actual 90th birthday today.
I have been told "do not fuss". What does that mean? I never fuss. I am always cool, calm and collected - perhaps.
My brother and his partner are not going home until tomorrow. We plan on taking the Senior Cat out today. There is a lovely garden centre on the other side of the city which is more like a landscaped garden than a commercial enterprise. We will go there and have him choose something for the garden. After that we plan to go on to lunch in the Barossa Valley and do very little. Yes, I am taking the day off!
And I have just given the Senior Cat his birthday present from me. "An Open House" by David Boyd. It is a biography of the Boyd family - Australian artists, sculptures, musicians and otherwise involved in the arts family. I may have to remove it from him in a moment so that he actually eats his breakfast!
I also made him a birthday card. I did not, although I wanted to, make him a card with 90 quotations. The computer was not, as regular readers of this blog know, working. It meant that typing in the necessary quotations and printing them off was not possible. It was not the sort of job I could do at the library or at my sister's place. It requires access to reference books. It requires peace, quiet and solitude in which to choose the quotations.
What to do? I looked at commercial 90th birthday cards. Definitely not. He would get most, if not all, of those. (He did. He was given some of them several times over. There is a limit to the variety available.)
The problem was solved when I looked at my precious box of Puffin post-cards. There were the front covers of books and more books.
I pulled out an ABC and a 123. The cover for the books of magical tricks and the jokes were absolute musts. Life has been an adventure for the Senior Cat (and still is) so Tom Sawyer was added. He treasures life too so Treasure Island was another must. There was the book about 'things to make and do' and a gardening sort of book, one on puppets and the Punch and Judy cover as well.
I wrote on the back of each, turning them into a continuous message. Then I taped them together into a concertina type fold that falls open into a long line. He liked it enough that he has taped it to the kitchen wall calendar. I am not sure how well it will stay there but - for now - he can see it there.
And so can I. It is a reminder of how much he loves books - and how much of that love he has passed on to his children. We are fortunate.