Posted by Tania Kindersley.
I have just read two bedtime stories to the three-year-old. (There was rather a funny one about a wobbly tooth.) So I feel in children’s book mode. Lovely, simple, declarative sentences; perhaps the surprising mention of a giraffe. If I could draw pictures, I would.
So, today, there was:
Special birthday breakfast, for the turning of NINE. Eating of sausages; making of toast. Singing of songs. Dancing. (It must be admitted that I joined in.) Then, talking to the chickens. Walking the dogs; up the valley, down the valley. The serious preparation of some egg mayonnaise sandwiches. A gathering of the birthday party for a small expedition. They returned home to the grand birthday tea. I made: homemade lemonade, sticky chipolatas, cheese straws, a variety of dips. There was a slight 1970s Abigail’s Party theme, as we put cubes of cheese and pieces of salami on sticks. My inner Alison Steadman came out and did a pirouette. The girls seemed to like it.
This will come as no news to those of you who have children of your own, but the gathering of twelve nine-year-old girls in one place is a trip. The shrieks, the jumping up and down, the mood swings, the glimmering smiles, the swishing of hair, the moments of sudden introspection, the wild dance moves. It’s all a revelation to me.
I think it was a success. Everyone seemed to have a good time. The food all disappeared. The Pigeon was much admired and fussed over and petted and adored.
I have absolutely no idea what happened in the world today. I hope the entire global economy is still stuttering on. I hope that the world order did not crumble as we ate Victoria sponge.
Miraculously, there was a moment of quiet at eleven o’clock, as we all watched the silence, and observed the Queen laying her wreath at the Cenotaph, and the old veterans, with their medals and their straight backs, standing to attention in the sunshine of Whitehall.
It’s not the kind of day I am used to. Usually, it is just me and the Pidge and the hill and the still, Scottish air. But it was a good, good day. I am smiling now, as I write this. Someone turned nine, and it was well marked.
Pictures are of the birthday table, with the flowers that we specially arranged, some from the garden, some from the shop:
And the Pigeon, in Ingrid Bergman black and white: