June 25, 2006

Special occasions demand special things (so said Mrs. Bird)

"Oooh," said Paddington, "is it really for me?" He stared hungrily at the cake. It really was a wonderful cake. One of Mrs. Bird's best. It was covered with sugar icing and it had a cream and marmalade filling. On the top there was one candle and the words: TO PADDINGTON. WITH BEST WISHES FOR A HAPPY BIRTHDAY -- FROM EVERYONE.

It had been Mrs. Bird's idea to have a birthday party. Paddington had been with them for two months. No one, not even Paddington, knew quite how old he was, so they decided to start again and call him one. Paddington thought this was a good idea, especially when he was told that bears had two birthdays every year -- one in the summer and one in the winter.

"Just like the Queen," said Mrs. Bird. "So you ought to consider yourself very important."
from A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond

And this year, their summer birthday celebrations fell on the same day, today! Here's Her Majesty's version. And, in another coincidence, both Her Majesty and Michael Bond are 80 years old this year. Many happy returns times two to all, and marmalade sandwiches and cream-and-jam cakes all 'round!

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