Lockdown rules meant Bob Harpers’ family couldn’t crowd into his flat and give him a hug to celebrate his 80th birthday.
But they did something lovely to make sure he knew they were thinking about him on his special day. When he opened the curtains at his first floor flat in Old Cwmbran today he was greeted with the sight of balloons, banners and a billboard full of messages.
I was out for a walk this afternoon and spotted the display on the fence so being a nosy person I had to have a closer look. Bob opened his window to say ‘hello’ when he saw me reading the billboard. The mickey-taking nicknames made me laugh including “baldy bonce”, “gummy bear”, “slaphead” and “Victor Meldrew.” One touching message stood out:
The year of the vaccine!
The year the Trump stood down but didn’t.
The year of yet another lockdown.
But most importantly.
Another year that you’re stuck with us.
Bob cracked a joke as he proudly said how he had his Covid-19 jab: “The best present was getting my jab last week. I got a call and was asked if I could be there at 9 in the morning? I said ‘I’ll be there at 3 in the morning if you want’.”
It wasn’t a normal way to turn into an octogenarian but Bob’s family made it memorable for him and the many passers-by who stopped to smile at this bright display.