Notwithstanding my busy schedule of buying and selling two properties next week, which necessitates putting the poppets on the back burner, there was no way I was missing Jamie’s 6th birthday. This was held at the Pizza Express in Wimbledon and six of his little friends plus his aunt and uncle were invited.
The exuberant energy of these little chaps is a joy to behold. From three months, when we went to the Café Rouge in Chiswick, Jamie always behaved impeccably in restaurants. Many a meal has been ruined for me by bawling kids but his mother, a schoolteacher, maintains an iron discipline.
After lunch we repaired to Wimbledon Park for mini-golf. His aunt and uncle are keen golfers and I have taught their nephew well. He has a classic Harry Vardon grip, straight back, still posture, and swings from the shoulder. He parred the first three holes. A charming young Italian boy of Florentine and Yugoslavian parentage was something of a wayward hitter, in the style of the late and great Seve. Some 30 feet out of bounds, he went for the pin with a Trevino-style bump and roll which caught Jamie’s aunt on the ankle, necessitating her withdrawal
I reflected on birthday parties of my youth: these were staid affairs with a conjuror who was a part-time gas fitter and party games. Now these are computerised, but perhaps the greatest change is the diversity of the group: there was an Indian, an Italian and a half German. I very much doubt if Jamie and his pals will understand what racism is.