It was Sister's fault, but I got the blame. She suggested a picnic for my birthday. I imagined a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon, sitting outdoors, Little Jo playing, having a game of bocce or flying the kite if there was a breeze. Even as she mentioned it the previous weekend, the weather forecast was not good.
I gave R the perfect opportunity for him to say, I told you so. The fall back position was lunch out, with me suggesting the day before the beach cafe that was the old St Kilda Yacht Squadron building. I had no intention of going to a closed in pub for lunch.
For some reason Mother decided she would have lunch before she came. Then Sister decided they would have lunch first. The weather forecast did not change through the week. Ok, coffee and cake at the aforementioned place. Oh, have to do birthday cake and sing and have candles, mostly for Mother's benefit. Can't do that at the cafe. R decided we would have afternoon tea here and we went to shops, except we could not cross St Kilda Road because a marathon was being run, so we went to South Melbourne. I kept my mouth firmly closed as the goods mounted in the trolley for the afternoon tea, $50's worth, no less. Remember it was all my fault for suggesting a picnic, which I didn't.
It was a splendid afternoon tea and no one behaved like they had already eaten lunch. The food was devoured, the lamington sponge adorned with birthday candles was eaten, along with the Little Jo made and iced chocolate cup cakes. Nanny managed to drop her plate onto our unsullied new carpet, with a mix of chicken bones and chocolate mud cake crumbs. She was all ready to pick it up. Sister and I told her to freeze, while I went and got the vacuum cleaner. Funnily she did freeze, bent over to pick up the crumbs, and would not move out of the way. Little Jo insisted on a round of pin the tail on the donkey. Nanny won.
They had all gone by 4pm. Sister drove for 3.5 hours here and back to attend. I appreciated that. She only mentioned once about the driving time. Ah, we have to look after Little Jo next weekend while she cycles to Frankston from here and back again in the Round the Bay bike ride. For goodness sake, we said, get the train back. Bone Doctor is cycling from Geelong to the City via Queenscliff and the ferry.
I gave R a list of three books I would like, one of which I would like for him to buy for my birthday. A history of Flinders Street Station was a good choice. The railways had their own egg and poultry farm, and market garden at Noble Park, a fact I picked up as I flicked through it. A total surprise, a book about trams, the funicular and trolley buses in Penang. I did not know Georgetown even had them. A large bottle of wine and their left over pounds sterling, (£4.90) from their visit earlier in the year, in a Tiffany Jewellery bag for us to use next year. A bunch of strelitziers? from our hair dresser friend and a very heavy decorative dish with a nice relief from Brighton Antique Dealer. Lots of cards too, of course.
Our friend in Japan's card arrived too today, with a nice cardboard sculpture, and the the promise of an ebook once it is published at the end of the month.
A bit stressful but not a bad day.