Sunday, 13 November 2011

In which there is a party

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:

13 Nov 1 13-11-2011 11-43-26

13 Nov 2 13-11-2011 11-44-12

13 Nov 4 13-11-2011 11-44-29

13 Nov 5 13-11-2011 11-44-36

13 Nov 6 13-11-2011 11-44-57

13 Nov 7 13-11-2011 11-45-15

And the Pigeon, in Ingrid Bergman black and white:

13 nov 10 11-11-2011 14-54-33.ORF


  1. Oh how lovely. The flowers are beautiful. I am marvelling at the few, brave plants that are still struggling on in my garden. The birthday party sounds splendid.

  2. Hurrah for Nine!
    Sometimes it is wonderful to turn your back on the rest of the world and focus on the microcosm that exists before your eyes.
    I envy you your introspection. Today was a day full of newspapers.

  3. Rebecca - the plants still going ARE brave, I quite agree.

    Jacqueline - always feel guilty about neglecting the news, so thank you for that kind comment.

  4. You have narcissus and geranium growing in Scotland? Now?

    Seems rather heavenly. V. festive day.

  5. Thank you for taking us away with you.

  6. Flwrjane - the narcissus, I must admit, came from the shop. I suppose they were grown in the Scilly Isles or Channel Islands, or by the Dutch, do you think? The geraniums, amazingly, are still flowering here, as is the euphorbia, astrantia, and that lovely green hellebore whose name I forget. Also, some elegant pink roses are still out.

    Jane in SF - what a lovely thing to say; thank you.

    Susan Heather - it was rather sweet. Although this morning the exhausted grown-ups are quite pleased it shall be another year until the next one. Does take it out of you. :)

  7. Flwrjane - meant to say: am actually in Gloucestershire, visiting my cousin, not Scotland, so climate is slightly different.

  8. Tania - how delightful - nine is indeed a milestone and your observations about being nine - they are spot on! I love your viewpoint that you say is due to having not had children; it makes me appreciate their nuances to read what you write. I have become weary of children's parties - but must remind myself next time I am hosting one to re-read this post! Lou x

  9. Lou - what a kind thing to say. It is interesting, having that slight outsider's perspective. But not surprised you are weary; I was on my KNEES by the end of yesterday.

  10. Such beautiful colours of the flowers!

  11. Re: Ingrid Bergman - her daughter, Isabella Rosselini, lives here on Long Island. I was fortunate enough to serve her dinner at a local restaurant, and she was lovely in person. I immediately went on ebay and bought some of her perfume, Manifesto. Which smells of herbs. I like to think wearing it connects me to Ingrid Bergman in a cosmic way.


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