9th May 2019 at 3:25 pm #3838Alan CohenParticipant
May 8 2019: Karen would have reached 98
May 8th – my birthday and Karen’s. I have regularly made the complaint that Karen’s birthday celebrations (which she always called “ours”) always overshadowed mine because she had the unfair advantages of age and global fame. At her eightieth, for example, a sumptuous river cruise from Hammersmith to Hampton Court and back, I insisted when I reached my own eightieth, her one hundred and ninth would be a comparatively low key affair.
Unfortunately Karen only got to the age of 96 (less than a month off 97 in fact), so this year, my sixty ninth, was held without her. I greatly enjoyed a small gathering of close family and friends, including Karen’s sister Ruth who has been staying with this specially for this week. But it was not really without Karen, because at breakfast we had porridge with lashings of butter and cinnamon sugar (one of her favorites), and raised a s Skol “for Karen in Valhalla” at the evening meal. There were also many messages from a wider circle of friends and family congratulating me on my birthday but also acknowledging the significance of the first May 8 since Karen’s departure.
After dinner the football-minded among us watched Spurs’ amazing recovery in the European Champions League semi-final, a historic event which, had Karen still been alive, would have meant nothing to her whatsoever, since she was militantly indifferent to all forms of sport (except during a visit to the Football Museum in Preston some years ago). However, it was a fitting end to a memorable celebration.10th May 2019 at 7:59 am #3842Alan CohenParticipant
Reading over the above, but not able to do any further edits…this May 8 was of course the second since Karen’s departure, not the first, but the passage of a year seems to have added to its significance.