too much as if I am "blowing my own trumpet". One of the reasons I want to say it is also to say "thank you" to the people who read this and who came along and made the event such a success.
Yesterday I was given an acknowledgment for doing my job. Yes, okay I have been doing it for forty years - and no, I have never been paid properly for doing it. Sometimes though life chooses you and you don't choose life. I was given the ability to do something and that something needed to be done.
I've been writing communication assistance aids or "communication boards" for more than forty years actually but the work for adults which led to my job started forty years ago. D....actually had the precise date I designed the first board for him so he could go off to Thailand and "at least be polite to the local people" he was trying to help. That was the 18th September 1976. He told other people what I had done and a trickle of requests became a flood which, at times, has threatened to drown me.
D...wanted that acknowledged and so, apparently, did a lot of other people. I had so many emails on the 18th I thought my in boxes would crash.
And yesterday the local crew, organised by Middle Cat, the Senior Cat and my friend R.... turned out and gave me something incredibly special. I have absolutely no idea how to photograph it so that it can actually be seen but it is a little silver pendant designed by D...'s daughter. It has my internet avatar - the cat sitting on the pile of books - on one side and, on the other, is a message in Blissymbols, "To Cat, thank you in many languages from all of us". Okay, I admit I shed a tear. It's extraordinary, truly extraordinary. The workmanship is superb - and was much admired by a master craftswoman who was present yesterday. You can even see the whiskers on the little cat!
Middle Cat had, when things had reached a point where I couldn't back out, said, "Well look, we'll keep this thing small and intimate. We aren't inviting many people."
There were enough to fill the hall of the church the Senior Cat attends - and the church donated the use of it for the afternoon. People I know there dealt with an amazing afternoon tea - of which I ate almost nothing because I was too busy trying to make sure I said "hello and thank you" to everyone.
My friend R.... , a former Senator, did me the honour of a short speech - standing in for D...who lives in Wales. (He's also, like the Senior Cat, 93 and said he was a "bit old to be travelling that far".)
I think I actually enjoyed myself once the "speech" bit was over and my diverse family and friends were noisily communicating with one another.
Thank you for turning out on a rather bleak afternoon and for making it so special.