Nice ‘n nasty.

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It was hard to stay “nice”. Sometimes it hurt.

Sarah, her twin had no such qualms, had risen to the top, stepping on whoever dared get in her way. Sometimes Jenny felt like a failure by comparison.

The day had been awful, an argument at home, a put down at the school, nothing was going right. What a birthday!

It slipped out at recess. Her year four pupils had been discussing star signs.

“When’s your birthday, Miss?” an eager voice chimed. Should she lie?

“March 12th.” She hoped they didn’t notice, but they did. Jace caught on right away.

“That’s today! Is it your birthday today?” She nodded. Her eyes moistened as the word caught on and “happy birthday” squeals and songs sped around the playground. it didn’t stop there… Grubby hand written cards appeared, candies wrapped in pages stolen from exercise books and a small bunch of ragged daisies and dandelions appeared on her desk. Best of all was the shy hug from Eisha, the girl that hardly ever spoke.

Back home nestled contentedly with a cup of tea she surveyed her  news feed, predictably full of her sister’s birthday posts, food, wine, luxury presents and false smiles. She grinned into her tea cup. She’d had something better.

“Putting your feet up love?” a voice whispered in her ear. “I managed to get off work early. I felt so bad about this morning. I forgot it was your birthday… thought we could go out, do something.”

“It’s OK, I had the best day ever!”

“Really? I’m so glad… Here … for you.” Embarrassed he thrust a bunch of daffodils into her hands. She knew they were only Tesco, he’d forgotten to take off the label, but to her they were perfect, as all her presents had been.

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Wonderful Birthday Surprise!

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I sat with my mouth open totally taken back. Before me lay two beautiful “tokens” which my mind told me did not exist. Finally my brain kicked in that my daughter had created them specially for me. You see my kids had decided to push me into starting my retirement right! (Technically I’ve been retired a while but was taking my grandson back and forth to school which drastically hindered my making trips etc.) Knowing how I’ve developed a tendency to procrastinate on things in my later years they plotted to help me along by clubbing together (and I suspect using air miles) to make possible the “vouchers” for a flight anywhere in Europe for two plus some spending money. I didn’t know whether to cry, whoop for joy, or insist it was too much, instead I sat speechless.

I’ve already invited a friend (her 60th birthday is close to my 65th) who was likewise flabbergasted and touched that my kids (most of who know her) were very enthusiastic about my choice. (She’s very practical, reliable, but still great company and lots of fun, a real sweetheart). Now it just remains to chose time and place. I’m thinking soon and Sicily where the sun lingers longer, the countryside is breathtaking, sea deep Med. blue and the pace chilled, but nothing is settled yet – exciting!

Some Things Are Special.

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nov 3rd 008

So what makes this special? A close look will reveal that it’s entirely made of fragile shells.

“Definitely not the kind of thing one could lug back from a hectic trip to Mexico,” I thought admiring its delicacy in a gift shop adjoining the pyramids we’d been visiting.

Imagine my surprise when it appeared on my hall way table a few days after my birthday. Observing my interest (and knowing my practical nature) my son had secretly carried it back despite two delays, and a finally cancelled flight causing a stressful 24 hour stay over in Mexico City.

It is pretty and a nice memento but the thing that touches my heart when I look at it is the love and care it must have taken to get it safely through all that (they didn’t give boxes in the shop.)

Eternal Childhood.

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candle wax

My birthday tumbles upon me unexpected, unplanned from amidst the recovering turmoil of trips and weddings. Tonight we will celebrate but now everyone is working and retired friends too far away for impromptu plans.
The day stands empty before me, what would I like to do? A visit to the lakes and lunch at my favourite old English pub maybe, but I have no escort and anyway its summer holidays and I’m babysitting. Then my eyes light upon the “perfect man”, only nine years old, but already a “ladies man”.
Soon enthroned among solid English beams we sit fascinated examining a waterfall of candle wax three feet wide harboring in its depths whispers of a hundred nights, telling stories of families, lovers, of love grown old and comfy. Above, blackened rafters look down from the white plastered roof, telling of wood smoke and olden day sights and sounds they witnessed.
Candles and young boys have an affinity and the waiter is indulgent. Soon we are fashioning leaves, moons and fish from softened wax.. I show him how to dip his finger tips in the molten candle to make “witches nails” reviving a hundred memories of bygone dreams of love and peace. We laugh and smile. As I swish my glass of red wine enjoying the colour and scent I realize I’m having a really good time. My young escort is the perfect host.
At last our tummies full, our hearts content we call for the bill. The staff smile, happy we enjoyed our visit, but sometimes I wonder who is really the child?

Eternal Childhood.

Standard

My birthday tumbles upon me unexpected, unplanned from amidst the recovering turmoil of trips and weddings. Tonight we will celebrate but now everyone is working and retired friends too far away for impromptu plans.
The day stands empty before me, what would I like to do? A visit to the lakes and lunch at my favourite old English pub maybe, but I have no escort and anyway its summer holidays and I’m babysitting. Then my eyes light upon the “perfect man”, only nine years old, but already a “ladies man”.
Soon enthroned among solid English beams we sit fascinated examining a waterfall of candle wax three feet wide harboring in its depths whispers of a hundred nights, telling stories of families, lovers, of love grown old and comfy. Above, blackened rafters look down from the white plastered roof, telling of wood smoke and olden day sights and sounds they witnessed.
Candles and young boys have an affinity and the waiter is indulgent. Soon we are fashioning leaves, moons and fish from softened wax.. I show him how to dip his finger tips in the molten candle to make “witches nails” reviving a hundred memories of bygone dreams of love and peace. We laugh and smile. As I swish my glass of red wine enjoying the colour and scent I realize I’m having a really good time. My young escort is the perfect host.
At last our tummies full, our hearts content we call for the bill. The staff smile, happy we enjoyed our visit, but sometimes I wonder who is really the child?