I was not greedy. My desires were simple. I might have had one or two goals and the main one was…………..
To have my own Birthday Cake!
Way back in the dim and distant past… well it was more than half a century ago, long before Uncle Hallmark came along, birthdays were not the BIG deal that they are today. We did not do presents, but there was one card from all the family, and we had one of mammy’s cakes for tea with a candle in it.
‘Birthday Tea’ was often held on the nearest Sunday if the actual day fell in a busy week. The first four of our brood managed to have Birthdays in February or March, while the last two were in the bright summer months of long day light.
Dark days were good when it came to birthday teas! Once the meal was eaten (usually the second dinner of the day and the menu chosen, with the birthday person in mind), Mammy cleared the plates to the kitchen and set a freshly baked and decorated cake on a plate and added a candle. For the first five years of life the candles increased with the years, but after that, it reverted back to the one candle – it saved having to call the Fire Brigade!
One non birthday person, tall enough to reach the light switch, was on duty to turn off the lights. Then Mammy came through by the light from the flickering candle on the cake, the singing of Happy Birthday began. The lights came on again and the cake was set down on the table in front of the birthday person. They made a silent wish and then cut the cake, just like the bride and groom at a wedding!
We were not into cameras back then so word pictures will have to do.
Eldest Brother and I had birthdays two days apart and the ‘Birthday Tea’ was held on the day in between or on the nearest Sunday. We shared the one cake and candle. Since I was the girl and younger, I got to blow out the candle first, then it was relit for my big brother, we sang again and he blew out what was left of it. He was always very patient with me.
Paddy & I
I finally had my ‘own’ birthday party when I reached twenty one. Mammy & I did the cooking and baking and I made my own cake. The table was pushed into the bay window and the food was served buffet style. This left plenty of room for my long legged brothers, cousins & friends.
My 21st Birthday
Daddy, Birthday Girl, my sister brings more goodies from the kitchen, while mammy is busy cutting and slicing.
Nowadays if we meet up in the week of our birthdays, Big brother and I will share a cake even if it is only cupcake size, sing Happy Birthday and blow out the candle.
So today, Big brother Paddy, may you have a very special 70th Birthday, no doubt we will catch up over the next few days to share and sing our birthday song!
Delirious chose the topic My childhood goals for my life this week and I thank her for the opportunity to recall simple happy memories. My cake is not baked yet, so I suggest you move along to see what the other active members are singing about this week: Delirious, Maxi, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox, Padmum, Ramana, Shackman speaks, The Old Fossil, Will Knott.