The recovery process has been rapid, although to be fair I only had one drink, OK, lets call it one and a quarter when you include sampling those of others. After much laughter and many hours of dancing, not even splitting my trousers would dampen my spirits. It was a time that we had all been long waiting to celebrate, the gent known as Maurice to many and Papa to a select few, had turned 100 and we were going to celebrate like there was no tomorrow.
It was a great chance to catch up with friends that we had not seen for many years, and to finally meet the legends behind some of Papa’s stories. There was guffawing as we watched Bruce finally apologise for totalling his father-in-law’s new sports car some 53 years ago. There were stories of Papa’s legendary prowess at partying, an ability that he carries through to this day, leaving his wheel chair to dance with the ladies for as long as he could hold himself upright, and when he resumed his seat, he continued dancing the night away. Note to self, when dancing in new trousers with a centenarian in a chair, do not squat, fortunately, it was just the lining that ripped and not the trousers themselves.
We were a little worried when Papa disappeared mid way through the evening, how does one loose a slow moving wheel chair bound hundred year old? Thankfully he was spotted flying through the restaurant, with Damien as his driver, Papa was a little concerned about the speeds they were reaching, but only because he would have liked to have stopped and chatted to everyone he passed. Including those that weren’t with our party. Papa is a social butterfly. It’s one of the many things we love about him. He told us proudly about his forthcoming feature that would be out in this weeks newspaper, including a photograph! Someone was finally recognising his importance! I’m not sure how many of his stories he told the reporter and I’m still not certain that he didn’t tell them about barb-wiring the brothel during the war to keep the soldiers out, or the cheese incident, but I’m sure he told them about a beautiful young woman named Dorothy, who was and still is the love of his life, and his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren whom he is so proud of.
Maurice is indeed an inspiration, not just because he made the ton (reached 100 if you don’t speak cricket), but because he is truly a unique individual. He has seen the advent of the car, phones, television and the internet. He has seen hemlines rise and inequality fall, witnessed man walking on the moon and the advent of the 24 hour society. He was in the engineering corp in WWII, married his sweetheart despite the opposition, and raised a family that is spread across the world. He faces adversity with a stoic resolve and always keeps on keeping on. He is quick with a story to brighten your day and always ready to celebrate… well… everything!
Wouldn’t the world be a more wonderful place if we were all a little more papa-esque? You’re a wizard Maurice!