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Showing posts from July, 2007

Au Revoir

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I am slowly, slowly and rather painfully dragging my corpse over the finishing line. I was last in France in the May half term, shortly after the Open Meeting regarding the closure of the school. I returned to England with heavy heart knowing the next couple of months were going to be intense and hard. It is quarter to one in the morning, my father's birthday now - Happy Birthday dearest Pa, 79 today, seeming 10 years younger. I have packing still to do, admin to finish off, piles of crap to put in order before departure tomorrow lunchtime. Dramas involving lost mobile phones, cars and garages, and the wrong contact lenses delivered put pay to my two 'clear' days for packing and organising. At least my Tatton Park plants are planted and the cat feeder organised. Card made and flowers picked for new baby at the pub. Not just any old new baby, mind - one that happened to be popping by for a pint. No,no, the publicans are new parents for the first time. Lily Jackson (old fami…

'Daddy! It's my birthday!'

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Thursday, 12th July 2007

‘Daddy! It’s my birthday! I’m five! I’m not a shrimp any more!’ The excitement in her voice was palpable. Louisa Mary Lucia comes of age. There is only one child left in her class now who is still only four years old. She is officially no longer a Shrimp. It could not have been a nicer way to have been woken up on my youngest’s fifth birthday.

Her older siblings had not shown similar emotion at this rite of passage. I could not let her down by feeling sad at her growing up. She will always be my youngest, after all. In my mind, at least. I lay in bed, smiling to myself, listening to the exchange between father and daughter. ‘I hear you had a birthday treat last night?’ says N (who had been away). ‘Yes. It was really borwing.’ (She’s never been one to mince her words.) Indeed, it was a mistake. A friend who was appearing in the Buxton Festival (a summer season of special one-off performances, speakers, operas and fringe shows) told me enthusiastically ‘Oh, you M…

Now, where was I?

Ok, so where was I? BC (Before Campaign) I mean. Hmm, [much drumming of fingers]. Ah yes, I remember. Warbling on about my rather dull life, if memory serves me correctly! Was is summer back then? I think perhaps it was. Soft evenings, a sense of hope and things to come. But we've had the longest day now so it will be Christmas before we know it. Mmm, I can almost smell the mince pies...

Oh, hang on. We're actually still in July, aren't we? Despite it being 10 degrees with a sharp wind whipping grey sheets of rain off the moors. 11th July in fact. The night before my 3rd daughter's birth, 4 years and 364 days ago. I remember waddling down the landing as dawn was breaking, 2 weeks overdue, having relieved my bursting bladder. I caught sight of myself in the mirror and recoiled in horror at the hephalump that loomed out at me. No, this wasn't fun anymore. I wanted it out. Nor could I bear the lonely little beige bunny, 'Welcome to the World' embroidered on it…