Today, dear readers, is a sad day, a day of reflection, today Aurora has reached a milestone. Her 65th birthday, how can I bear it? I cannot possibly be 65 years of age. Unfortunately, it is the stark truth, 12th August, 1945, was THE day, the day of my entry into the world. Three days before VJ Day, a new beginning for a war-ravaged world. Somehow, it seems fitting, as I am now experiencing a new beginning, a renaissance.
This is the first birthday of my whole life that I will spend on my own. A good friend will drop in tonight for a glass of wine and some melon and parma ham. I do not feel abandoned: I have had many cards and the phone is ringing constantly. Old friends from whom I have not heard for some time, even some years, suddenly, I find that people are thinking of me and supporting me. I have lost very few friends, it would appear.
I have just spent two days in London, staying with the Junior Daughter. The dog posse came too, to see their London cousin Posetta Baddog, and we all crammed into the tiny London flat. Thankfully the Junior Daughter has a very pretty little garden, so dog beds were spread outside, and down flopped all dogs in the sunshine.
The first night I went out to supper with the Senior Daughter, so we could have some catch-up time. We ate delicious dim sum and other related goodies - and had a good gossip. I am getting a dab hand at collecting vouchers and freebies, this particular restaurant was offering one free main course with a meal for two or more. I am getting exceedingly proud of my thrift, borne out of necessity. The dim sum were some of the best I had ever tasted - spinach, mushroom, and scallop with prawn. I shovelled them down.
Bedtime that first night was hilarious. Bill and Miss Maud are beyond clingy with me when we are away from home - and the Baddog is guilty of extreme possessiveness. I share a double bed with the Junior Daughter - but up hopped Bill, Miss Maud, followed by the Baddog, all jostling for pole position.
Not the most comfortable night of my life. I eventually got to sleep in the early hours, waking to find the Baddog upside down between the Daughter and me, paws drawn up beneath her chin, Miss Maud tangled up with her, and Bill draped over my knees, anchoring me so completely that I felt as if I was in a straightjacket, and eyeballing me to make sure he wasn't forgotten. Ah, such dominant dogs!
This day was the Junior Daughter's birthday - amazingly, she had been due on my birthday, but arrived twenty minutes too early, much to my chagrin.
After a leisurely start, we sallied forth for a joint birthday lunch. Eating out is a rare treat for me now. So - twice in two days is sheer extravagance.
The Junior Daughter wore her best bib and tucker, she looked enchanting, and I was so proud to be seen with her.
We ate the most lip-smackingly delicious lunch, we both had herb-encrusted scallops, all buttery and juicily, burstingly fresh, baked in the shell, followed by chargrilled squid, with a salad of broad beans, tomato concasse and mint. It all just exploded in the mouth. Sated, we stumbled out to Marks and Spencer at Marble Arch, for a little light shopping therapy. Just the odd T-shirt.
When we arrived back at the flat, the Senior Daughter had popped in whilst we were out and left us both a ravishing tarte aux fruits for our tea. Clever, as we had not had a pudding! There was also a wonderful bunch of roses for me, deep yellow fringed with orange, long stemmed, with glossy dsrk green leaves.
So - to be on my own today is not such a hardship. It would not be truthful to say that the day will not be without a certain poignancy - but the tristesse I feel, is for the loss of my family life - not at all for the loss of a husband who lied, cheated and spent his way through a 45 year relationship, and must confront his own demons.
I am free.
2 days ago