Saturday, August 1, 2015
A celebration of birthdays
July is birthday month in the family so we had lots of joint celebrations of that. A final celebration was tonight, with a particular focus on celebrating Nanna's 91st. She is in remarkable health for her age and to the rest of us seems just the same as she has always been. But birthdays in the 90s become increasingly rare so each must be celebrated with particular appreciation.
At Nanna's request we went to a nearby Chinese restaurant that she likes. We had 9 adults and two kiddies at a spacious round table and a great variety of excellent food arrived on it. Because he was away for four years it is always appreciated when Joe can join us at dinners and this time he brought his fair lady along. She is VERY fair, with brilliant blue eyes but unpredictable hair colour. And my brother and his wife came along this time too. There are lots of July birthdays among his nearest and dearest -- including his daughter -- so celebrating July birthdays seemed apt to him.
Suz, Russell and the kids were good to see there too. A family occasion would not be the same without kids, IMHO. And two lots of the relevant kids live far away these days -- at opposite ends of the earth, in fact. Paul, Von and respective families were of course remembered, with particular interest in Paul being a new Basil Fawlty -- but a competent one. Jenny updated us all with how Paul and Co. were going. She Skypes a lot with her distant children.
I brought along both a bottle of Seaview champagne and a bottle of Barossa Pearl so that helped the deliberations a bit. Despite being vastly unprestigious, Barossa Pearl always goes down well. I am glad its makers have revived it.
At one stage I was urging Joe to try it -- which he did -- when his mother told him to watch his drinking while he was driving. Joe was unimpressed with that advice and I remarked to him that he had just seen the difference between mothers and fathers before him: With his father urging him to drink up and his mother telling him not to! Other than that, I can't for the life of me remember what we all talked about. Just family things, I guess.
Jenny assisted me with the ordering and stood guard while I was paying the bill. She knows the restaurant well -- as it is "gluten-free" -- and I am a bit vague and deaf in my old age, so assistance with daily tasks is always helpful.
After the dinner we adjourned to Jenny's place for tea, coffee and a Shingle Inn cake. The only discussion I can remember from then is one about croup. Joe didn't know what croup was but he has a cough at the moment so I assured him that he had croup. The mothers present politely refrained from disagreeing.
Somebody asked me how my birthday went but, in my usual form, I could not remember straight off. As he has done before, however, Joe assured everyone that I had got a card. I am not sure if everyone realized he was talking about a new card he had installed in my computer. It enables me to run my computer off a modern TV.