The celebrating of my Mum's birthday, presented another opportunity for our family and friends to get together. This year's gathering took place at her house and there were plenty of people there to share her day.
My cousin and sister cooked up a storm and I was especially happy to see that fried chicken was on the menu :-) It was a nice, mellow event, but I think I must be getting old because I had to leave just after midnight, to catch up on my beauty sleep. According to my sisters; my Mum and her guests were still going at 3am! We will continue celebrating her birthday on Saturday, when we'll be going out for a family meal. Glad you enjoyed today Mum.
Birthday greetings also go out to my cousin Deb, who is in Japan where her husband is stationed. X
Introducing Chris and Noel. JB had wanted a pet for quite some time; he'd never requested anything specific until last week, when he asked for some fish. After a lengthy consultation with the lady at the pet shop, he chose his tank and his fish on Christmas Eve. Their names were selected before we'd even got home! (I'm sure you can work out where he got them from) I think that pets are a great way of instilling responsibility in children and I know that JB will take his role in looking after them very seriously.
My birthday celebrations started yesterday evening, when I went out with friends from work for drinks. Actually, if I'm honest the celebrations started a little earlier in the day, at the end of term party, which I took to be my birthday party! There was a lot of delicious food and plenty of champagne and of course lots of cheesy party music - I love cheesy music! This evening I went out for a wonderful meal with my family at a local Thai restaurant. Towards the end of the meal, my sister announced to the entire restaurant that it was my birthday; they all obliged her by singing a raucous Happy Birthday! It was embarrassing, but very very funny. I have been blessed these past two days to share this time with my very special family and my dear friends; I enjoyed every single minute of it.
I was intrigued when this story first broke; man goes missing, he's presumed dead, five years later he turns up alive and 'well'. My suspicions were roused by the fact that he was able to give important information about himself, his name and D.O.B, but he thought that he might be missing. Intriguing, but I guess it could be possible to remember your name and nothing else and from that summise that perhaps you are a missing person and should get yourself to a police station. Yes, you are right, Mel was not convinced by this story! When John Darwin's wife Anne began to speak to the press, I had the distinct feeling she knew more than she was letting on (or that she was not happy that her husband was actually alive); she was shocked by the news and would be returning t the UK at some point! Surely ones first instinct in this situation would be to rush the side of the loved one once thought lost; instead she seemed 'happy' to stay in Panama. Her tune changed dramatically when stories like this emerged in the news, along with pictures of the couple said to be taken last year, it was clear that they were in it together. All the time that I'm following this crazy story, I'm thinking what about their sons ; how do you, as a parent, allow your children to go through all of that pain and torment? Believing for all of that time that your Father is dead and then to find out that not only did he fake the whole thing, but that your Mum was in on it. Awful, truly awful. There are other cases of (mainly) men who walk out of the door and leave everything behind; most of them a little publicised than the Darwin story.
Some of you may recall my previous post about the organisation that facilitates loaning money to businesses in need; I loaned to three people and they are all in the process of paying back. kiva have now set a loan amount limit of $25 (roughly £12.50) as a result of the growing number of people wanting to help these worthy entrepreneurs. I discovered today that Kiva offer Gift Certificates; the recipients can choose who to loan to and then once it's repaid they can loan again or get their gift back. I have decided to buy some as Christmas presents; if you find yourself stuck for gift ideas, you might consider them too.
And today, for me, my colleagues and our students, somewhere, was back at school. It always a strange experience, the first day we go back after being at the theatre for two weeks. (A person can be fooled into believing they actually work in a theatre and that they are not really a teacher!). It is such an intense, demanding, but at the same time very rewarding experience; bonds are formed amongst all involved. And then it ends and it's back to normality; students and staff alike, spend the first day or two walking around school looking very lost.
The production of West Side Story was a huge success and the students received some fabulous feedback. It is perhaps, one of the most difficult musicals to stage; the score is very complicated (no easy thing to follow when choreographing) and there are some difficult songs too. The decision next year's 'big' production has not been made as yet and probably won't be until early in the new year. In the meantime, we have auditions this week for two new productions that will take place at school, including Bugsy Malone (another one of my favourites) for students in years 7.8 and 9.
Oh yes , the bag; it's my marking bag and I'm starting to fill it up with work to do over the Christmas holiday!