Episode 310: Happy Birthday Beauty!

Was it really 12 years ago

I first held you in my arms?

Your face all scrunched and wrinkled

And little skinny legs and arms!

I had waited so long to have you

And I never thought I’d see

That this beautiful, perfect baby

Would actually belong to me

To start with things were tricky

As it was just the two of us

But we muddled through it

With the minimum of fuss

You have grown so very quickly

And are now nearly a teen

You are clever, bright and funny

And look like a Beauty Queen

We have come so far together

I’m so proud of my little girl

So Happy Birthday darling

You really rock my world!

Episode 221: Happy Birthday To Poo!

What’s the best part of a birthday for you? The presents, celebrating with loved ones, or the good old birthday cake? Usually the cake is the star of the show. The lights are dimmed, as someone carries the cake proudly into the room, placing it in front of the Birthday Boy/Girl ready for them to blow out the candles and make a wish!

A lot of the time, the cake has been especially made. We have all seen the wonderful creations that are stunningly realistic of all manner of things; portraits of people, or perhaps buildings, objects, characters, flowers, all sorts of things.

Some people, however, take things a little bit too far in their birthday cake tributes. How would you fancy eating a cake that looked like someone had just vomited on it? Perhaps a loo seat containing a cakey turd, and rather disturbing fly? Not your thing? I know, most of us like animals, what about a ‘cat litter’ cake? A tray containing an assortment of poos (including one squashed  down the side of the tray). Realistic? Very, but not very appetising.

There was a rather lovely cake shaped like a foot, complete with warts, (or is it verrucae)? and a fungal nail infection in the big toe! Charming, I’m sure. (I am curious to know whether or not it was a ‘cheese’ cake)!

Anyway, as much as I admire artistic and creative cakes (my sister is brilliant at making cakes), I’ll give the  bodily fluids ones (yes there were others I was not brave enough to mention) a miss and stick to plain old traditional ones!

Episode 165: Forty-Nine and In My Prime!

Tomorrow is going to be my 49th Birthday. Now instead of getting all maudlin about the passing of my youth and being well and truly middle-aged now (I still hate to admit that), I am going to try to fill this post with positive thoughts, and advantages of being ‘in the prime of life’ (sounds a lot better than bloody ancient)!

  • I am an asset for a pop quiz team. I love the old 70s and 80s music (plus I did a short stint working behind the Record Counter at Woolworths in the late 80s) so I know my stuff quite well.
  • I can finally put my big tummy down to ‘middle-aged spread’, and not sheer greed and love of food!
  • I have lots of ‘life experience’. I can give (unwanted) advice on relationships, as I have had a few! At least I know what not to do now.
  • It doesn’t matter now that I am a bit ‘scatterbrained’ at times, as I am old enough to put it down to being eccentric!
  • I’m still just about ‘in my forties’ (I don’t have to stipulate which end of 40 that is)!
  • People associate being mature in years with being wise and learned. Who am I are to put them right!?
  • I no longer blush when talking to a good-looking young man; I am old enough to be their mother now!
  • I’m still young enough to like listening to Eminem, but now old enough to complain about his incessant swearing!
  • I don’t really have to worry anymore about having 2 left feet. If I go  somewhere which involves dancing, no-one is going to mock my dreadful moves. Everyone expects ‘older ladies’ to be rubbish dancers!
  • And finally, I still have a year to go before I am 50!

Episode 143: Tantrums and Tears…Parents Behaving Badly!

I wrote a little while back about children’s birthday parties and how I yearn to go back to the good old days of traditional birthday parties which you can read here.

Having heard about the latest ‘fad’ for children’s birthdays,I am even more convinced, that we should go back to the plain and simple days. What was wrong with a few sandwiches, a bit of cake, a few fun games. a nice present and of course the cheese and pineapple hedgehog?

Well, quite a lot actually judging by today’s standards. Two stories have caught my eye, on this very subject.The first one regarding a female singer/musician, who had originally made it big by winning ‘Pop Idol’ or something similar when it first started. and who is now a household name.

Anyway, her young daughter attends a private school, and has been invited to a couple of her classmates’ upcoming birthday parties. The problem was, one other mum in the class decided to send out a group e-mail on behalf of these two children’s mothers. Apparently the mums asked that cash donations be made in order that one parent could buy a Kindle for their child and the other a desk.Money should be put in an envelope and deposited in their children’s school bag, Oh and the ‘suggested amount’ is £10.00.

This celebrity was enraged. especially as they received another e-mail soon after reminding her about it, although of course she was under ‘no pressure’ to participate. She e-mailed back a scathing reply, basically setting out that she would like. and made it clear that the kids will ‘get what they are given.’

My God, it does take the fun out of it for the kids if the ‘present police’ are making sure that the right gifts or donations are made. I thought us parents were deemed responsible enough to be let loose in the shops to buy a child a birthday present, Especially as we normally have one of our own a similar age, and therefore have some idea of what to get. How bloody ridiculous!

The second story was even worse. This occurred around Christmas time. A 5-year-old boy returned home from school with an envelope for his parents. When they opened it up, they were speechless to find an invoice for £15.95 for a ski centre trip their son had missed. This was a fellow classmate’s birthday treat to which their son had been invited to but could not attend,

The parents of the absent child had tried to contact the birthday boy’s parents to inform them that their son could not attend, but could not reach them. They were told if they did not pay the invoice then they could be taken to court. This just defies belief in my opinion!  These sorts of things happen, and cannot be helped. How sad that some parents have taken it so personally.

I thought parties and birthdays were supposed to be fun!

Episode 89: A Party Is Not A Party Without A Hedgehog!

Yesterday as I was feeding one of my old ladies her pudding of jelly and ice cream, it got me thinking about party food. (Yes my mind constantly wanders to food, and I don’t usually need any prompting either)! I’m talking about the good old party food of yesteryear.

Nowadays kids’ birthday parties are a bit of a minefield. You have to send out the right invitations, which are to include at least half the class. spend a small fortune on entertainment, (bouncy castles, magicians, ds or whatever), or go to a venue that specialises in holding birthday parties, like soft play areas, the bowling alley, or even having a go at the laser gun experience! Whatever you choose, make sure you provide the good old party bag crammed with goodies, or there will be many disappointed kids, and you will not be popular with their parents either.

Whatever happened to the good old-fashioned birthday party, like the ones we had as kids (Well, if you are as old as me you did)! I’m talking about getting your best party outfit on, and trotting off with a present that had been thoughtfully picked, and wrapped nicely. There were probably only about another 4 or 5 kids there, plus the family of the birthday child, but you still enjoyed yourselves.

The spread was  always my favourite (and still is). I love all the little picky bits, cocktail sausages on sticks, vol-au-vents with tinned salmon, or even egg mayonnaise (who has those nowadays?), I love the wobbly jellies that had been moulded into bunny shapes or something fancy, the blancmange, the little triangle sandwiches with ham, or paste  or sandwich spread (you can actually still get that)! The pork pies, cut into little pieces, home-made sausage rolls and jam tarts, (my mouth is watering just thinking about it all laid out on the table), and finally the piece de resistance the cheese and pineapple chunk hedgehog! Oh yes, a party is not a party without a spud wrapped in tin foil that is studded with cocktail sticks containing chunks of cheese and (tinned) pineapple! Actually some people used little pickled onions with cheese, Either way,my happiness was complete once I has spotted that on the table!

The games were simple but fun. Pass the Parcel was the favourite. One of the adults would put a record whilst the parcel was being passed around then it would abruptly stop and a tussle would begin as to who unwrapped the layer. Similarly In Musical Chairs, once the music had stopped there would be a load of pushing and shoving as to who sat down on the chairs. Musical Statues was less of a contact game,but a scrap could still break out over who moved first!

Ahhh yes, the fun we used to have! There was none of this ‘everyone has to win something’ malarky. Oh no, if you lost, then tough! Harsh maybe but it ‘built character’. There were a few sad faces not to mention scratched records by the end of the games!  Tucking into the food, soon put a smile back on the kids’ faces and they happily sang ‘Happy Birthday’  whilst the (usually home made) birthday cake was brought in.

I think it’s such a shame that on the whole, these parties rarely exist, and everything has become so commercialised now, plus expectations are so much more, I have to say they have not been entirely forgotten though. Over the years, I have given Miss Hap the modern version of the birthday party which she enjoys with her friends, but I always do a little ‘birthday tea’ for the family, where I have of course got a cheese and pineapple hedgehog in pride of place at the table, surrounded by all the other party food I like!