Do all Mums have this thought at a time like this – how could I possibly have a son who is turning 50? But I have, and he is indeed 50, much to his surprise. I think it sort of sneaked up on him. Michael had organised an evening at Becks Southern Alehouse on Saturday night and 30 guests met there for dinner. It was a mixed group, mostly Michael’s friends, and his two parents, accompanied by their spouses. There was much hugging and greeting as the guests arrived, then everyone settled down at the two tables. Any late comers got to sit at the parents table – that was their punishment for arriving late. Everyone was very friendly - “oh, you’re the ones with the caravan”, some of them said.
There was plenty of choices on the menu, and after a lot of dithering on my part, I had finally decided. Although I dearly would have liked to try the duck breast for my main, I felt that I couldn’t really justify the high price. So I did the next best thing and ordered duck won tons for starters, (slightly dissapointing, as it turned out) and had a more realistically priced main course to follow.
Friend Fiona had baked a large birthday cake, banana, Michael’s favourite, spread with chocolate ganache icing in the middle. She had copied the Star Trek design on the top, and added the words “Captain James T Groovy – Live Long and Prosper”. When did Michael turn into a Trekkie, I wondered?
Fiona and Michael
After dinner I stood up and related 10 facts that the guests might not know about Michael. Such as when his father and I took him on his first camping holiday when he was only 4 months old into the wilds of Lake Waikaremoana, with nothing more than a small car and a pup tent. And he really, really loved his gollywog and woolly blanket when he was a toddler and carried them everywhere. He was also very fully informed on the Ottoman Empire and could tell you everything you wanted to know about this subject, whether you were interested or not!
After the dinner, everyone moved out to the bar to listen to the music, and danced on the tiny dance floor. I watched as Michael whirled Fiona around the dance floor. He never used to dance as a youngster, I thought to myself, but then he has been away from home for a long time now. Michael’s group of friends attend the Ceroc Dance classes on a regular basis.
The birthday celebrations continued over to Sunday (the day of his actual birthday) with an informal “at home”. His gift from us was a Photo Book showing his life, from baby, to toddler, schoolboy and beyond.
Happy Birthday Michael
It turned out to be a very busy afternoon. Michael’s Dad and his wife came calling. So did a whole swag of friends bearing plates of food and gifts, Michael was kept busy at the coffee machine whipping up lattes and cappuccinos as required. The birthday celebrations had gone very well. My little boy had turned 50 with style and panache.