annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


More memory

Happy birthday to ya

Just a quickie tonight as it's late and I've got a lot on tomorrow.

Sammie arrived back early Thursday morning, all safe and sound, having had a 'superb' time. I felt a bit stupid for having got so anxious about it, but hey, that's what I do.

She's coming down tomorrow (Friday) so that we can celebrate her 30th birthday. I'm a bit gobsmacked to discover I've been a mother for thirty years, to be honest, but I guess it must be true. I asked her what she would like in the way of food - birthday people get to pick - and she said Spanish omlette. She's such an undemanding little soul. I don't consider that to be sufficient for a big birthday so we've made a load of (mostly Spanish) stuff - meatballs, tiny fishcakes, roasted peppers, Russian salad - that kind of thing. We couldn't think of a present that would be exactly right so we bought her thirty little ones. This is Sara counting them to make sure we got enough:

They're not all silly - there's a nice jewellery box, ear-rings and make up and Sara's going to make and frame a collage of family photos. And some Dr Who fridge magnets.

I've even tidied up a bit:

There was also art group this morning where I finished my second papier mache bowl:

That seems like a lifetime ago now.



Yesterday was utterly fab - the best day I've had in ages. Sammie and co had had a fantastic time on their holiday in Morocco and were absolutely glowing with health and vitality (without wishing to sound like an ad for dog food). Poor Gavin - I've not been liking him recently, but perhaps he was just knackered, with that god-awful, existential, beyond anything knackeredness that can creep up on a person over the years. He was fucking perky yesterday - did both smiling and chatting, sometimes unprovoked. Sammie was over the moon about the effort we'd put in for her birthday, which was the point of it I guess. Sometimes we behave as if Tony (my grandson, Sara's nephew) is all we want her for, which isn't the case at all.

We wrapped up the presents separately and made labels out of scraps and glitter, like this:

I thought we'd made 30, but this one was left over, so I can't count. On the back we numbered tham 1 - 30 and when everyone was there we gave her the first five presents. They started with the 'least' of them - an almost round dice, a small chocolate heart, a silly pen, a wooden Japanese puzzle. She was high from the holiday and she's a good girl; she loved the silly quirkiness of them, their tininess, their pinkness. While she was examining the puzzle, Sara sneaked out the next five presents and Sammie's eyes lit up as she realised this was something else, not just us being as creative as we could on a tight budget. Renny's an impatient fucker and he started dropping hints - 'Number eight, hmm, when were you eight, Sammie? 1986...' until she suddenly realised what he was saying, that we'd got her thirty presents, and she went wild. They were all quite modest gifts, but living in a cool place like Brighton, with hundreds of tiny independent shops and a recession going on, we were able to find plenty of good things at good prices, that we knew she'd like. This wabbit, for instance:

and some pretty splendid wrapping paper - we saved this one for some of the later numbers:

(I just realised when I uploaded that, that the paper's in front of a pic of me and Sara taken in 1983, with my friend Kukas and her daughter Nicky. We're in the pub that Sara later worked in for two years, which is why the photo's on the board. I knitted that cardie and I still wear it, which is a bit alarming.)

The day just got better and better. We took the dog to the park and had extravagant ice-cream sundaes in the deli. Then home for the meal, which was was jolly and noisy; all the food was eaten apart from just enough meatballs for my dinner tonight. Renny and Sara between them made a birthday cake, coated liberally with cream and jam. My sister and her daughters came over later and told funny stories about the office they all work in that made us cry with laughter. We didn't get drunk, we didn't take drugs, we didn't take pictures. Sammie said it was the best birthday she ever had. Fucking A1.

Of course I was knackered today, absolutely done in, but in a good way.

I washed dishes in a trance-like state for what seemed like several lifetimes, then took Millie to the big park up the road with my friend T from the hospital. I'd never noticed this carved fallen tree before:

And now it's late and Sara's at the Beachdown Festival which is just up the road, about four miles away. It's on for four days and I shall go
12:21 a.m. - 22/08/2008

11:49 p.m. - 31.05.17


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