A Lady of a Certain Age

Every day is special. Try hard enough and you can find a reason to celebrate the day you are alive in. Today, for instance, is special because the Long Tailed Tits returned to my bird table, because ER is on and because my Cos mentioned over dinner that she respects every single religion, “Even Judaism.” It could also be considered exceptional because I awarded myself a small prize for shutting my mouth very firmly at that point and not reopening it until I was ready to fill it with Yorkshire pudding.
Today, though, is an enormously special day because it is my Mammy’s birthday. If that wasn’t special enough, it is a most special birthday indeed because Mammy is now officially an OAP. Please contain your enthusiasm as I confirm that yes, my Mammy is 60 today. Happy Birthday Mammy.

For many people, such a milestone would be rather depressing but Mammy, as I am sure you are aware, is not many people and has thus spent the last year in a state of mounting excitement. All of her life she has worked hard and paid her own way. Now she can finally begin leaching the government for every penny it is worth. Mammy has her pension.
Amongst the other benefits now available to her is free bus travel, an OAP discount at The Codfather chipper near Strider’s and 10% off at B&Q on a Wednesday. It has taken many years but at long last, my Mammy is of some practical use.

Mammy loves being a pensioner. Her cries of “Help me up, I’m a poor crippled Mammy!” have been replaced by “Help me up, I’m a poor crippled pensioner Mammy!” She has bought herself a foldable walking stick which nobody can work out how to fold up. Whenever we try it springs apart in a lively manner not entirely unlike the time the cat fell in the bath.
She has also bought herself a fetching pink shirt. She doesn’t like it and intended to take it back to the shop but found herself wearing it despite my heartfelt entreaties not to.

To celebrate her birthday, Mammy wanted to go to the farm and set fire to things. Then she wanted to cook sausages on the barbeque and eat them in proper sausage buns with plenty of brown sauce. Yesterday was another wet one and she was rather concerned that everything would turn out to be too wet to burn but I reassured her that combustion on this scale is merely a matter of petrol. Unfortunately, while the rain had stopped by this morning, the wind had not and in the interests of not causing large amounts of fire related damage to the surrounding buildings, we put that plan on hold.

Disclaimer: If any of the Garda or Environmental Helicopter people are reading this, I would just like to make it clear that we don’t burn things recklessly or have bonfires and if we do it is only because of the dry rot which makes it totally legal. I checked.

Lacking a celebratory conflagration, we initialised a backup plan. We plied Mammy with drink and rented Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull from the video shop. I have to say, it was great.
When it was released I seem to recall everybody claiming it was rather rubbish. To be honest, it was rather rubbish. The storyline was ridiculous; the girl was annoying and pointless; Cate Blanchet was doing her best but we all know that a boiler suit looks good on nobody; nevertheless, I loved every hackneyed second of it. It was definitely an Indiana Jones film.
We also took Mammy to see Slumdog Millionaire at the cinema yesterday which is also great. Be prepared, it is quite cheesy but who cares? It has a fantastic soundtrack and brilliant photography. Danny Boyle is always interesting even when the end product doesn’t quite work. This is definitely a Danny Boyle film and it definitely works.

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