Thursday, March 17, 2016

Quite a Pleasant Birthday.

It is impossible to ignore one's birthday - I've tried - but Face Book, Cruise Lines, et al are there with you till the Passing and after a while one learns to lie back and enjoy the world wide,warm greetings from  dear people one may well have never met but who have become friends.  No-one was visiting; my family are scattered far and wide and I much prefer to see them for longer throughout the year than a quick hello for my birthday.
That way one can happily see them leave with a brave smile rather than being choked with sobs -wondering is this the last time?

Happily it was Tuesday the day of the weekly meeting of what started as a bereavement group -which we prefer to call a friendship group.  Our fame has spread and we are now in the teens in spite of Veronica and Peter absconding to Devon - they met and married in the group about 2 years ago and  Sylvia who is gamely recovering from a stroke.
Elaine has taken over trying to keep us on track and gives us a calendar with the month's venues (we like variety) and very often we all turn up at the correct one.  She is a great cake maker and brought me a red velvet cake to share - with some candles.

Elaine has taught for years, knows masses of people and - now in her later years - invigilates.  She had a meeting in Taunton and offered me a lift.  She knows the area backwards, scorns the main roads and the journey was mainly down primrose and snowdrop bespattered lanes.  We parted in town and - full of cake I eschewed lunch and did the shops.  I had a senior moment in Boots when I tried to pay for a lipstick with a WH Smith's Birthday voucher.  A few hours later a pot of tea in Debenham's seemed an attractive idea.  It was very quiet - Tuesday must be a good day; I got a window seat, a smashing pot of tea., some delicious fruit toast with lashings of butter and all for £3.60.  I thought I was in Heaven.  Then it was time to get some food treats from M&S - my elder son comes at Easter and rendezvous with Elaine in the café where the counter service is unbelievable snail like.  Really!
Full  of tea I daringly had a small expresso.

The drive home was very busy but gave us plenty of time to chat and swap notes.  Elaine wouldn't come in as she was cooking but there was a note to say flowers and chocolate had been delivered to a neighbour. Realising what day it was they insisted I had a sherry with them and in spite of the fact I don't really drink sherry these days and was knackered I'm glad I did.  They are fellow cruisers had had a similar bad experience with the same Shipping  Line, the sherry was excellent and it was a pleasant end to the day.  A measure of how exhausted I was-I fell asleep and missed the first 20 minutes of 'Happy Valley'.

Whilst I have been writing this a late present has been delivered- a mug inscribed with 'World's Okayest Mum'.
My cup runneth over.


27 comments:

rosneath said...

Ah! I am now able to comment - for some reason the link on Facebook took me to Blogger/Blogspot Canada! That sounds a lovely day for your birthday, lots of little treats that add up to more than the sum of them! Lucky you!

Mage said...

Happy, happy birthday dear Pat. I so enjoy your company and adventures.

Dip Santon said...

Happiness does not pass only once,take it when he calls you...
Happiness does not pass only once,take it when he hands you the arm...
Take it when it touches a great blow of wing,your heart like a bird touches a heaven of joy.
Happiness does not pass only once,take it when he hands you the arm...
Happy birthday dear "Madame" Pat !

LL Cool Joe said...

Happy Birthday to you Pat. It sounds like a lovely day. I am quite a fan of a glass of Sherry once in a while.

And you can't beat M&S for food treats.

kenju said...

I'm glad to know you had a good birthday. Your group sounds lovely, much like our old neighborhood's women's group.

I read that cup as the worlds oldest mum - and wondered why you were happy with it.....LOL

Ms Scarlet said...

Happy Birthday, my lovely!
Obviously WH Smith and Boots should make there gift cards interchangeable.... I think this is an excellent idea!
Sx

Kim Ayres said...

Guessing the sherry must have counteracted the espresso :)

Glad you had a good day - here's to many more!

angryparsnip said...

Oh My Goodness I am missing everyone Birthday this year so far !
Happy Happy Happy Birthday to you !
Let there be cake.

cheers, parsnip

OldLady Of The Hills said...

A belated Happy Birthday, dear dear Pat. It sounds like you had a lovely day with lovely people. How wonderful that your group--now a Friendship Group, still get together for fun and frivolity!
"HAPPY VALLEY"....I LOVED season One and Season Two has just been released here on Netflix. I am going to "binge" it on the weekend with a friend.....I love that woman's writing----"Scott & Bailey" was Brilliant----and I love Susan L. in Happy Valley---Great in that other series, too---"Last Tango In Halifax".....I am so hooked on so very many of your TV Shows.....
I'm happy for you that your son is coming soon----I know you will have a truly special time with him as you always do.
HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MY DEAR FRIEND.....

AndrewM said...

"My cup runneth over."

You probably need a bigger brassiere.

Exile on Pain Street said...

A brilliant cup. Why didn't I think of that? Happy birthday, dear. I just loaned "Old Filth" to my mother-in-law. Another convert.

Granny Annie said...

Happy Birthday Pat!! I envy your bereavement (friendship) group and am so happy you have had them for support these past three years.

SDC said...

Happy Birthday to the world's okayest blogger!

Vagabonde said...

Happy belated birthday. Your birthday was indeed very pleasant. I’d love to go and have a nice pot of tea, but around here, no such luck. I also checked our TV listings as I had never heard of Happy Valley – it does not play in our area – as many other good shows are not televised. They say “we only show what the public will enjoy” … so we get high school football…

As a coincidence I dreamt last night about my birthday (which is next Saturday 3/26) somehow we were in a resort and when I went back to my room there were many packages waiting including a nice box of See’s candy dark chocolate. Wishful thinking for sure, as when I told Jim he said “when is your birthday?” I told him and he replied “we are in October, no? still several months to go” poor dear, so I know we won’t celebrate. But we do have a bottle of sherry!

Your Friendship Group sounds like a lot of fun. My late mother used to belong to a group in Paris called “Groupe des veuves civiles” or civilian widows – because there was a war widow group as well. They rented buses and would tour Alsace, the castles of Normandie, etc. Every time they would publish the menu of the restaurants where they would stop, including a list of wine. The meals were so good that men, widowers, wanted to join – so they let them and it became civilian widows and widowers – they also would go to the theatre, etc. but gourmet restaurants were a big draw. The good wine may them all very happy.

rashbre said...

A very happy birthday to you!

You seem to have had rather a fun day!

But don't get me started on those coupon things. I get sent some from time-to-time although they all seem to have specific restrictions like on dates, whether it can be used online or in-store and sometimes even for the specific product. And I mean specific. Get the grams or millilitres wrong and it won't count.

I don't think I'm imagining it, but I seem to remember a time years ago when stores would even take each others' vouchers as part of 'competition'?

Pat said...

Roseneath: yes it was one of those unexpected days that sneak up on one - in a good way.

Pat said...

Mage: the feeling I mutual:)

Pat said...

Dip: thank you. Good advice:)

Joey: did I say I bought a bottle. Haven't tried it yet.

Judy: I misread things all the time.

Scarlet: it would be a good idea. I wonder if they ever take note of suggestions?

Kim: I wonder if that is possible?

Pat said...

Parsnip: I try not to broadcast it. Some of the Group said they wished they had known but I don't feel one can say "It's my birthday next week."

Naomi: she is a wonderful writer. I expect you will be emotionally drained by the end of the week-end. Enjoy it:)

AndrewM: cheeky monkey!

Exile: please don't pick up AndrewM's bad habits. What a treat for your MIL.

Pat said...

Grannie Annie: yes they have been a godsend. One shouldn't take it for granted.

SDC: my head is swelling:)

Vagabonde: your mother's Group sound excellent. Nothing like a good meal with pleasant people. I shall drink your health on the 26th and I hope it will be at least as pleasant as my birthday. Take good care of yourself.

Pat said...

Rashbre: wouldn't that make sense and make our lives easier?
My grandson works for Debenhams. I'll ask him if there is a hope in hell:)

Kim Ayres said...

There's plenty of life left in you yet, Pat - Aim for 160, and then you can feel you're barely middle aged :)

Pat said...

Kim: the thing is - I want to die before I get old:)

Kim Ayres said...

Don't they say, you're only as old as the man you feel? ;)

Pat said...

Kim: I think you have to fancy them first.

Keith Smith said...

Glad you had a good time Pat. I gave up having birthdays when I was 35, and I feel much better for it. You see, I have this portrait of me in the attic and every time I look at it I just see . . . . . well, it looks like some old man, not me at all.

Pat said...

Keith: I sympathise. I'm always glad when they are safely over.