I had a birthday, and a couple of birthday parties, one in Melbourne with sisters and brothers, nieces and nephews and their children, and my eldest child and her children. It all went very well, albeit somewhat bittersweet. My feelings are not yet quite blog-able and so I think I shall not explore it all further in the blog. Also it seems that there is some lurking going on, and I do not wish to give this particular lurking any encouragement, licence or ammunition. You know who you are. All I will say is that I have always taken care not to say hurtful or damaging things. Anything I can or do say can be verified. This is my personal blog, my feelings and my own experiences, and no one else's. If you don't like it, reading is not compulsory.
Last Sunday my children and I celebrated my birthday most enjoyably, with old friends, mostly local but with some who were able to travel here. It is a great joy to celebrate friendship and our shared pasts together, and to reflect on our lives. Many pleasures, some griefs, some regrets, and many hopes for our various futures.
What with my new oven, I indulged in quite a lot of cooking, such as I have not done for over a year. The results slipped down everyone's gullets pretty easily. It is good to know I can still do it. Anzac biscuits, the buttermilk spice cake, a chestnut cheese cake, spanakopita, baba ghanouj, pumpkin soup, these are all favourites of yore.
Lots of dear friends came along, and we all had a very good time. At this party, and at the other one in Melbourne, I was not expecting speeches, but they happened, and I spoke in reply, quite impromptu. This time I reflected on my friends, where and when we had met, the duration of our friendships, our shared experiences, what was particular and special about each of them. I should have spoken more about my children, but in some ways my feelings here, though deeply felt, were not so readily expressible, and thus perhaps I have sinned by omission. If so, I am sorry: they are, all three, most precious to me. (Perhaps I can have another party next year, and do better then.)
When you speak impromptu, you follow the train of thought that occurs, while thinking ahead, and trying to keep to a theme, and to be coherent. I am glad that I did recall how and where my friends and I met, and all the experiences we shared. We do not often have the opportunities to express openly and publicly how we value our friends. Celebration is important, and I feel I have done quite a lot of it in these last couple of weeks.
One must always come back to earth. I discover I now have serious floor problems, which will undoubtedly cost a lot to fix, and require a lot of time and trouble. Just when I thought I had finished feeding all the lawyers, etcetera.