Friday, 10 December 2010

You say it’s your birthday….

.....Duh nuh nuh nuh NUH nuh
It’s my birthday too, yeah

Tomorrow is my birthday. I am one of those people who doesn’t mind growing old. I want to. I want to live a long and healthy life. I am proud to be 41 years old. Spiderman says this is because I do not look it. My hair is free of grey and my skin smooth and unlined. He claims it is like The Picture of Dorian Grey   and that I have a painting up in the attic that ages as I stay youthful. He has even remarked that the painting must be of him because he is grey and lined and I am young and fresh. Silly Spiderman. We don’t even have an attic. I keep the painting under the bed.

Every year since my childhood we have had the tradition to put up the Christmas tree on my birthday. My granny puts it up the day after Thanksgiving but that was always too soon for us. My birthday is about 2 weeks before Christmas and that was just enough time. The tradition stuck when I married and Spiderman and I have added traditions of our own over the years.

Every year we buy or make an ornament so that we have one for every year of marriage. This year will be our 20th one. We also buy a card and writer a message to each other that reflects the last year and our hopes and dreams for the future. These are sweet and sad to read as we went through Spiderman’s cancer and recovery and the death of my father. They are full of hope when we were planning to give up all we knew and move far across the ocean. It was a gamble that paid off because we love it here, we really do.

We make leek and potato soup. For some reason this soup reminded us of England so much that we always made it to remember our love for dear old Blighty and our desire to go back. We had to make it with onions because I could never find leeks in Louisiana supermarkets. Now that we are here, it reminds of what we love and warmth and comfort.

We watch The Muppets Christmas Carol. Once we rented every version of a Christmas Carol that we could find and watched them all back to back and wrote down copious notes about which ones said this bit or left out that bit. Which included dialogue or narration straight from Dicken’s text. We referred to our annotated copy of the book to answer any queries. Because we are geeks like that. But our favourite one is always the muppets. Sure Michael Caine is not the best Scrooge out there (that would probably be George C Scott or Patrick Stewart) but the muppets have all the right dimensions--laughter, joy, sorrow, tears, music and muppets!!! It makes it completely accessible to young people and with Gonzo the Great playing “a blue furry Charles Dickens” you get some of the real beautifully written narration straight from the text that other films try to show. But all you see in those is Scrooge looking all pissed and grumpy  wherein this film you get the words:

Oh! But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grindstone, Scrooge! A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner! Hard and as sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire, and self contained and solitary as an oyster.  

Now that is beautiful. And the first scene where you meet Bob Cratchett (Kermit the frog) and Mrs C (Miss Piggy) and their frog and pig brood and Kermit’s nephew Robin playing Tiny Tim--it is played broadly for laughs. But the second time you see them and there is “a crutch without an owner” and you think Tiny Tim is dead it just played so gently and heartbreakingly you forget they are puppets. Kermit says “Life is made up of meetings and partings, that is the way of it.” which is not from Dickens, but might as well be. I am always blubbing by this time and feel so relieved at the end when they say:

Rizzo the rat: And Tiny Tim?
Gonzo:  Tiny Tim….who did NOT die!
Rizzo: Awww, gee that’s swell!

And that is straight from Dickens--well not the Awww gee that’s swell bit, but the other bit. It is written just like that. Tiny Tim who did NOT die. Just in case you were worried. Like me. Even though I know I still worry.

My favourite song in there expresses what I feel in my heart.

It’s in the singing of a street corner choir
It’s going home and getting warm by the fire.
It’s true where you find love it feels like Christmas.
It is, the season of the heart,
A special time of caring
The ways of love made clear.
It is the message of the spirit
The message if we’ll hear it
Is make it last all year.

So whilst you guys are reading this I’ll be eating my soup and sniffling my way through the film and looking at my lovely Charlie Brown style Christmas tree and then Spiderman has all sorts of plans and adventures for me over the weekend so I say TTFN.

Ta ta for now.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday! Sending you wishes and happiness and love from across the pond! (Tomorrow is my sisters birthday!)