March 23rd 2017

Today is my Mum’s birthday, so we all went out for a curry.

We went to this place just outside of town that has been our go-to curry house for as long as I can remember. It’s been our go-to ‘family occasion’ restaurant for as long as I can remember. I’m sure they expect us in there about this time every year, and they remember us when we come. Omar, the owner, recently took charge of the restaurant after the passing of his Dad. People lined the streets and cried as his Dad’s coffin was driven in a hearse through the village. That’s the kind of place it is.

Omar even presented my mum with a bottle of prosecco and a card to say happy birthday. He hugged the women and shook the hands of the men as we arrived and left. He’s a good man.

We love the place because of that kind of treatment and service, but we love the place now because we’ve always loved it there. It’s where we go for family birthdays.

For my Mum, keeping up with traditions like those is what her birthday is about. She doesn’t care for presents, or cards – she does appreciate free wine, though – she mainly just likes spending the evening with her family.

And even though, because we’ve all moved out, she’s lost the tradition of us all bounding into her room in the morning, waking her up with toast, tea, and a chorus of ‘Happy birthday to you’, and even though – because we’re all in full time work – we only got to see her for a few hours on her birthday, I know that she enjoyed it. And that’s what matters.

Until tomorrow, happy birthday Mum.





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