Its birthday time in our house. September is busy that way. Leo and his dad, Lily and her dad, Leo and Tansy's granny, Fred and Lily's step mum...yeah its complicated.....and busy!
We kick off with Leo and Hugh, who share the 8th and a love of boats and fishing. So guess what we did...grabbed the canoe, and a kayak for Fred and went out to sea again.
We had a late start. The birthday table for starters...laid out lovingly the night before with cloths and flowers, candles and presents, paintings and cards. Then there was the bowl of raspberries dropped on our doorstep by our lovely neighbour Ruth which inspired me to whip up an enormous batch of banana pancakes with cream. That took some time. Then there was the birthday song, composed by Fred and me while wandering round the National museum Wales in the summer holidays and performed live in the sitting room. And did I mention we didn't get up until..hmm about nine o clock?
Finally the vessels were strapped on the car and, as the veteran of one whole sea canoe trip I felt pleasantly excited rather than mildly terrified like last time.
The sea was calm and clear as a green marble and we canoed hungrily from Paignton to Brixham for birthday pasties with five turnstones and several gulls.
And birthday cake...
There were no fish biting this time, and the youngest birthday boy nearly slumbered over his fishing line. His newly acquired five years (is that right? My youngest child five?) not enough to carry him through the long paddle home!
It's always strange to have the two boys share their birthday, working out a cake suitable for both, staying up late to finish paintings and birthday stories, trying to find a day suitable and acceptable to both. So far Leo has not ever had a party, his birthday activities centre around crabbing and water based activities, fishing puppet shows, boat shaped cakes etc.
It's also a strange time because there is always the knowledge of Lily's birthday just days away and what do we do about that?
I usually try to put it out of my mind while I prepare for Hugh and Leo, and then there are the days that follow when dove and angel cards start to appear in the post and I start to think about the horse cake I made when she was two.
But for Saturday it was the boy's day