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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy 90th, John. And many more.

My father-in-law, John, celebrated his 90th birthday today.  He is quite spry and very lively.  There was a nice party for him this afternoon in the public lounge in the apartment complex where he and my mother-in-law, Lorna, lives.   John is quite a pistol and my husband, Q, inherited a lot of his charm and sense of fun, and sartorial sense.

Q's parents will never be that elderly couple who sit around in sweats - they are always so nicely turned out.  I don't think I've ever seen John without a tie on, for instance.  This afternoon just as we were going down the hallway from their apartment to the reception room, John gave his wife and me a little bit of a startle by taking a few running steps pushing her wheel chair and then letting go on purpose to give his wife a bit of a thrill.  "There you are my dear, now you're free wheeling!"  WHEEEEE!!!!

They are a delightful couple and had about 30 folks besides us at his party.  They had a nice spread of sandwiches and other goodies for their guests along with some cakes. John and Lorna also recently had their 60th wedding anniversary towards the end of December.  Their friends had taken up a generous collection for them to go out and have a really good time.  When asked by a woman if they have any plans for a spree John joked that it would probably run to "fish and chips" and the lady said "well, feel free to have them in Paris!"  I think they would be tempted, as they both were quite adventurous travelers.

When my husband was a very little boy, there was a big department store in Kent who put out a  magazine which featured the cartoon antics of two bears, Claude and Cecil.  Q and his dad often called each other by these pet names.   Whenever Q called his parents he always started off with "Hello, Claude" when his dad answered the phone, and of course, John answered "Hello, Cecil."    I quite miss hearing this exchange between my husband and his dad.  Q had a pair of cuff links which were golden bears wearing top hats, so I presented these to John as a gift today.

John shares a birthday with Lincoln, and it occurs to me that when John was born there were still people alive who would have seen Lincoln in the flesh when they were children!  John served with the Royal Marines during WWII and then had a long career in the Civil Service as an accountant.  He was quite a sport in his day, playing field hockey for the Marines when he was still in the service, and he is really enjoying the English wins in the rugby "6 Nations" tournament which is now on going.  I hope for his sake that England wins.  Happy Birthday, John!
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