Saturday, 3 December 2011

Al's birthday - part 2

At 10pm on Al’s birthday, my youngest opened the back door for me to take out a couple of sky lanterns. At the same time, another bereaved Mum was releasing some in Yorkshire for her lad – our boys shared the same birthday.

The wind was pretty strong and kept blowing out the flame on the lighter so I brought the lantern indoors just until I could get the wick lit. Eventually, we managed to light it and get the lantern to start rising. At this point, we took it outside whereupon the wind ripped it from our hands and whisked it round the side, and then in front of the house. I could see the light flickering and shouted, “Oh bloody hell, I hope it’s not on the car.” We raced round and found it attached to the front door handle. I managed to release it, the wind again grabbed it, and it shot up above the house. Relieved, we stood and watched as it moved upwards. Finally, a poignant moment!
A poignant moment indeed - right up to around three seconds later when the wind made it swoop down towards the road causing two community Bobbies to stop suddenly in their tracks as it shot past narrowly missing them. They stood, rooted to the spot, transfixed by the sight of the lantern that was now heading over some rooftops.

In a tone reminiscent of Basil Fawlty’s “Don’t mention the war – I said it once but I think I got away with it,” I muttered to my daughter, “Back up – I don’t think they’ve noticed us.” We slowly backed out of sight and escaped back round the back of the house.

As we got back to the kitchen we fell about laughing as we both realised that Al would have been crying with laughter if he’d seen that.  

It seems strange that we can laugh about something connected to Al’s death – but I’m so glad we can.


  1. I don't think you were laughing about something connected to Al's death, but about something connected to Al's life: his humour and mischievousness, and I am so glad that you did.xx