Monday December 4, 2006
It was still dark this morning when I took a cup of tea up to the birthday boy and sang the birthday song to him, using my very best Winnie-the-Pooh voice. Carrying a cup of tea up a flight of stairs renders me almost exactly the right kind of breathless for Winnie-the-Pooh, and the remainder I can achieve by artifice.
“… t-o-oh YOU!” I warbled, tunefully.
Graham’s giggles subsided and he wiped an eye on his sleeve. “You get more like Winnie-the-Pooh every year,” he said.
“Why, thank you,” I said, and meant it. “You couldn’t have said a nicer thing. Will you come down now to open your presents?”
“Oh, no,” he said. “Time I’ve had a shower and got ready we’ll have to go. We’ll have the grand opening ceremony when I get back this evening.”
“That sounds awfully grown up,” I said. “You’d not keep me from my presents, not for a moment you wouldn’t.”
“Of course not. Pooh Bears don’t do grown up.”
“You’re telling me,” I said. “Oh well. You know best I suppose. And they’ll keep.”
“Good. It’ll give me something to look forward to while I’m being nice to all the dear old things at their Christmas dinner and dance.”
A little while later, driving along the coast road to West Quantoxhead with headlights blazing in the morning gloom, I piped up with another Pooh Bear song:
How sweet to be a cloud
Graham leant forward a little to peer up at the sky.
“Not a lot of blue up there,” he said.
“Nonsense. It’s always blue on the other side of the clouds.”
“Next thing you’ll be telling me the sun’s shining up there, too.”
“Well of course it is. Everyone knows that. And just you wait and see, it’ll be shining down here sometime during the day, too. The sun always shines on your birthday.”
I was back home before the sun came out. Not for long, but long enough for me to look out of my study window over the close and see a whole lot of trees instead of the houses, and the Hundred Aker Wood instead of Bridgwater.
Sometimes it’s awfully nice to have a Pooh day. Keeps you young and silly, does having a Pooh day.
Come the evening, in the dark again, we were back home, the grand unwrapping ceremony took place and he was gratifyingly pleased with the things I’d found for him. That was good, as was the birthday dinner and a merry-making splosh or three of sun-filled Australian wine.
“Can we do Christmas now?” I asked a while later, as I drifted off to sleep. “I like Christmas almost as much as I like birthdays, and it lasts longer.”
“Oh, yes. Alright. We’ll start Christmas tomorrow. Just so long as you don’t sing carols at me.”
“I never make promises I know I’ll not be able to keep.”
“Shut up and go to sleep.”
“Alright, then. Goodnight, Piglet.”