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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Happy 75th Birthday, Dad!

I've checked the horoscope for people born today, and it says this:

"Being a Sagittarius born on November 24th, you are characterized by an adventurous, positive and straight forward nature. You live for new experiences and exciting situations, which explains why you are always searching for different environments to explore."

Although now he's entitled to a free TV licence, he's unlikely to leave the sofa.

His 75 years of adventuring have, however, produced three lovely grandchildren...

Well, one lovely grandchild and a couple of nutters. Amelie spent most of yesterday afternoon poking people in the face with a giant balloon, whilst claiming it was the Sword of Death, and shouting "Kill! Kill! Kill!". Which I presume is something she learnt at the Catholic school. Fortunately, it's occurred to me that if my brother's daughter seems perfectly normal, then the crazy gene must have come from Lisa's side of the family. Which is not only reassuring, but makes a lot of sense.

Anyhoo, Amelie woke me up at 7:15am yesterday morning by slapping me repeatedly on the forehead because she couldn't find the iPad. I'd already packed it, so that we could make a quick getaway that morning, and sure enough, we were out of the flat by 12:20pm, a mere five hours later. That's the beauty of forward planning.

Once at my parents' house, Amelie interrupted my Dad's celebratory mail-opening to show him what a real birthday card looks like...

It's made of cheap A4 paper, opens on the left, and is drawn entirely in pink felt-tip pen. Amelie's spotted a gap in the market that Hallmark have clearly missed.

For his birthday, my Dad received books by some of the greatest comedy writers of the past 75 years: Spike Milligan, Tommy Cooper and me. The first two were purchased by my brother from Amazon, while the third was created on the computer by yours truly last weekend, and then produced in limited edition hardback by one of Britain's most prestigious publishing houses: Funky Pigeon. They had a half-price offer on.

So having played with all the presents...

... we settled down to some celebratory fish & chips, followed by some hard partying and soft birthday cake...

That's Toby on the floor. He'd already drunk himself under the table at that point, and is pictured there two seconds before he attempted to set himself on fire by plunging his hand into the candles.

As for the cake, that was hand-decorated by Amelie. So it's a miracle there's anything on it.