Posted by: christinelaennec | January 26, 2016

A special birthday

Thanks, everyone, for your lovely comments on my last post.  I have answered questions about Tilly and the rats below your comments.

I mentioned that we had a special birthday to celebrate:  the Dafter turned 18!  As she kept saying, “What the heck?! 18?!”  My own philosophy is not to pay attention to numbers, because I don’t think they are particularly meaningful, but 18 in Britain means that one is legal;y adult.  The Dafter can now go buy herself a drink in a bar, she can vote in all elections (and indeed stand for election as a Member of Parliament), she can place a bet, and buy fireworks!  The only things you have to be 21 to do in Britain are (according to Mumsnet):  adopt a child, drive a bus, or supervise a learner driver.

She had a very clear idea of how she wanted to celebrate.  She wanted to host a charity fundraiser!

The Dafter at her birthday party.

The Dafter at her birthday party.  She found her beautiful dress at a charity shop for £5!

It was absolutely fantastic.  It took place in the afternoon, in the church hall.  There was live music:

Musicians setting up.

Musicians setting up.

There was a collaborative art table, that was very popular, and also a bake sale, print sale and raffle:

A friend helps us with the bake sale / photo print sale / raffle stall.

A friend helps us with the bake sale / photo print sale / raffle stall.

I don’t have photos of the event itself because I was pretty busy.  Over forty of Isabel’s friends came, and it was such a happy time.  The hall was full of laughter and music, and plenty of food.  At one point we had birthday cake, and the Dafter blew out all her 18 candles in one go.  She was in good form, on her feet for several hours, and just so happy.  Two friends from schooldays in Aberdeen were there, but otherwise all the guests are friends she has made in the past year and a half, since she was well enough to get out of bed and rejoin the world on a part-time basis.

The party raised over £140 for charity (about $210), divided between Action for ME, WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature), and the homeless charity Shelter.  The guests were able to vote for which charity they wanted the funds to go to, so the money raised will be divided accordingly.  I was so impressed by these lovely young people, so talented and clever, and so generous.  That is a lot of money for teenagers to raise!  She was so appreciative of the work that Michael and I (and our friends) put into the day to make it happen.  It was a pleasure.

The Dafter has felt very cherished and loved, and she enjoyed opening far more presents than she had ever anticipated.  One special one is a beautiful watercolour that Michael and I commissioned from Jill of Land of the Big Sky:

A special gift!

A special gift!

The Dafter was bowled over by Jill’s clever portrait of Caspian and Artemis.  She commented, “It’s THEM, in a painting.”  Thank you, Jill, for your wonderful work.

And now it is back to school (after study leave), and back to routine for a while, all being well.  I wish you all a very good week!



  1. Happy birthday to your daughter !!

  2. Oh how lovely. What a very special daughter you have to use her special day for the good of others😀. Wish her a very happy 18th and I really, really hope that her health will continue to improve with no more drastic setbacks. 😍

  3. what a wonderful post to wake up to this morning. my heart is full for all of you. what a gem of a daughter you have and how fabulous to have such a great group of supportive friends. happy birthday to her!

  4. One bautiful 18 year old. Beautiful inside and out. X

  5. Happy belated birthday greetings to your wonderful daughter. What an amazing event, a truly wonderful gathering. To raise so much for such worthy causes is incredible.

  6. Wow, Happy 18th Birthday, what a lovely way to celebrate.

  7. Happy 18th Birthday to the Dafter! How thoughtful of her to turn her big day into a fun(d)raiser!

  8. Happy birthday! Sounds like a wonderful way to celebrate.

  9. What a wonderful way to celebrate the big birthday! And I am so happy that the Dafter has so many lovely friends. She is a real credit to you and Michael.

  10. What a lovely celebration for a special birthday!
    Happy Birthday, Dafter! ♥

  11. Oh this is just so wonderful!!!!! It makes me so happy to hear all this!!! Could you have imagined this three years ago?!!!! I would have loved to help organize that celebration!!! And all those friends that she has made in the last few years since you moved! Wow. This sounds like many answered prayers to me! Happy Birthday again dear Dafter!!!!!! will email tomorrow morning.

  12. Congratulations to your amazing daughter! To celebrate her coming of age with such generosity and thought for others is really special.

  13. Happy birthday to the Dafter. I am not surprised at her idea for her birthday. She has a kind and generous heart. The painting was a perfect gift.

  14. Happy birthday to your daughter, and oh my how wonderful to host a fund raiser on an 18th birthday. What a generous thing to do. May God bless her richly for such generosity!! If you don’t mind, I will mention her this Sunday in my message which is about compassion. Such a thing!! Thanks for sharing this post.

    • No problem at all, she would be very pleased to be mentioned!

  15. Eighteen 🙂 Wonderful! I am so glad you had such a special celebration with the Dafter, Christine! May the days ahead be filled with many more blessingsxx

  16. Belated Happy Birthday greetings dear Dafter. You must be so proud of your beautiful daughter, Christine. How special and dear to take this special occasion to help others in need. And, it shows what wonderful ideals you have given to her in life’s journey. It looks like everyone had a wonderful, festive time. Hugs to you, Pat

  17. Lovely readers, thank you so much for your kind and encouraging comments. They mean a lot to me, and to us. She has (perhaps not surprisingly) had a struggle this week and has succumbed to a bug, but is battling back. On we go!

  18. Alors Joyeux anniversaire à votre fille et bravo à elle d’avoir choisi cette manière de le fêter. Bravo aussi à vous et à votre mari d’avoir une telle fille !
    Avec toutes mes amitiés.

    • Merci beaucoup Annie. Nous avons beaucoup de chance d’avoir une telle fille. Je suis très fière d’elle, mais comme on dit en anglais, “we can’t take the credit”.

  19. A Happy ( belated) birthday to your lovely girl! What a beautiful way to celebrate. I love the dress. May this coming year bring lots of happy adventures her way. xx.

  20. Happy, happy birthday (a bit late) sweet Dafter!

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