76

Following on from 83, which was the grand old age delightful assistant no.2 (my dad) reached on 29 April this year, today it’s delightful assistant no.1 (my mum)’s turn. She’s not quite an octogenarian yet but she’s more than halfway through her septuagenarian years.

The birthday girl wanted to pop into our local metropolis, Perth, to do a bit of shopping today, and so that’s what we did this morning. Having been very successful in the clothing department of Marks and Spencer, we toddled off to one of our favourite tearooms in Perth for luncheon.

The last time we were in this tearoom, along with delightful assistant no.2, it was very busy and we were asked if we minded sharing a table with someone else. We didn’t mind at all, especially when the someone else turned out to be a most interesting and entertaining fellow called Geoff.

Geoff introduced me to a website called blipfoto, which is a social networking photography site on which you can post one photo every day, taken on that day, and people can leave comments, much as they do on WordPress blogs. I joined up with blipfoto after speaking to Geoff, and if you’re at all interested you can find me there as ‘Weedoon‘.

Well, as I say, we went back to this tearoom today and who do you suppose we should bump into, but the very same Geoff! (This may seem like a great coincidence, but since he is an avid fan of the place and visits just about every day, I suppose it’s not all that surprising).

I had vegetable soup, and delightful assistant no.1 had egg and cress sandwiches (I took a photo of the soup but it’s not very good so I’ll just include the sandwiches or, as our waitress called them, “sangwidges” – very Scottish pronunciation, ‘sang’ being pronounced in the same way as the past tense of ‘sing’):

Geoff also chose the sandwiches, but he very wisely added a slice of coffee and walnut cake. I was extremely tempted to order a piece myself but I knew we were heading home for birthday cake afterwards so I nobly resisted. Very kindly, Geoff offered me his cake to photograph (being the fine fellow he is, he understands the importance of such things):

Back in sunny Blairgowrie (I like to call it “sunny Blairgowrie by the sea”, perversely because it’s nowhere near the sea) the birthday candles were lit and the four family members who were available gathered to sample it. My sister baked it and I decorated it:

Some stalactites formed on the edges (and a few spare chocolate buttons were wedged into the middle of the cake):

The cake was light and delicious and slipped down nicely with a cup of tea, served on my bargain tea and toast sets:

All of this was very nice, but it wasn’t the only exciting thing that happened today.

I think 76 is an age at which you might think about things you haven’t done but would like to do. Having survived for more than three quarters of a century, you might feel it’s high time you fulfilled some long-held ambitions.

Today, 76 years from when she first breathed air on planet Earth, delightful assistant no.1 fulfilled such an ambition. Her grandmother did this very thing at a much younger age, apparently to improve her eyesight, because she was trying to stave off the inevitable glasses (a common rhyme of the day didn’t help her to feel comfortable about the impending situation: “men don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses”). As far as I know, what she did made no impression at all upon her eyesight, although perhaps it helped her to feel a bit more glamorous.

I took my dear assistant to a jewellery shop in Perth, where she bravely sat in a chair while a be-gloved lady shot at her twice and this was the result (the ears are where the action was):

The earrings are tiny gold ones with small diamond-like sparkly stones in the middle, they’re very pretty when they catch the light. I was so proud of her doing this at her age, and I think she looks great with them in.

When I got my ears pierced (I think I was about 16 or 17) I was intending to have two piercings in one ear and none in the other. However, after getting the first one done I was so distressed that I couldn’t take a second hit. My sister accompanied me to the jeweller, sat on me, and let me squeeze her hand until it went white while I had it done. It was quite a bit later that I plucked up the courage to have the other ear done. Then, in 2004 while I was wandering aimlessly around New Zealand on my own, I took the fancy for another piercing up at the top of my left ear. I went to a piercing parlour and had it done sitting in a chair, but then I fainted and had to lie down on a couch in the shop. Various kind-hearted customers, displaying all manner of painful looking piercings, came in and talked to me for the next half hour, while I lay there with the room spinning and a wet cloth on my brow. You will gather from this that I am a champion woose and quite incredibly feeble when it comes to needles, pain, or anything remotely medical.

We had been keeping this little ear-piercing business a secret from delightful assistant no.2, and wondered how long it would take him to notice. On arrival at the house, he chatted a bit to his dear wife and then I suddenly heard him exclaim, in the manner of somone profoundly shocked, “What have you done to your ears?!” I ran through from the next-door room and asked him what he thought of it. Once he’d got over the initial shock he admitted that he thought they suited her and she looked rather lovely. I agree, and hope he feels the same about the tattoo she’s planning to celebrate with next year.

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Categories: Cake, Chocolate, Perth, Photography, Tea, Tearooms | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

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48 thoughts on “76

  1. thesweetkitten

    I am hungry!

  2. I wish I could convey a real laugh rather than the paltry “haha,” but that will have to do! Many laughs from your post, Lorna! I love that your “delightful assistant” got her ears pierced and she does look lovely! Happy birthday to your mom.

    • Thanks Annie, I often feel that ‘haha’ isn’t adequate when I’m reading other people’s stuff (yours included, you have a real way with words!) but what can you do? I’ll pass on your kind birthday greetings to the birthday girl, thank you.

  3. CAFelegi

    Good for your mother! And I had a similar experience. When I was 18, I decided my gift to myself would be to get my ears pierced and keep it a secret until I saw my family that night. As I sat in the chair, I was extremely nervous. A woman who was taking her 5-year-old daughter to get her ears pierced and decided to use me as an example as to how it doesn’t hurt. Boy, was it hard not to yelp when I heard that “ca-chunk” of the piercing gun! But you have to stay brave when children are involved, don’t you?

    • Oh, I do so sympathise, it was the stapling noise that really got me I think. I suppose you do have to stay brave when there are children there, that’s true. Perhaps I should take a toddler to a tattoo parlour with me…

  4. Happy birthday to your lovely mother. And what a fabulous cake — extremely well decorated and chocolaty. Yum-o.

  5. I try to be healthy and then I see your darn posts

  6. You have a very pretty assistant no.1! The cake…oh-my-Lord!!! I hope these cakes taste as good as they look.

    The ear piercing looks very nice, and I’m glad assistant no. 2 noticed!

    Happy birthday to both your assistants, and many many more!

    • Thank you very much for all the kind comments Marian, I can vouch for the tastiness of the cake. I’ve had three pieces so far and each one was tip-top!

  7. Hi,
    A very Happy Birthday to your Mum. :)
    I love her birthday cake looks absolutely delicious, good job done by you and your sister.

    • Thank you Mags, I thought the cake was a bit of a mish-mash in terms of decoration, but since it’s all chocolate I thought it might be acceptable.

  8. Ha ha!!! That’s pretty funny Lorna, I think your mum is sooo brave for getting her ears pierced, at any age! I also think your mum should get one of those stick-on Tat’s to surprise your dad next year, hee hee!

    Btw the cake looked brilliant! The crumb looked very light & fluffy! Plus who could say no to such plentiful chocolate & decorations, mmm…

    • A removable tattoo is a good idea Alice, thanks! My dad says that since she’s on a roll with new experiences, he’s worried she’s going to come home with a sports car she’s bought on his credit card. I told my mum this and her face lit up as she said ‘oh, that’s an idea, I hadn’t thought of that!’. The cake turned out very nicely, thank you for your expert comments, my sister is a mean cake baker!

      • Excellent! I’m glad to hear its been a great weekend for all! Just think, your Sunday is just starting so it can only get better for you from here…

        • You’re such a gem, thank you, and I hope everything’s going well down under. I’m often amazed at the timing of your comments, do you ever sleep?!

          • It’s only quarter to ten here so still up and blogging! I have some catch up to do for recipes I’ve been cooking up!!! Plus I’m a night owl!

  9. Your mum looks great and that cake your sister made has me drooling all over myself. Wonderful stuff Lorna, love to your mum.

  10. Happy Birthday again to Delightful Assistant #2! The cake is certainly worthy of the occassion, and I’m happy to hear that fun was had by all. :-)

  11. Oh my! those sangwidges, and then the cake! Looks divine! And I can’t wait to hear about the tattoo next year. Was surprised to hear you fainted! No one for blood and gore, eh? :-) Great post. Happy Birthday to your mum!

    • Haha, sangwidges, when I read that in your comment it made me laugh, thank you! I’m completely useless at blood and gore. I remember having my BCG injection at school lying on the floor of the nurse’s room with all my fellow students milling around me standing up and looking down at me, because I’d fainted at the thought of it. I am a bit better nowadays, but whenever I have blood taken I need to stay seated for a while afterwards. Quite ridiculously pathetic, I’m afraid. Thanks for the birthday wishes! :)

      • you are welcome! Glad to see you back–I missed your posts!

        • Aw, thank you, that made me smile and feel all cosy!

          • Lately I find myself wishing I could just visit you at one of the tearooms! When I told my friend that I went to Scotland with about your blog, she said, “ALL the tearooms? Won’t that take, like, a really long time?”. :-). I can’t wait for the book!

            • Haha, that would be lovely! I can’t claim to be visiting every single tearoom in the country, although I’m certainly making an attempt to cover as many as I can, but it’s true that there is quite an abundance of them. I’m very much hoping that the book will be out in June this year, that’s what I’m aiming for.

            • will you autograph it for me? :-)

            • You just keep making my day – I would be delighted to! :)

            • Thank you! :-)

  12. Happy Birthday to your Mom…and what a tempting looking cake

  13. I love this post! A belated happy birthday to your Mum. She looks lovely and well done to her for her ear piercing! I remember being traumatised in a very similar way to yourself, at the tender age of 18. Your home-made cake looks superb, as does the coffee cake slice in the tearoom. Sounds like an amazing day!

    • Aw, thank you Jo, I’ll pass your kind comments on to my mum. I emailed your Muthill Old Church post to my dad and they both enjoyed reading it. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one terrified of ear piercing, eveyone else I’ve met seems to have sailed through it without a thought.

      • I’m glad your mum and dad enjoyed the post too. I felt faint for ages after my ear piercing, and the gun thing was so loud I thought I’d been shot. I hope that the technology has progressed since then!

        • That really reminds me of my experience. I’m pleased to say it has improved. I went with my mum for her piercing and was dreading the noise but I didn’t hear it and neither did she, so they must have a new method now.

  14. What a brilliant birthday your youngest assistant has had! I love the cake, and those earrings – wow. Good for her. I look forward to seeing the tattoo in a year’s time. Many good birthday wishes to her, and belatedly also to your senior assistant. I will always think of “Blairgowrie by the Sea” now!

    • Haha, youngest assistant, I like that! Thanks for the birthday wishes Christine, I’ll pass them on. My dad enjoys reading your blog, by the way. I suggested that my mum might like to get a Belted Galloway cow and calf as a tattoo (she’s fond of cows, and those ones in particular) and she seemed quite interested in the idea (what have I done?!). Best wishes to you and your family from sunny Blairgowrie by the sea!

  15. Geoff

    Very impressed by the birthday cake, you both did a brilliant job.

    Lovely to meet you again.

    • Thanks Geoff, very kind of you to say so. I was highly amused and delighted to see you at Quarrymill again, and rather envious of your cake!

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