The ‘red carpet’ holds none of the excitement and pleasure that is associated with a child’s first Nativity!
Well, truth be told – I’m not sure! Where I am, that is.
Some of you know that the months of July and August are Journal months! Prompts are being posted here and as a result some amazing pages have been produced. There are also various blog posts around the interweb that relate to the prompts, and it’s an exercise that I think I will repeat later in the year. Today I decided that instead of writing in my journal I would write a blog post in answer to the prompt – which, selfishly, is aimed specifically at TODAY – as it is my birthday!
The prompts were written (and scheduled) before the event started. It’s the only way I could consider doing it – this post, however, has only been written within the last few days. I was hoping that something would ‘slip’ and I might have an inkling of something going on!
As a family we don’t really celebrate birthdays. My other half, who is so good in so many ways, almost always forgets. Our son and family will be away on holiday – and our daughter will be busily working – Friday is her busiest day of the week. So, I will probably be celebrating on my own, but who cares – I won’t actually feel any different to yesterday and instead of another year – it’s only another day for which to be thankful.
When my mother reached just a little less than the age I am now she made the decision that she would start to count backwards. That means that as far as she is concerned she is 24. I’m beginning to wish that I’d done the same – I’d almost be reaching the prime of my life ;)
Anyway, back to the purpose of this post (yes, there really is one) which is to answer the prompt.
In the good old days of my childhood my birthday invariable fell in the week of the Summer Bank Holiday. Yes, I really am old enough to remember that once upon a time the Bank Holiday was the first, not the last, Monday of August. It was also usually a fine and sunny day. Now it isn’t just my imagination that’s telling me that – it’s the fact that my birthday party was usually a picnic at Newlands Corner – and I can assure you that Newlands Corner was no place to be on a wet summer’s day when there were a number of children to entertain.
(I would have added a photograph here to show you the beauty of the place, but as it was taken from a spot owned by the National Trust I have refrained and this link will have to do instead. Apparently the NT claim copyright of all photographs taken of or from any of their properties. That might just be hearsay – but I’m not about to risk one of my photographs – it might also be useful information for you too)
Our car was large. It was old, and probably an Austin. No seat belts and no upper speed limit on the main roads – but we rarely travelled above 30. The roads were twisty and with a car load of children – always on their best behaviour, of course – and a massive picnic it’s honest to say that it wasn’t the most comfortable of journeys….
And so, on this particular occasion, we arrived. Children went off to play amongst the trees and the adults (just Mum and Dad) prepared the picnic. Sandwiches, sausage rolls, stuffed celery (my favourite – just bite-sized chunks of celery stuffed with grated cheese, nothing fancy), scones, birthday cake……
The cake was often a marbled cake – vanilla, chocolate and raspberry – but on the occasion I have in mind to everyone’s horror IT HAD BEEN LEFT BEHIND!
Someone was not happy
Hearing everyone sing Happy Birthday (please don’t do that now, though, – apparently that is now under copyright to Disney, so be warned…..) while I munched celery just wasn’t the same, even if the cake was safe and waiting for our return home.
I am ashamed to say that I sulked.
I sat in the car and sulked
Everyone else had a really good time
But I sulked………………….
However, the cake WAS waiting when we got home. They all sang that song again (I won’t mention which one, just in case ;) ) and gradually I began to realise how stupid I had been.
I won’t say it was the LAST time I sulked – but I didn’t do it very often – and I honestly can’t remember when I did it last. One thing is sure, though, even if I’m at home washing dishes as you read this – I’m not going to sulk today….. I’m just going to enjoy whatever I’m doing because in truth I have a pretty good life each day – and today?
Well, it’s just another day, isn’t it……?
Happy Birthday to all other celebrants today – especially this one :)
There is nothing better than viewing the world through the eyes of children, so a trip to a Children’s Zoo was a pleasure. Of all the animals and birds that we saw these little chaps were the firm favourite!
And as you can see (top right) one of the little kids was definitely ‘on top’ of the world!
You probably gather that this isn’t my badge – if it was I would play ‘left-outside’
Family always evokes memories. Some memories are dim and distant, but sometimes they are sharpened by a sight.
This recipe was passed down from (if not before) my great-grandmother. These were made by our daughter and enjoyed by us and our grand-children.
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I had a phone call today, completely out of the blue. My aunt has died.
Although I was very fond of her it was a difficult relationship. She was married to my maternal uncle, whom I love and see often, but they were divorced almost 60 years ago and she disappeared from our lives. It was many years later that my parents managed to contact her again, so from time to time I visited, but, as she lived over 300 miles away, mostly kept in touch via letters and the odd phone call. I last spoke to her after her 90th birthday in August. Last week I posted her Christmas card, and I was going to phone her this evening. Sadly her brother phoned at lunchtime to say that she had had a stroke and quietly slipped away.
I would like to be able to tell my mother, sadly it won’t mean anything. She won’t remember the happy times we all spent together nor will she remember her name. To be honest, she may not even remember that I have visited, but visit I will. I’ve left a message on my brother’s phone, and no doubt he will ring me at some point, but as he is younger than me his memories will be vastly different and he will feel much further removed from the event than I do.
Now, the object of this post is not to ask for sympathy, but it does bring bereavement nicely into the Christmas picture. This morning, while I was out walking, I met a friend – actually the mother of an old school friend of our son. She is the same age as me, but unlike me has no grandchildren in spite of having two sons. The younger (our son’s friend) is married but so far childless, his brother, however, died in 5 years ago in December in horrendous circumstances. As you can imagine he is uppermost in her thoughts at the moment, and, although she misses him every day, her sense of loss at this time of year is enormous. She hides away because she knows that others don’t want to see her distress because they no longer know what to say.
Grief takes a long time to work its way through. Sometimes it never goes. It’s easy to talk to someone about their loss immediately after it has happened, and then to move on – after all, life is for the living, isn’t it?
Please make a point of making Christmas just a little more bearable for someone this year. Instead of passing on the other side of the road – or scurrying past – or just ignoring them – take some time to visit and talk about a lost one. Husbands missing wives, wives missing husbands, parents missing children, children missing parents.
Probably not the post you were expecting from me today, but please remember that memories aren’t just for Christmas. Spread a little happiness – it lasts much longer than Santa.
Sweet babe in arms
You were the centre of my world.
I gave you life
and LOVE, unmeasured,
knew no bounds.
I gave you life
and thought not, then,
of future and of pain.
Your world was mine,
and I would give you ALL
if that were asked.
So, now as then
YOUR peace and freedom
do I seek.
Your beauty is unchanged
but now I see
you as full grown
With strength and courage,
deep within your soul,
your Spirit free,
accountable and honest.
Your heart is full with
patience and compassion.
I still would give you all
for such is mother’s love
but now your ties are broken
and my heart is glad
to see you wander free
but firmly planted.