Sunday 18 November 2012

Happy 6th birthday my rainbow fairy

Decorated by Betty
Six years ago I started writing this blog - a blog that was inspired by my brand new baby Betty.

And baby Betty wore nothing but blues and greens, and was always in a pair of dungarees, bashing her toy tractors and train sets around.

Betty has just celebrated her sixth birthday - a birthday full of rainbows, fairies, princesses, glitter and pink fluff.

When anyone asked her what she wanted for her birthday her stock reply was: "Anything girly and princessy."

I bought her a beautiful new dress for her to wear on her birthday, but because it was mainly blue, she rejected it in favour of her old, sightly grubby, torn princess dress, telling me: "Don't worry Mummy, I will wear the dress you bought me after school on Monday."

I spent weeks in the run-up to the big day researching rainbow cakes on the internet - the pressure was on, and I felt a bit scared that it might not be up to scratch.  However, I think that Betty may have sensed my fear, and just two days before, she informed me that she would be making her own cake this year and all I had to do was be on hand to do a bit of mixing and oven duties.

I was impressed with her very definite ideas on how she was going to decorate it, and this was the result - and she is right, it is far better than anything I could have done.

Betty also requested that I decorate the house like a rainbow, which again put the fear into  me.  But on the morning of her birthday she squealed with delight at the rainbow coloured strips cut from crepe paper hanging from every single doorway, while the rest of us got annoyed at getting a mouthful of rainbowness every time we walked through a door.  She later said: "You are going to keep these up til Christmas aren't you?"

Happy birthday my gorgeous, delightful (most of the time), funny and bright little fairy rainbow pink princess - your mummy, daddy and little sister all ADORE you! XXXX

Tuesday 6 November 2012

An open letter to Uncle Bob

Dear Uncle Bob

What the hell have you gone and done now?

The last time you were in the UK you were my rock. You listened, you offered your words of wisdom, and you helped me move heavy furniture around. And, as always, you made me laugh out loud - sometimes laughing with you, and sometimes at you!

We lunched together on your birthday (although at the time I didn't realise it was your birthday). And we fiercely argued about something. But we quickly cleared the air, and tucked into our pie and chips, in that dodgy pub in Leominster, the rain belting down outside.

You had just turned sixty-seven, and I thought you were looking really sprightly.  I loved your enthusiasm for your new 'expensive-looking' pumps, that you found for £10.

I still wear the fake red Crocs you sent me almost six years ago (in fact I am wearing them right now) - they are two sizes too big, but I have always been loyal to them, but only in the house, where no-one else can see me.

I feel so sad that recently I let the little wooden bird cage (with mechanical flashing, chirping bird) go to a charity shop - I would love to have that cage and bird back right now. It always brought a smile to my face, and made me think of you and your slightly eccentric and whacky ways.

But, we still have all sorts of reminders here: the dodgy orange outfits for my girls (which reside in their dressing up box and are brought out at Halloween), the plastic bunny rabbit that changes colour, the beautiful wooden hair pieces,  the dominoes, and the incredible personalised money box that you made out of a coconut shell for Betty when she was a baby - and you changed the spelling of her name because you thought it looked prettier your way!

Your voice is like a foghorn - for this reason I once remember leaving you in the car while I went into the supermarket - because I didn't like the attention you drew. 

You are brutally honest and you have no filter whatsoever - hence the argument we had on your birthday.  Although looking back you were probably absolutely right.

You don't like the way I cook sausages, and you tell me when I am looking fat.

You often speak a lot of sense, but also a lot of  nonsense.  You have a big heart, and you will work your butt off to help out.  You are a very loveable character - although you would scoff if I told you that to your face - I now desperately wish that I had the chance to.  

I loved receiving your incomprehensible one-line emails - but you told me off for being crap with my responses, and I was, and for that I will never forgive myself.

I wish with all my heart that I could email you right now, but it's too late.  

It seems incomprehensible that I will never see you again.  I (like the rest of the family) am in total shock about your untimely and sudden death.

Rest in peace Uncle Bob - I will miss you dearly, and our banter, and your foghorn voice, and your eccentricities, and your kindness.