This post is late, but then the "Official family Birthday Party" took place in May this year. My family is large and has a surprising percentage of people born in April. Among those is my oldest niece, Désirée who turned 5 at the beginning of April. I went out for her specific birthday about a month ago. It had been decided that she was now old enough to get a bicycle so my Mother and I picked her up at daycare and took her on her first bike buying expedition.
At least, that was the plan. Her parents arrived at the daycare slightly before us in an act of confusion. Luckily, they waited for us. Dominique, Désirée's mother, firmly instructed us not to get Désirée a pink bicycle and suggested red or mauve would be acceptable. Dominique and Philip have strong Views on gender associated colours. Dominique has a strong affection for the red and mauve end of the spectrum.
We took her to a store in Sherbrooke owned by Laurent, a friend of the family. The store has been around for many years. Indeed, I bought the Castafiore there in 1986. Mummy and I had reasoned that it would make the event more special for Désirée if the owner was also the salesman. Laurent was happy to oblige us. Not that there was much that needed doing, as at Désirée's age bracket, all that really needed doing was selecting a bike that was appropriately sized and didn't have gears. As Laurent was temporarily busy, I picked out one that was white with a few flowers and which lacked frilly bits. The only other option was one that was aggressively boyish. This bike fit Désirée and she rode up and down the aisle a few times. In addition, she picked out a new bike helmet, which I paid for as Mummy insisted on paying for the bike.
I had mused about biking out to North Hatley on Friday for the Saturday party. However, I didn't feel I was quite up to the challenge either physically or organisationally. Consequently, I ended up putting Leonardo on the bus, and biking from Magog to North Hatley via the dreaded Katevale Hill. The next day, the Parents and I biked around the Lake in a counter-clockwise direction. This involved a significant amount of down on a dirt road. I found it a distinct waste of an otherwise interesting descent as the surface was pebbled, meaning speed had to be kept to a minimum.
Among others at the party was my wonderful and slightly crazy aunt Isabel and uncle John (and I love them dearly). They remembered my visit with them in Bromyard fondly and asked when I would be seeing them again. Being the devious bastard that I am, I said I was hoping to visit them in June and would they mind putting me up for a night or two! ;-) And the deed was done.! ;-)