Monday, November 26, 2007

Bloomin' lovely .....

Now isn't that just the best
possible message to receive
from your family, when you
are hitting the great eight-oh?!

On Sunday I took my family out to lunch to celebrate my imminent transition from the seventies to the eighties (tomorrow).

It was tricky to arrange. One son only has all three children in his care for one weekend a month, and one daughter-in-law, who runs a craft fair at weekends in the run up to Christmas, said she would not be able to get reliable cover for herself that weekend. Then when that had sorted itself, on Saturday night the son tells me the little boy is poorly, and his older brother not too well either, and they might not make it, as it involved a lot of driving to get here and back in the day.

But by the next morning everyone was better and the party was on as planned. I had booked a private room for ten in a favourite Italian restaurant : 3 (out of 4) sons, one (out of 3) daughters-in-law, and 5 out of six grandchildren, and me, of course. One family too far away in Australia to join the party alas.

Sarah Jane, (who is my cleaner-companion-friend), had decided that the best birthday present she could give me was to pop in to the restaurant beforehand and decorate the room for me. There was a Happy Birthday banner, 80th birthday balloons, Happy Birthday confetti (all over the table, the napkins, even on the bottoms of the upturned glasses), and party poppers.

At the end of a fantastic meal I was presented with a birthday cake, with candles in the form of an 8 and an 0, and a third candle which played Happy Birthday! I was so overcome when I walked in that I was reduced to tears - it was as though she had popped up in front of me and given me a great hug. I had to rush outside and telephone her straight away, bless her darling heart.

Proceedings were slightly marred when I endeavoured to pay for the meal with my credit card, and the restaurant's machine would not accept it! So one of my son's had to pay instead. The same thing had happened to me once before in that restaurant, but I have now found out from my bank the reason for it.

It seems that many restaurants, petrol stations and supermarkets continue using their old machines which were designed for use with a card and a signature, not for 'chip and pin'. The machine will try to override the pin entry - hence the problem I had. Credit cards are particularly sensitive to this problem, but bank debit cards will usually work (as my son's did).

So, at the end of the day, I have not lost face!

1 comment:

Pam said...

So, today's the day, Judith! Many many happy returns and congratulations. Your meal on Sunday sounds so special - hope someone took some photos and hope we can also see them.