-> 2009 -> Birthdays and Memories

Wednesday, 22/Apr/2009

Birthdays and Memories

Today is one of the two days each year where (at least for the foreseeable future) I won't blog about Islay, at least not directly. Instead a slightly more personal note, as this is both a happy and a sad day for me. First the happy side:

There's a little girl out there who's birthday is today. I haven't met her (yet), but met her parents through this blog and on Islay. She recently visited Islay for the first time and I hope enjoyed her visit. A happy birthday to her and hopefully many returns to Islay. Her parents gave me some nice Dutch chocolate with Laphroaig (which I just tasted, very nice) as a present, because it's my birthday today as well. A double birthday if you want.

Picture of chestnut blossoms

The last few days and in particular this morning I noticed some of the chestnut trees along the Kennet & Avon Canal are in bloom. My late mother often told me how the chestnut trees were in full bloom in Bremen in April 1968, an unusally warm spring for north Germany. Spring is usually a bit earlier in the south of England, yet seeing the chestnut trees here this morning brought some bittersweet memories. Which brings me to the sad side of today:

Picture of a woman crossing a burn

Today last year my mother passed away after an 18 month battle against cancer. She fell asleep peacefully on the evening of my birthday, which is why the day will now always be a happy and a sad day for me. I have many happy and great memories of her, including the story of the chestnut trees, how she joined me on three Islay visits and how she dealt with the diagnosis and how she fought the cancer. Which leads me to my appeal for today: If you've got some money to spare (I know it might be difficult during the ‘credit crunch’, but it's probably more important than ever), would you consider donating to cancer research? Here are a few charities which could need your help:

Remembering the good times and looking forward into a positive future, I think that's what my mother would have wanted. That's how I'm planning to celebrate this day in the coming years. Tomorrow it's back to normal Islay blogging, but this was and will be important to me. As I've said before there's a human being behind this blog, not a machine, not an automaton, so I hope you understand the deviation from the normal topic of this blog.

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