Sunday, 23 September 2007

A birthday breakfast

It is Grit's birthday today and so a glass of whisky to start the day is permissable. Anyway, I need to get through until breakfast. Dig told the children yesterday of the imminent joy that is mother's 147th birthday and they are planning a morning surprise.

Of course I have to pretend to be ignorant of the upcoming surprise. Especially when a Tiger, or a Shark or a Squirrel bursts into the office where I am now hiding and asks sweetly whether I am planning to go into the kitchen yet for breakfast. Dig tells me that unless he instructs me otherwise by code, the answer is 'No'.

Throughout these performances, the innocent face that I have to display is, quite frankly, killing me, so I reach for the brandy. What I really want to answer is 'I want my muesli. Stop doing what you are doing. Put the felt tip pens down. Mop up the liquid. If you wrap streamers around the kitchen again I will go beserk with the wooden spoon painted like a dolly, at which point I cannot be held responsible for my actions.'

Dig assures me there is no liquid involved. He says it is not streamers either but that everyone is cooperating and not fighting and there is no blood or paint. I say it is an hour and a half since I woke up and drenched myself in coffee and it's about time I had my breakfast. The corpse smile that I'm keeping about me is starting to hurt, and unless I get my muesli and soya milk soon the tetchiness will take over and I'm going to explode or die or both. Dig says he will go and chivvy them along a bit and off he goes.

Ten minutes pass and he's back, with an open mouth and a look of astonishment. I fear the worse. But no. It is Elizabeth Hurley. She is up and having breakfast. In my seat.

'Do you know what she just said to me?' asks Dig.
'She stood up in front of me, put her hands on her hips and said "I am very angry!" '
Now it's Grit's turn to be astonished. 'What have they done to her?' I ask.
'Nothing!' cries Dig.

Well, Elizabeth Hurley is angry indeed. Apparently she says the children woke her up this morning at 7.30 by chattering in the schoolroom. She says this is unacceptable. This is her day off and she deserves not to be disturbed by children in the morning. She says she has got up early thanks to the noise and she has had to eat her breakfast surrounded by noise and it is not nice.

Dig is equally outraged. He points out that this is the family flat and today is a day of celebration. I would like to think he added 'Shove it' but I bet he didn't, partly because he doesn't know how to say that in French but also I suspect that the thought of an enraged Elizabeth Hurley might be more than a man can bear before a shower and after only two cups of coffee.

'Well what have the children been doing?' I ask. I know I'll blow the surprise but hey-ho, a cross Elizabeth Hurley is more than I want to face too on my birthday day with no breakfast.

'Drawing Happy Birthday cards and blowing up balloons' answers Dig. What? No streamers? No. No liquid? No. No lying down screaming on the floor? No. Lots of happy chatter and anticipation of cake for breakfast. Which there isn't any, incidentally. Dig adds that Shark is very proud because she can tie knots in the balloon end, but not always. So for those balloons blown up she is tying a piece of string around the end, very tight indeed.
'And is there much noise?' I ask.
'Nothing out of the ordinary' says Dig.

So there you have it. Grit drinking on an empty stomach while Shark, Squirrel and Tiger take nearly two hours to make a birthday surprise happen by blowing up lots of balloons and making cards. I wonder if Dig has deliberately given out misleading information to Squirrel who has written 'Happy Barfday' on hers. As I eventually and joyously contemplate my muesli I give everyone top marks for cooperation on balloon handling, string tying and card making. And secretly I note that thanks to the string, the balloons will all deflate by tea-time which makes clearing-up easier.

And Elizabeth Hurley, who is very cross indeed, disappeared by stomping off to her room and slamming the door.

Thus the Grit household felt fully exonerated after failing to invite her for a splendid autumn walk through the parks followed by a celebration family lunch down at the local curry house and the last couple of hours down at the kiddie theme park.


HelenHaricot said...

sounds like the rest of birthday fab.

Em said...

Happy Birthday!

grit said...

thank you! the day ended much better than it began!