To cut a long story short it was a wonderful evening.  Lovely food, good wine, lots  of happy chat and quite a volume of noise.

Luckily being Monday, it was a quiet night for the restaurant and we had the place pretty much to ourselves.

During the evening more little gifts manifested themselves and at exactly the time of my birth 80 years earlier a cake with a sparkling 80 on top was brought in with the waiter joining in singing the inevitable Happy Birthday .

Three hours later as we gathered up bits and pieces to  leave they insisted I was to take the balloons home.  Six smaller ones went in the 'other' taxi, and they had tied 'Mummy' balloon to my wrist so I wouldn't leave her behind.

They all came back to my house for a brief final tot of Tokaij (a bottle I had been keeping for years)  and I had a box of chocolates ready as a final mouthful.

They had stood the balloons  on their heavy base in one place and I set the big one just behind them.

After they had gone I tidied up washing glasses etc., gave a look round said 'goodnight' to the balloons and went to bed.

Next morning as I left for St Mary's they were all standing just as they had been so with a muttered 'bye', off I went.

Returning at lunchtime to my surprise 'Mummy' was standing in her place but the other six were all sitting on the floor in front of the TV.

I have no idea what they had been watching but I ignored them all and went to get lunch ready.

As usual I brought in my tray, sat in my chair, feet on footstool and switched on the TV just in time for the last bit of "Loose Women".

One of the six balloons raised its head about a foot (affected I suppose by the heat from the TV) and effectively blocked my view.

Tutting I found myself saying "you can't sit there I can't see through you", and I picked up all six of them and dumped them on the sofa out of the way.

Since then they haven't moved (at least, not while I was there), and (Mummy) is still where she was.

The only change is that the six are a little smaller.

Nobody warned  me that balloons have personalities.





PS  I have put some pictures of them onto my computer but couldn't manage to up;load them for this blog.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

On being (almost) 80

Not until tomorrow.

I took along a box of chocolates for the choir this morning with strict instructions (not until after the service) mainly aimed at the 'mice'.

The secret is well and truly out so  no point in denying the fact that I am now officially old.

The look of fascinated horror on the faces of some of the mice "how can anyone be so old and still in a choir?" is one I have become used to.

The usual "you are fantastic for your age" while taken with the usual ton of salt is also rather annoying.

My mother who reached the age of 103 was incensed by the heaps of congratulations she received whenever her great 'achievement' was mentioned.  Neither she nor I understand why ageing without total collapse of all faculties is a source of astonishment for so many people.

After all the only thing you have to do to receive all these accolades is to keep breathing.

That brief tirade over, I am having the birthday of a lifetime.

Presents from all kinds of people are appearing on my doorstep, through the letterbox, in the post etc.
This is something of which I have no previous experience and it is lovely, if slightly alarming.

Everything is remaining unopened until tomorrow - despite the fact that one item was presented to me a month early.  So tomorrow will be very busy.

The 'girls' are taking me out to dinner tomorrow night to my favourite restaurant and have been heaping gifts on me for days.

With a long lifetime of birthdays passing almost unnoticed in the main to this is quite a step.

That said, I still have and sometimes wear a silver ring given me by my best friend on my 21st and also a little sawdust stuffed cat given me by my then boy-friend.

I love and value both of these things but am nor accustomed to being drowned in gifts.

As I said, lovely, but a little alarming.

Roll on tomorrow.