A Very Sappy Birthday to the Queen

We are in the kitchen discussing the Queen’s birthday, which is today. And the other Queen’s birthday, which isn’t.

“She has two birthdays, you see,” I say. “The Queen’s actual birthday when she came out of her mummy’s tummy … (I pause briefly to process this) … is on 21 April, whereas her ‘official’ one is in the summer.”

“But MY birthday is in the summer,” says NG disconsolately. She is swinging her legs against the high chair whilst NC bobs precariously in his IKEA vessel, like a small buoy in high seas.

“So is the Queen’s. One of them, anyway.”

Poor little buoy.

Poor little buoy.

“Wish I could have two birthdays.”

“Well, you can’t.”

Clouds pass over NG’s face and she stops kicking. “Aah, poor me. I just have one birthday. WHY do I just have …”

NW peers over his laptop and cuts her off. “I’m not sure about this. Anyone who thinks they need to tell people to wear stout shoes and bring a torch to a stony beach at night is not someone I have a lot of time for.”

Her Majesty’s 90th birthday fever has gripped our town like a one-day-only Peppa Pig World discount code. NW has signed himself up to light a beacon on a little island in the harbour near us as part of the 1,000 being lit to commemorate the event. It is being organised by a shattering bore called Martin who is beside himself with excitement and has sent in the region of 50 emails, all of which have been marked ‘high priority’ and relate to uniform or timings. The ‘stout footwear’ is the last straw.

“Don’t do it then,” I say, though I am a little peeved as he works in London all week so I think it’s good for him to do a bit more in terms of integration than go for a pint.

“Is the Queen having a party?” asks NG, who has bored of trying to topple her brother and is now trying to feed NL smoothie with a Calpol stick.

“Yes, lots.”

“Wish I could have lots of birthday parties when it’s my birthday,” sighs NG, looking like Lola  when Charlie shuns her for a ‘big friend’.

Tonight one's going to party like one's ninety: cake and wine.

Tonight one’s going to party like one’s ninety: cake and wine.

“You can have one. But the Queen is doing lots of things on her birthday because she’s the Queen.”

“Is she going to the swings?”


NW shuts his laptop with a sigh. With detached interest, I watch him implode. “What is she doing, apart from being responsible for people resurrecting the word ‘stout’ and lighting up the whole bloody world?”

“She’s going to the Post Office, then she’s got an appointment to inspect her plaque.”

There is silence.

“I don’t mean the dentist,” I say hurriedly. “I know that all sounds bad – she’ll do all that, go for a little walk and chat to some people and then go home for some cake and listen to the Prime Minister make a speech.”

More silence until NC whimpers. Dribble dangles from his chin and his eyes start to water.

“Not much of a birthday, then, really,” says NW. “In fact, all in all, a bit cra …”

“Sappy. A bit sappy, yes; but then she is going to be ninety,” I say, managing to look both apologetic and disapproving whilst transmitting, “don’t swear before our children, even though I often say ‘f*ck.”

A trip to the Post Office on your birthday. How deflating.

A trip to the Post Office on your birthday. How deflating.

“Wish the Queen could have lots of parties for her birthday,” says NG. “Aah. POOR Queen.”

NW looks at me and smiles. “I think my walking boots are in the shed.”

“They are,” I reply. “And if you want, go for a pint with Martin. I think he drinks stout.”


Characters are abbreviated as follows:

NW – not William (husband and father)

NG – not George (daughter, sister and two and three quarter year old)

NC – not Charlotte (son, brother and seven month old)

NL – not Lupo (a Labrador)

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
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  1. April 17, 2016 / 6:54 am

    Seriously who does use the word stout anymore? I think I may try and put it somewhere in my next few blog posts and see if anyone notices. Nice save on the ‘sappy’, its totally ok for us to use the occasional swear word (especially in the car) but Dads should know better 🙂 #KCACOLS

  2. April 17, 2016 / 7:58 am

    Still chuckling at “inspect her plaque!” Fabulous post, and personally I think that any birthday that does not include “The bumps” is rather cr.. sappy indeed! (90 is no excuse for not being given the bumps. Nor is footwear of the non – stout variety). ;0) x

    • April 17, 2016 / 8:51 am

      Ah, thank you my wonderful lady. I like the fact that actually I think she will have a pretty sedate day, then get to huddle down with a slice of Bake Off cake with Obama(!) Sounds quite fun! xx

  3. April 17, 2016 / 8:21 am

    I like the word stout. Brings to mind those tough old birds who insist on taking their wheely shopping bags out in high winds armed only with a plastic hat. #KCACOLS

    • April 17, 2016 / 8:51 am

      I know – I actually think it’s hugely under-used. I might see if I can use it 3 times today as a ‘fun challenge’ (I’ve had no sleep). #KCACOLS

  4. April 17, 2016 / 9:51 am

    Oh I am now loving the word ‘stout’. Stout, stout, stout. I am going to be using this word a lot today. I think that it is a very under used word! I think your husband really does need to take Martin down the pub and get him legless on stout so that he can explain the etiquette on email or just so he can take some photos that can be later used for bribery 😉

    FAB post as always!!!!!!! :- )

  5. April 17, 2016 / 11:51 am

    When I think of stout, I like to think of myself, a bit short, and round and sort of sturdy. Sort of. Like the teapot song! #KCACOLS

  6. April 17, 2016 / 1:34 pm

    What do stout shoes even look like?! I don’t think j would want to go either, on that basis. #KCACOLS

  7. April 17, 2016 / 9:08 pm

    The resurrection of the word “stout” is long overdue I think! #KCACOLS

    • April 17, 2016 / 9:31 pm

      I tried to use it today and found it quite easy (‘stout man’, ‘stout tree trunk’, ‘stout, please’). I might use it more often now … I feel like I’m in the 1930’s when I do which, apart from the depression, was quite a good era, I think! #KCACOLS

  8. April 18, 2016 / 3:40 pm

    I’m not sure I’d want to go if that was my birthday celebration either! This reminds me, I need to work out some appropriate substitutions for swear words for this kind of situation – I’m never quick minded enough to swoop in and rescue it like that! #KCACOLS

    • April 19, 2016 / 4:26 am

      Haha – that bit is ENTIRELY made up. We usually just swear and then feel bad but hope they don’t know. However, NG did say, ‘Daddy, what’s a dick’ at the weekend. We said ‘silly billy’. Not sure how long that little explanation will last but it’s good enough for now! #KCACOLS

  9. April 19, 2016 / 8:16 am

    Is she going to the swings? Haha, love this and the things kids see as a massive treat on one’s birthday! I’d love to imagine that though. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

  10. April 19, 2016 / 9:34 am

    I bet she’d love a go on the swings, our queenie!

    Dare you to hack his email and respond ‘Oh bore off Martin!’. I would never do something like that 😉

    Thanks for linking to #chucklemums you fab lady!

  11. April 19, 2016 / 12:05 pm

    I think the Queen is probably utterly sick of parties! 🙂 #chucklemums

  12. April 20, 2016 / 8:08 am

    such an entertaining read lovely – love the way you write and slot in the royals to everyday living – your husband makes me giggle – sorry! and the use of stout – inspired! #BloggerClubUK

    • April 20, 2016 / 8:18 am

      Ah, thank you (and NW isn’t quite like that. But nearly :)) #BloggerClubUK

  13. April 20, 2016 / 2:42 pm

    Love the fact that NG asked if the Queen was going to the swings for her birthday! I think she would have a whale of a time if she did! 🙂

    The word stout just reminds me of the “I’m a little teapot” song.

    Thank you for linking up to #KCACOLS and I hope to see you back again on Sunday x

    • April 20, 2016 / 9:04 pm

      Oh I know – I had that song in my brain whilst I was typing 🙂 No problem and thanks so much for hosting #KCACOLS

  14. April 20, 2016 / 7:45 pm

    Stout is a great work, I don’t think we’re doing anything in the village for the Queen – but this is Wales, we really don’t care as much. #KCACOLS

  15. April 21, 2016 / 6:20 am

    He he I would be annoyed if someone felt the need to tell me to bring a torch to an event primarily held in the dark. Loving the word stout, it reminds me of when my husband called me portly because he thought it was a term of endearment, being reminded has allowed me you renew my torture. #TheBabyFormula

    • April 21, 2016 / 9:39 am

      Oh no … portly! Although it is quite a nice word if you think about it; reminds me of alcohol which is always quite a good thing. Thanks for commenting 🙂 #TheBabyFormula

  16. April 21, 2016 / 7:17 pm

    “Is she going to the swings?” I love, love, love the idea of the Queen going on the swings. Not a bad way to celebrate a birthday, if you ask me. #StayClassy

    • April 21, 2016 / 8:22 pm

      I know – I think it’s up there for me too! Thanks for commenting #StayClassy

  17. April 23, 2016 / 1:27 pm

    Back again from #StayClassy. Hello again! Enjoy the weekend and thanks for linking up.

  18. April 25, 2016 / 11:15 am

    Haha oh Martin sounds like fun! I think walking around, meeting people, and watching the Prime Minister speak is quite a lot for a 90 year-old woman! I too wish I could have two birthdays, although that would probably mean two hangovers a year which I would not be happy about so……maybe not. ; ) Thanks for sharing with #StayClassy!

  19. June 12, 2016 / 3:37 am

    Haha – this made me proper lol at 3am when not an awful lot seems funny! I wonder how many questions you’ll field today? And do you reckon she gets to eat cake for breakfast?

    • June 12, 2016 / 6:27 am

      Oh good – and I was also awake at 3am as NG fell out of bed (the one at my parents’ is rock solid and vertiginous). Happy Sunday!! :/

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