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Posts Tagged ‘birthdays’

I always used to think that traditions were something that already were and it took me some many years to realise that anyone can start a new tradition…..they don’t have to be old and well worn!

I also used to think that to be a family you had to have a Dad and a Mom and a few kids and it was only some years after my breakdown when I was having counselling that the Doctor told me in reply to a comment I made about not providing my daughter with a ‘proper’ family; he said that families come in all shapes and sizes and just coz there was no dad and only her and me did not mean that we were not a family.  That was a long time ago.

Over the last decade or so (hahaha, it’s so funny to say that), I have started a couple of traditions, and my daughter who is now all grown up has started a few of her own.

Today we met up for what I realised has become a ‘new’ ‘family’ tradition. 

Going back a bit in time, I (officially) moved to the UK in 2002 and my daughter came to visit sometime later and we both ended up loving London and staying, and now consider ourselves to be ‘Londoners’!  So we have essentially settled here and that means that our extended family, with the exception of my brother and his wife who live in Hungary, all still live in South Africa.  This means that we don’t get to see them for birthdays and family events.  Last year for the first time in ages my daughter decided that it was time to start sending birthday cards. Previously it was an adhoc affair with the occassional card being posted, birthdays generally being noted with emails and phonecalls.

This year I realised that we had in fact started a new tradition when on Sunday she said to me that it was time to buy all the birthday cards again for the family, write a message, sign and address and paste stamps – ready to go at the appropriate time. (she will do the mailing of the cards since I am rubbish at sending them off in time and some get there a few weeks after the event).

So Monday we went together to buy the first of the batch, yesterday she bought the rest of the cards and today we met up in town for tea and a ‘card signing’ ceremony.  So before the year has really even started we have already bought all 19 cards, written our respective messages, signed, addressed, stamped and mailed the first batch for the January birthdays…. the first of which is on the 7th January the rest of the birthdays spread out over the year, the last of which is on 5th November! The eldest family member will be 93 and the youngest 5!

And so a new family tradtion has been born! How cool is that. 🙂

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last weekend was my daughter’s 30th birthday and together with some friends we gathered in Richmond to celebrate. One of the things she wanted to do for her birthday, was to hire a boat and go rowing on the Thames. 

our very not so big boat

The plan was to row from Richmond to The White Swan in Twickenham, moor the boat, have lunch and then row back to Richmond.

I thought the idea was great and encouraged the idea with enthusiasm. Ha! and then we got there!! Different story. Everyone else was really excited and I was…..trepiditious!  I was quaking at the knees!  🙂 LOL! and totally ridiculous….I have no fear of water, love boating, am a strong swimmer and have done this numerous times in the past.  The closer we got to launch the more I quaked at the knees. I insisted on life-jackets all round (which made us look totally ridiculous), and questioned the sensibility of this venture.

Last in….I rocked the boat to much hilarity from the others and not so much from me.  Then we settled in and to my horror we left the pier……h.e.l.p!!!  Actually it was brilliant, we laughed uproariously as we went round in circles at the rowers attempts to leave the jetty. 

Cemanthe having hysterics

 Eventually we got underway and amidst much laughter and a stream of instructions from the back-seat non-rowers we made our way to the far bank (per the instructions of the boat man), and away we went.

I can highly recommend this as a great way to spend an hour or so.  Sitting prettily in the stern, we (me and Demjules), gave a continuous stream of instructions….too far, turn left; no….. more to the right, mind theres a boat approaching…whoops mind the paddleboat, and so we made our way along the river to Twickenham. 

arriving at The White Swan

Arriving safely we moored the boat, stepped gingerly through the slippery mud (I did not want to add a spill in the mud to my repertoire) and settled in at our table on the patio. 

good food.....fine friends

Lunch was great, the company even better,  the weather played fair and the food was yummy.   Then it was time for birthday wishes and voila …..30 cupcakes appeared!

social media and cupcakes

We are beginning to look like cupcakes.

Sweetie Pies cupcakes

Then it was time to return the boat and off we went….row, row row your boat, gently down the stream…. merrily, merrily life is but a dream!

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