Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Birthday

It doesn't seem THAT long ago.

I was playing out in the garden, and I was four. For the benefit of any youngsters who may be reading this, "playing out" was what we did in the ever-sunlit days of childhood in the Olden Days. "Mum, I'm playing out." Off into the garden - - or later on, off on my bike or my roller skates, sometimes with friends and sometimes on my own. Sometimes with a skipping rope, sometimes with a ball, sometimes with a whip and top, and sometimes in a den. Playing out.

And then my Grandma came and called me. "Jo's got a little sister."

Jo was my best friend, four months younger than me. Our fathers had been at school together and remained best friends until the Communist died in 2008.

Jo and Deb and I are still close friends and see each other often when we swim. And she still has a little sister, Deb - - well, "little" in that at four feet eight inches Deb is not very tall. However, that February day must be longer ago than I remember - because this week is Deb's fiftieth birthday.

Her husband Danny organised a surprise party today for her. Some friends took her out and meanwhile hordes of her friends and family snuck into her house and then we all shouted "Happy Birthday" when she came back.

Deb handled it very well - - didn't faint or kill anyone at all. She was a bit puzzled though. "So why's Jan here? I didn't know Jan was coming up."

Jan is Deb's cousin, who lives near Cambridge.

"Because it's YOUR BIRTHDAY!"

It was a lovely, friendly occasion with great food - everyone had brought something and a lot of it was home-made.

We're all rather older than when we were last all together. Even our children are mostly grown-ups or teenagers. I spent a lot of time marvelling at these delightful adults who used to be toddlers what seems only like about twenty minutes ago.

Jo and Deb's parents - always known to me in childhood as Auntie Ruth and Uncle Syd - were there today too. Syd is the same age as The Communist of course but still seems the same as always - - still talking both politics and pharmacy! It was lovely to see them both. Ruth was so kind to me in my childhood and fed me many hundreds of delicious meals when I was round playing with Jo.

What a lot has happened since those days of skipping ropes and sunshine, when the most important concern in our lives was which Sindy doll's outfit we would get for Christmas.

Fifty years. Wow. Happy Birthday, Deb.


Blogger Janette said...

Oh Daphne, your entry just sums it up! And do you rmember making witches' brew in the back garden?!
Great to see you

8:37 am  
Blogger Daphne said...

It was really lovely to see you too! And I hope we'll meet again before too long. Thank you for tracking down my blog!

11:19 pm  

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