Monday, 10 August 2015
'It pays to be observant of family birthdays and that seems to become as important to the over seventies as it is to the under sevens. The husband had a birthday a day or two ago and was very anxious that it not be overlooked. Having made a slight blunder a few days earlier by presenting him with his Michelin guide to France in advance of the great day I found I had some groveling to do on the anniversary itself. He was delighted with the rather unique cards (two of them) from number one son, Patrick who strangely simply dropped them in the mailbox and didn’t even stop off for refreshment – pressure of work he said later. He was elated to receive emails from two out of three children and overjoyed with the gift box that arrived via daughter domiciled in London and through the good offices of `My Goodness – Express & Impress’ on the North Shore. Not only was the box itself a work of art, but treat after treat tumbled out of it – wine, birthday cake, chocolate and assorted gourmet snacks piled high on the kitchen bench. `I’m having the box,’ I pronounced just in case he was thinking of consigning it to the downstairs rubbish room where all kinds of things get consigned these days on account of the lack of space. He hadn’t heard me though and examined the wine label as he bit into the first Lime Zinger biscuit. Well he is very hard of hearing these days. As it neared one pm it became clearer than ever that he was expecting to be taken out to lunch and he kept mentioning Cibo because it’s at the end of the street. He told me that three times. In the end we compromised and I took him to La Cigale for a glass of wine and a Dijon Chicken Pie and salad. Well I’m not perfect. Later in the afternoon John the violinist dropped by to wish him a happy birthday and regale us with stories of playing at the recent coronation of the King of Tonga. All in all a very pleasant day and neither of us mentioned the glaring absence of any birthday greeting from number two son. I toyed with muttering something about him no doubt being extraordinarily busy and that in any case hadn’t there been a major typhoon in his part of the world. In the end though I thought it better to say nothing at all.