Tag Archives: Birthday

One year after: The Buddy miracle who won’t stop smiling

21 Dec

buddy new pic 2IT’S exactly one year since my sixth grandchild came into this world – and went perilously close to leaving it at the same time.

Buddy John Harry Holmes was born by Caesarian section, three months early and just 28 weeks into my daughter Hayley’s pregnancy.

He had no heartbeat, wasn’t breathing and weighed less than one kilo.

For the next few days, it was touch and go whether our Buddy would survive.

We all hoped and prayed he’d make it and that the lack of oxygen in those first few minutes had not caused any permanent damage.

For the answer, look at the picture above, taken at his first birthday party in Burscough, Lanc-buddy new picashire. Apart from his model looks (I would say that, wouldn’t I?), our Buddy is as good as gold. He rarely cries, sleeps virtually to order – and always has a beaming smile.

Hardly the frail, emaciated, under-weight specimen you’d expect of a pitiful child who was born half-dead. No, my Buddy miracle is just Buddy gorgeous!

Candle with care: I’m sick of the tick of the birthday clock

22 Oct

I USED to love birthdays. Particularly those big ones with a zero on the end. The ones when your boss would send you home early to have a quiet family celebration…only for all hell to let loose when you opened the front door.

One moment, silence and slight concern that nobody was in. Then, as you peered into the deserted hall, an explosion of noise as doors flew open, laughing faces appeared from nowhere, the kids rushed into your arms  –  and 100 voices burst into a chorus of you know what.
The party would go on forever as you ate, drank (too much) and caught up with the lives of surprise visitors from out of town and friends you’d all but lost touch with. Your boss and the colleagues who had masterminded the show would turn up after work and the party would go on through the night.
Yes, life was fun at 40…and blowing the candles out was a piece of cake.
How times change. Birthdays used to take forever to come round, yet I swear I’ve had four of them this year.
And the only good thing about the damned things is that if they keep coming, you know you are still alive.
I’d better amend that, because I don’t want my friends and to think I didn’t enjoy our little celebration at the weekend. Nineteen of us took our zimmer frames, hearing aids and skin tucks for a bit of a bash in Guardamar. It wasn’t a night at the Ritz, some would say more like the Pits. But, like so many local expats, my crowd love the bustle and boom of Vicente Jaen’s chaotic restaurant, where plates of freebie food fly at you from all angles before you even give your order – and then you are submerged by enough food to fill a herd of starving elephants.
There’s no written bill and the only till is the wad of notes tucked away in Vicente’s pocket. It’s all a bit of a shambles, really…but as irresistible as the march of time.

In the chaos, my plan for a table for 20 was redrawn as a 12 and an eight and I spent the evening  sitting with my back to most of my guests. The experience confirmed my mathematical theory that the volume of noise generated by a boozing Brit is directly proportional to the amount of alcohol consumed. The longer we celebrated, the louder some of us got (not me, of course)  – and the more disgusted looks headed like daggers in our direction.
It was all good fun and great to have so much support in the absence of my family, who are all in the UK. Thanks for the good wishes, cards and presents, guys, but you’ll have to remind me who gave what because everything got mixed up in the chaos of the evening.
One thing I did notice in the haze of alcohol (two gin and tonics – I can’t even get drunk these days) was that there were no candles on the cake.
Perhaps Restaurant Jaen is a no-blow zone, I thought. Because I could definitely have seen off all those little sticks of flaming wax. Well, three or four anyway – I can only eat a few in one sitting.
Anyway, in two years I’m due to hit another BIG birthday. I want whoever provides the cake to make sure it displays one candle for every year of my strife (pun intended).
I promise faithfully that when it comes to blows, every one of those candles will be extinguished in a couple of seconds.
And maybe the grandkids will let me help…
Published in The Courier (www.thecourier.es), October 19, 2012

They pink it’s all over – but I still love joke birthday cards

22 Oct

IT was my birthday a couple of weeks ago and no, I’m not telling you how old I am.
But judging by the sort of birthday cards I received, my friends (the few I have left after all my moaning) clearly believe I have reached my dotage.
Apparently I am no longer a suitable target for those corny joke cards the ‘younger’ community bounce off each other.I didnt even get a card making fun of my being old. You know, the sort that make you seem glam until you get the punchline inside.
A year older…and no sign of any joke cards

On the front, it will say something like ‘’What Do You Like To Get Up To In Bed, Sexy Lady?’ Then, when you turn inside, there’s an old dear in a flannelette nightie sitting on the loo saying ‘I Like To Get Up To Wee.’

That one’s dreadful because I made it up. But you know what I mean.

Anyway, virtually every card I received was one of those schmaltzy affairs you send to great-grandma on her 97th birthday.

I’m talking about the pink ones covered with pretty flowers and the message To a Dear Friend.

Admittedly, I automatically orientate to this type of card for my 83-year-old  stepmother – but with good reason. She gets the pink schmaltz treatment because she has no sense of humour – or sense of anything, for that matter.

Anyway, this plethora of pinko cards all but convinced me that my friends had made a pact to tell me subtly that, in their eyes, I am now officially OLD. The fact is I love funny cards…and always have done. Providing they are not too crude, that is.

I might be a boring old drone to some, but no one can say I don’t have a sense of humour. So I assume the reason no one sent me a card I could laugh at is that the entire planet now sees me as a coffin dodger.

I scoured the cards for even the slightest hint of humour and the nearest I could get to a giggle was one bearing the message ‘Especially For You…’’. Well, Who else would it be for, tonto?

That’s me off everyone’s Christmas card list. Now where did I put my Zimmer  frame?