Monday, June 04, 2007

Happy Birthday to the 80 year old tap dancer!

We set the alarm for 6 a.m. It was more than a two hour drive to Bedford and we needed to get there early to help.

At 8 a.m. I woke with a start. We flew round the house, threw three puddings, a joint of pork, a pasta salad, five children and various jackets (NOT TOO CLOSE TO THE FOOD PLEASE) into the car.

ED was not too pleased because she had to leave with half wet hair.

No-one could decide whether it was hot or cold on the journey, so the windows flew up and down like there was no tomorrow, causing enormous angst amongst young girls who wanted their hair just so, and angst amongst boys who wanted the temperature just so.

Well actually the angst was only between one boy and one girl, ED and ESOS, who, to deliberately understate, could be said to not always be the best of friends.

It was a fraught morning. Hubby took a wrong turning, which as it turned out was a right turning, because we had to do a pit stop for fuel, and had we taken the proper route there were no pit stops available.

We had planned to arrive at 10. We arrived at 11.45, just three quarters of an hour before the big moment.

As she walked round the corner, I suddenly felt very emotional.

The party was full of old friends. People I hadn't seen for twenty, thirty and in some cases almost forty years.

Age is a very strange phenomenon, because the ageing process affects people so differently. Once the initial moment was over for instance, my own mother was drinking plenty of wine, socialising, and enjoying herself just as she always does. As the only 80 year old tap dancer that I know, she still knows how to party like an average thirty year old. Being an afternoon garden party, not many were dancing, by my parents did of course when my niece sang, because they have always danced and always will. In fact the atmosphere probably wasn't much different to a party held for a thirty year old.

Many of my parents' friends are similar socialites, and are young for their age. One or two are less young now however, and I think that one lady had completely forgotten that my parents had ever had a daughter. She certainly didn't remember ever having met me, despite my being able to recount a visit to their house as a child.

As the afternoon wore on I remembered a phrase that my father said many years ago. My father often comes up with little sayings that are worth quoting. Many of them funny and often very sage. In this particular case it was: "People don't change with the years. They just get older." Which, for the all the while that we still have our wits about us, is so very true.

And later, as I lay in bed, waiting for the events of the day to mix with my dreams I started recalling snippets of conversations from the day. As I remembered the conversations, I remembered the people who were talking to me.

In my memories though, these people were not in their seventies and eighties. They were all as I remembered them as a child. I could hear them saying the words that they said at the party, but, no matter how hard I tried, I could only see them as I would have seen them twenty or thirty years ago.

Hubby has often said that he would like to do away with cameras, and my father has always said that the memories of the mind are the best. Our own camera made it out of the house in the morning, but seemed to like the new car, so decided to sit in it all afternoon. So, we will have to wait until someone emails us a picture before I can share the day pictorially with you all.

But in the meantime......

Happy birthday to my beautiful and brilliant tap dancing mother.

(Photos added with thanks to my eldest brother, who read my blog and sent them through! My Mum is the one in the black and white dress!)


Asha said...

Aw..!! Such a great post! 80yr old and tap dancing! That is so cool Sally.Happy B'day to her from me and may I wish she tap dances for another few decades!:))

Eliza said...

it's really wuite humbling when you relaise your parents are human hey? Happy Birthday Sally's mum! . xxxx

Lisa said...

Sally, great post!
I, too have pictures in my mind, and recall them as needed. The actual pictures just add to my mental ones, though.
Happy Birthday to your Mum!
What an inspiration.

david santos said...

Good work I congratulate you with sharing it with your visitors

ChrisB said...

Happy Birthday to Sally's mum. That sounds a wonderful way to spend a birthday. May the tap dancing continue to keep you young at heart.

Alice Band said...

Having lost my beloved mother recently, any stories regarding someeone else's kills me. Get a picture of her dancing, frame it and look at it longingly...

Sally Lomax said...

Hi Asha - thank you!
Eliza - It is isn't it?
Lisa - Yes I agree. We build a picture throughout our lives.
David - Welcome to the blog! Hello!
Chris - It was a great day. Thank you!
Alice - How sad about your Mum. It sounds as though you had a great relationship though.

headless chicken said...

Hooray,you're back Sally.
What a lovely post,I'm glad all went well!
See you soon.X

Ignorminious said...

Awwwww that is a most beautiful post :) Happy birthday Sally's mum! May you still be tap dancing 80 years from now!

Em said...

'm glad you found my blog by way of Wendz. It is always great to meet new folks and your comment led me right to you! Happy Birthday to your mom!

Pamela said...

my comment went poof

lucky you... love your mom!

happy birthday - and blessing on your entire family.


Little Miss Moi said...

Dear sally. Glad you had a nice day with the family. And I can't believe you got seven people out the door in record time and didn't forget anything :o)

Sally Lomax said...

HC - Thank you!! Yes it was lovely.
Em - Welcome to the blog! I'm glad you found me too.
Ig - Thank you!
Pam - Thank you. Sorry you lost the first comment! They seem to do that sometimes.
LMM - It's not something I want to do every day. It was worth it though! Thank you!

Akelamalu said...

What a lovely post and what a lovely day you had Sally. Time with ageing parents is so very precious, I savour every minute. I hope someone emails you some photos soon, I can't wait to see them. :0

enidd said...

aw, sally, that's lovely. enidd's so glad your mother is still tapdancing. it sounds as though you and enidd have both recently realised the mortality of parents...

The very nice man said...

You do realise that Bedford is only about a hop and a skip away from us!?? Next time, come and stay over!!

Sally Lomax said...

Enidd - Yes. I know. I thought of your lovely post when I wrote it. If anyone hasn't seen Enidd's post called "They do things diferently here" then have a look! (
VNM - We had an invitation to stay at my brother's too, but had to get back because the children all had school, and ED is mid AS levels! But - thank you. A nice thought!

The Gymnast said...

That was great

ha ha.

ed said...

hey you've got a commenter called em!
x x x x x

pierre l said...

You are lucky to have such an active Mum. Best wishes to her.
And good luck to you for your appointment with Piers.

meredic said...

Does your mum read this Sally?
A lovely picture of your brood at loggerheads in the new car.

slimmeroftheyea said...

wish her a happy birthday from us!!!!

Sally Lomax said...

Gymanst - thank you.
ED - it's a man called Em!
Pierre - Yes I know. We are lucky. Thank you!
Meredic - Yes, sometimes, but only when someone else logs in for her, which isn't very often. Do you think she may be offended by the age references? I thought about it, but I decided that the post wouldn't be complete without saying how I felt as she arrived. i do have to say though that she is still very young for her age. She is fitter than your average fifty year old, and always has been. When she was over forty she played Gwendoline from "The Importance of Being Earnest" quite sucessfully, and when she was forty five she played Amanda in "Private Lives". She still has photos, and she didn't look anything like her real age.

Will add a photo of her now in a minute. My brother has sent some though, following my blog!

Slimmer - Thank you!!! I will.

belle said...

Sally, lovely post, reminded me of my parents' golden wedding party. They were 77 (her) and 80 (him) and just threw themselves into it like it was their wedding day!
I recall meeting so many friends of theirs again, as you did, and, like you, only recall them as I knew them 30 or 40 years ago!
It was also a bit sad as it was the last time we had a party at that house - lived in for 45 years - before my APs moved up to the frozen North. We also knew it would be last time me or my sister would see many of their elderly friends.
Now they have just had their 57th wedding anniversary and we are just hoping my father will keep enough marbles to enjoy their 60th!

Sally Lomax said...

Thank you Belle!

Funnily enough, my own parents celebrated their 50th anniversary 8 year's ago. They were married in 1949 - similar time I think?

We too are all hoping for another big family celebration for their 60th, in two years. I somehow doubt if we can top Sunday though. That was special.

Karmyn R said...

You mom doesn't look a day over 75. She's beautiful.

What a great post!

Sally Lomax said...

Thanks Karmyn.

Akelamalu said...

Oh glad I came back,you've put new photos up. Your Mum looks fantastic.

Sally Lomax said...

Ak - She does doesn't she! Thank you.

belle said...

Yes, my parent's wedding was 1950 and I'm the elder daughter so I'm ancient!
This is my mum:

Sally Lomax said...

Belle - Thanks for the link. What a lovely post about your Mum! She seems much like mine. My eldest brother was born in 1950, so must be a similar age. I was the youngest, 12 years younger than my eldest brother, so I have friends with mothers fifteen years younger than mine, and indeed my own mother in law wa a young Mum so is 65 this year.