I'm just back from the Isle of Wight where we have been celebrating my Dad's 90th birthday. We are a very small family but luckily at the retirement flats where he lives there is a very active social life and many friends and neighbours turned out to help him celebrate. A wonderful buffet was provided and we brought a cake made by a dear friend's friend who managed to fit on all the references we provided.
Here's Dad with Mr T and me
and here's the birthday boy with my sister, Janet - I'm really pleased with this shot.
He is a very young 90 and it was interesting to see that his 'gang' seem to be made up of the youngest and liveliest of his friends.
Joan and Elise, Mick and Mike have been wonderful friends, looking out for Dad and taking him out.
Dad was asked if he minded if Patsy provided some entertainment as 'she' had had to cancel an evening at Christmas, Dad was a little unsure if he wanted a drag artiste at his birthday do, but being the chap he is, didn't want to say no, but Patsy provided excellent entertainment with plenty of songs which ranged from WW2 to the sixties - with a couple of changes of costume - which gave the opportunity for everyone to have a bit of a sing song
The buffet was spread on the billiard table
and every one tucked in
Dad cut his cake...
...toasts were drunk...
...and Patsy came back for a 60's session.
We all have to declare it a thorough success, and wish Dad continuing good health and many more birthdays to come.
Here are a few of his cards ...
... and I made him something to keep as we knew the cake would soon be eaten.
So what about those references - he was brought up in Wimbledon and moved to Upminster at the other end of the District Line (We know Wimbledon isn't on the underground, but Raynes Park just doesn't sound the same), when I was three. He was in the RAF ground crew in the war and served in North Africa, hence the pyramid and the scorpion which stung him, which he claimed to be his only war wound - something my sister and I loved to hear about. He worked as a printer for the Bank of England turning out bank notes and was a talented draftsman although I do not remember him doing much drawing. He loved making models including kites, model aeroplanes - the sort that flew, and beautiful scale model farm carts, and even a scratch build HMSVictory which he gave away for charity. He always loved fishing and still enjoys a chat to the fishermen on the sea front at Cowes where he lives. He also likes a little flutter on the horses and is a keen subscriber to Private Eye. He also uses his lap-top to surf the web occasionally so hopefully he will see this tribute. So Dad your birthday may be over but I think can keep celebrating for the whole year!!