Catherine’s Diary (4): 31 March 2020


One of the things that has been apparent, via Twitter, Instagram, TV and radio, is that ‘Lockdown’ has meant a lot of people have started to reminisce, look back on events, remember people no longer around, presumably because we are not creating new memories, new events.  The reminiscing will, in itself, be a memory for the future.  We will remember what things we did to occupy our time, keep us sane, counteract boredom.  Catherine’s Diary today is all about looking back:

“Two years ago, Amanda gave me a ‘Surprise 70th Birthday Party’.  It was a total shock, as I thought I was going to her house for dinner with Bruce and Brian Husband and brother-in-law).  She asked me to wear a dress, because I am always in trousers but I was allowed to wear trainers.  I hate shoes.  

As I went through the front door there were banners on the wallls with Happy 70th Birthday on.  I felt so much emotion.  Into the living room, there was my brother Christopher and his wife Pam, Ferruccio and his son Andrew (my brother-in-law and nephew), Lindy and Lance (Amanda’s friends).  Then I came upon my niece Barbara, only I didn’t know it was her!  I asked “Who are you?”.  I am still embarrassed about it, Barbara, will you ever forgive me?  But it still makes me laugh.  That’s what 35 years Of not meeting up does for you!  Barbara’s friend, Liz, was here, a lovely lady and Gill, a friend I worked with years ago.  What was special was you all came from faraway: Wiltshire, Leicester, Italy, Northampton, Bognor and Harlow, in dreadful weather.  I remember it was snowing.

Amanda took me into the dining room, there was the most beautiful buffet and a birthday cake in lilac (my favourite colour) and white: delicious.  I had some lovely presents and a card from all the people Amanda teaches (Spinning, Body Pump and Body Balance) all saying nice things to me

I still think of that ‘Special Day’ and it still brings a lump to my throat and tears in my eyes.  Thank you Amanda, from the bottom of my heart.  I love you always, love Mum xxx”

The tea towel that opens this Blog is a photograph from the Surprise Birthday Party that I had made into a tea towel for Catherine.  A great reminder.  I always thought that Amanda was very brave arranging a ‘Surprise Party’ for Catherine, inviting people she hadn’t seen for such a long time.  It was a good gamble; it paid off.  I often wondered who else was ‘in’ on the Surprise Party: was Bruce and Brian?  I love this story!

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