Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Grandma in Cyprus' birthday

Just to clarify, we abandoned the teens at home, because they were just about to start their exams.  AS levels are important, very important, so we had been faced with a dilemma, but ultimately decided that at 17 they were old enough to look after themselves providing we stocked the fridge until it was fit to burst, and there were regular visitations from local relatives.  It would have been marvelous if they could have come with us, but the harsh realities of modern schooling meant that not a moment could be wasted in the quest for that best possible grade.

These four days were unusual: it was the first time my brother, I and our mum have been together for more time than any of us could remember.

80 is a big birthday so everyone had made a very special effort.  Even Grandma in Cyprus who even did a double count on the years, as was not convinced that the 80 years between 1932 and 2012 could possibly have gone so quickly.

When we had been thinking about what to do the first decision had been where the celebration should be held. We had decided Cyprus as that is where her friends are...the people who she enjoys spending her days and evenings with.  There are still plenty of family in the UK, but actually I think birthdays are for friends first and foremost.

The celebration meal took place in her favourite restaurant with 25 of her closest friends, her two sons and their families.  We ate and drank 'til late in the night, before retiring to her home for further celebrations and cake cutting.  Her dogs joined in too at that stage.

The next day we'd hired a boat.  Big enough for forty, it took just seven of us down the coast.  Very calm, very civilised, very relaxing.  Whilst the captain cooked, we went swimming in the very nearly warm Mediterranean sea.  Our sweetcorn worked best as fish food, driving the fish into a frenzy, that made you think they may just have been piranhas and we'd had a lucky escape.

The third day of celebrations involved just one thing.  Her Grandson's present which you can see below:

Life begins at eighty.