Nell: It’s Alice’s birthday today.
Me: I can’t believe my little girl is 39. How did that happen?
Nell: You say that every year.
Me: I do, don’t I?
Nell: I hope she’s having better weather than we are here.
Me: Do you think everyone discusses the weather, or just we Brits?
Nell: Our weather is changeable. It makes it more interesting.
Nell: Anyway, in honour of Alice, Herr Hoffmann has made us a special cake for tea.
Me: I had a Poppy moment then. Afternoon tea was her speciality.
Nell: I know but David is going to do his best. There will be sandwiches, crusts off, and another attempt at scones.
Me: Darling Big Brave Beautiful Boy.
Nell: I’ve written a poem for Alice, by the way. Would you like to hear it?
Me: Very much.
Nell: ‘Darling Alice,
What can I say?
Except Happy Birthday
On your special day.
So many people
Are thinking of you
And wishing you sunshine
And happiness too.
Your mother sends hugs
And is sad she’s not there,
Although she has a piece of Berlin
In the shape of a bear,
Who has stepped in to help us
When we needed it most,
With freshly baked rolls
And hot buttered toast.
Fayely and Jonathan
Want you to know
That you’re the best mummy
There ever was, so
Let’s raise our tea cups
And cake in the air
With love for Alice
And thanks to that bear.’
Me: Perfect. I think you might have a soft spot for Herr Hoffmann.
Nell: I must admit I’m finding him a great comfort during this sad time.
Me: We all are. And the cake helps.
Nell: Everything is better with cake. Now let’s celebrate that wonderful daughter of yours. No more tears.
Me: Yes. Sorry.