For my mum’s 60th birthday the girls, Peter & I bought 99p flights and went on a return trip to Dublin for the day
Unfortunately 10 years on, the era of flights for 99p are long gone. For those of you who miss them, look up Fascinating Aida Flights for 50p on You Tube! Also mum’s birthday happens to fall on a bank holiday weekend in the UK, which makes flights even more expensive, so the chances of all four of us making it over to Dublin for her 70th were slim, but we still had a look, a heart attack, a look at the ferry prices…. and then decided that I would be going on my own.
Organising covert visits to Dublin when my mum is in on the secret is one thing….. but trying to surprise her when she has been surprised once before is no mean feat. Not only had she been surprised before, but she also witnessed me turning up for Dad’s birthday in March so she had her suspicions that I might try it again. I wrote her an email telling her it was extremely unlikely I would be able to make it. This didn’t put her off…. she asked my dad straight out ‘Is Barbara coming?’ My poor daddy had to lie to my mum. He has been having broken sleep over it ever since!
We organised plans, flights, places for me to sleep…. back up places for me to sleep…. I packed my bags for snow, and landed in Dublin in a heatwave! My sister and I had breakfast outdoors on the balcony of the Avoca Handweavers store in Rathcoole, and it looked like somewhere in Spain!
Having stuffed ourselves on a delicious breakfast and absorbed more vitamin D than the average Irishman absorbs in a decade, we headed to collect a cake, organise some balloons & meet my cousin who was also on a clandestine visit unbeknownst to my mum.
The next morning we were up at twenty past dawn to get ready & finalise the arrangements. We went to the restaurant, set up the balloons, cake & flowers, & my sister went up to meet mum & dad while my cousin & I had coffee then met up with the others to wait for my mum’s arrival.
I hid down the end of the room to try and catch her surprise as she came into the room
Another really really wonderful day with my parents & sister & lots of good family friends, with the added bonus this time of getting to see my cousin 🙂
Now…who’s birthday is next??