A wee interlude just to let you know how lucky I am. Last week was my sister’s birthday. She’d reached 70, the 3rd of us to do so, and decided to celebrate by renting a holiday home in Devon which slept 12 and had a swimming pool. In the event, there were only 9 of us there: 2 brothers, 3 sisters, a niece, a sister-in-law, my wife and myself. On the actual birthday, so that we could all concentrate on having a good time, she’d arranged for a caterer to take care of the evening meal. On the other 3 days, my sisters, brother and wife were in charge of food. They were 4 brilliant days of eating, drinking, swimming, laughing, singing, quizzes, game-playing and all round relaxation and (it has to be said, even though I’m British), love.
I’ve written before about my youngest sister’s creative way with birthday cakes, starting with the one she made for my own 70th . It seems she outdoes herself every time because this one, as usual, had references to most of Ginger’s passions, one of which is singing in a choir. So, as her icing sugar self, wine glass in hand, reclined in a lounger in her garden, surrounded by flowers, with a rack of ACTUAL, HAND-KNITTED tiny clothes at her feet and a cooker with vanishingly small saucepan nearby, she was serenaded by 3 minuscule icing sugar singers each holding a page of real sheet music, with words and notes, which had been reduced in size until it was about 1 centimetre square.
Another star, apart from the birthday girl, was brother Ron, whose contributions to the blog some of you may have read. I knew he wrote songs and played the guitar but, since we live hundreds of miles apart, I had no idea how good he was. He could play just about any song we came up with as well as singing some of his own – both funny and serious. He’d also had the foresight to bring various other ‘instruments’ for us to play along with – Kazoos, a banjo, tea-chest bass, washboard, tambourines, as well as things for shaking and rattling whose names I don’t know. So, the company, totalling almost 600 years between them, formed both orchestra and choir. Not only that (and now, if there are any youths reading this – i.e. anyone under 40 – avert your eyes), some of the CDs we played had all the old rock and roll greats on them and the urge to jive was too great to resist. (Come to think of it, no need to avert eyes, because if you’re under 40 you don’t know what jiving is. Let me just say that, when you get to a certain age, it produces the same physical effects as the London Marathon.)
If this is all making it sound slightly (or even very) embarrassing, disabuse yourselves. There were no negatives – just people who loved each other having a wonderful, timeless time. I’m off to Paris tomorrow and, if it’s even half as good a trip as the one to Devon, it’ll be magnificent.
Happy birthday again, Ginge.