It's Himself's birthday today...he's seventy -seven and still acts much like a twenty-year old apart from not being as fast...!
So we have shop-bought trifle for pudding and University Challenge is on for the new series, so we can bawl at the students who answer questions we don't understand and can't get the right answer for common or garden general knowledge...I know...sad lives we lead...but there you are, beats being six foot under any day.
When Himself was born seventy-seven years ago there were no computers...mobile 'phones were unheard of...in fact only a very few people had a telephone in the house. Space travel was simply a fantasy and cars didn't travel much above forty miles an hour.
The midwife came on her bicycle and the Father went down to the 'pub...everyone grew their own vegetables and made jams and pickles. Blokes smoked unfiltered Woodbines and women drank Port or a small Sherry on special occasions...
Mothers knitted and children left school at fifteen and went on the land or joined the Army...Himself was one of the last to do National Service and seems to have spent his two years in Germany crashing large lorries...
Cameras were complicated affairs involving films which came in a sealed packet and heart transplants were for the distant future...small children still spent their summer holidays from school picking up stones out of fields and then the Americans came and brought chocolate bars and sheer nylons and flirted with the local girls.
There was plenty of work and Fathers joined the Home Guard and the War brought a certain excitement to small Norfolk villages...
By 1960 Himself had married for the first time and his new wife almost, but not quite, had Irish twins soon after. It'd have not occurred to him to be there when those babies were born...that was left to the local Doctor and the mother-in-law...
He didn't go out walking with his new born baby either...pushing a pram was for the women of the family...the men went to work.
More babies followed and Himself became slightly more modern in his approach but the Sixties passed him by...long hair and beads and free love was for the young...the Vietnam war came into his sitting room though, with the help of the small black and white television in the sitting room.
The children grew and the wife wanted more and Himself was caught between a rock and a hard place...
Men had landed on the Moon and Agent Orange had decimated thousands of acres of land and left babies with horrible birth defects and the very first heart transplant was world- wide news...
Then we met, Himself and I, and I'd been arrested for protesting the Vietnam war and wore long skirts and jangly bracelets and reeked of patchouli oil and had travelled the length and breadth of England and had the most peculiar Mother...and was living with a first class pig...
But we found a common ground and we had a baby and were married and became foster parents to little ones with almost insurmountable mental problems and the time passed and we took on adults and went on holidays and struggled often with our assorted children who were hell-bent on the destruction of their lives and ours...
Himself survived to tell the tale...he is a great grandfather to many small people but with a fractured family, still has yet to meet with them.
He has come through all of this with a ready smile and sense of humour...he acts the goat and teases Eilis and is thrilled to bits to find tadpoles in the ditch...he waits on me hand and foot since I've been ill with never a word or sign of complaint...
Of course he can be, and often is, an awkward old bugger...but then he's allowed to be...he's earned the right.