It was my birthday yesterday and I had surprisingly lovely day.
Sue and myself were invited to lunch by a mutual friend, Sue's ex-access lecturer who helped her secure her place at Sussex Uni, a man of exceptionally dry wit and an expert on strange movies by the name of Richard. So we had a very funny afternoon - mostly at Sue's expense but she took it in good spirit, (more accurately, in good Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc).
I returned home to two calls from people I haven't heard from for ages. The first was from an old friend. Toby, whom I am very fond of, and who I last saw when he flew me out to Beijing six years ago to introduce me to an advertising agency he had invested in; he wanted me to write their international brochure, so it proved a well-paid freebie, (which sounds an oxymoron).
The second call was from my younger brother, Simon. (Coincidentally, Sue had earlier being upbraiding me for my lack of contact with my brothers and I had been defending myself by trying to explain our upbringing which, by today's standards, may be regarded as strange but at the time were not unusual; i.e. the fact my elder brother, Christopher, was flown half way around the world to attend school when I was four and I didn't see him again for the next three years; the fact I was sent off to boarding school at the age of seven and so only saw my younger brother during the school holidays for the next five years; the fact that, when we were finally all at the same college, we were only permitted to see each for a couple of hours at the weekend for the rest of our school careers. Small wonder we are strangers to each other.)
So Simon and I caught up on each others news; I learned of all the scrapes my nephews have been involved in and he learned he is a great-uncle for the second time. We are, indeed, strangers to each other but it was wonderful to hear from him again and I resolve to keep in touch.
Finally, Amy starred in her first Nativity Play yesterday morning. Her solo part came at the end, when, as her mum reports, she had to stand up in front of everyone and thank them for coming - from such small parts did Keira Knightley begin. Her mum reports having a tear in her eye.
However, what particularly surprised mum was to learn that Jesus was a beautiful baby who was born in a bar - the refrain to one of the more popular songs sung by the children.