Its been a rotten kind of week.
But it ended really well!
This cold is a particularly nasty strain and will not let go. I spent most of my birthday, Tuesday and Wednesday in bed dosed up on cough sweets and painkillers. I didnt really feel much better on Thursday when the supply agency phoned to ask me to go work in the same school as last week again. I pulled myself together and headed off, only to spend 40 minutes in a traffic jam as they were resurfacing the main road out of Thanet!
By the end of the day I had lost my voice and felt like death warmed up so when my phone went half way through Friday morning I was glad the battery was flat, as I was sure it was the Agency asking me to cover Friday afternoon. I managed a Tesco shop with my parents but that was all I could cope with.
I'm not sure what was the matter with the world on Friday. Tesco was packed to the rafters, worse so than Christmas. I think they were panic buying because of the flood alerts. Similar conditions prevailed to those in 1953 when most of Whitstable ended up under water so perhaps they were all barricading themselves in with their Tesco goodies? We had been to the seafront and seen the huge huge waves crashing over parts of the sea wall. At Hampton the car park was already flooded and at HerneBay the tops of the waves were hitting the bottom of the pieir! Of course Dad's camera - as usual - was in the boot of the car and it was far too windy to get it out. We saw one rather substantially large lady loose her footing so we knew how strong the gusts were!
Saturday the girls were organising a little bonfire party for my birthday, a small affair with just the family. That was all I had wanted. So after I struggled to cook baked potatoes, and make a few pots of homemade veggie soup, and Martin (no better than me because of the cold) struggled in the same way through the hoovering, I was sent up to my room by Laura to put on makeup, listen to music and mainly keep out the way.
When I was finally allowed down I was met by a room decorated with balloons, and banners, a table full of sweets and party nibbles, a caterpillar shaped cake, and sausages being cooked. What a honey she is. So with Mum and Dad, Kelly and Ollie, Laura and Wayne, we set too munching, drinking, chatting and laughing. They finally gave me my birthday present. They had all clubbed together to buy me two tickets to see Lord of the Rings, on the stage in London, plus an overnight hotel stay so we dont have to rush back on the train. Wow!!!
Then we all traipsed outside to light our boxes of fireworks. A running joke because eversince I was tiny ALL my parties have consisted of lighting boxes of fireworks in the garden, even if they are naff. As we stood there waiting for Ollie and Kelly to find the fuse on the rocket, the air was suddenly rent by a lone bagpipe playing 'Happy Birthday'!!! Laura had managed to find and phone my friend Val from Uni who plays in a pipe band. Not that practiced herself on the pipes, her other half (who I had never met) had agreed to come play for me. God alone knows what the neighbours thought as he played 'Congratulations' into the night air.
Val had bought another friend from Uni along and we left the men in the conservatory as we chatted and caught up with all the news.
Thank you Laura, it was a lovely surprise and a lovely evening.
I am just waiting for Kelly to post her photos now, as for once I didnt take any. In fact, I went through all my photos last night and as the family's official photographer, it would seem I never do take any on my birthday as I could only find 2 photos to cover 50 years worth of celebrations