A grandmother had the shock of her life when she received a special delivery from Down Under.
Patricia Botham, of Lime Grove, Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston, was busy celebrating her 80th birthday when, just before blowing out her candles on her cake, she received a phone call.
Mrs Botham said; “My daughter-in-law handed me a phone and my daughter Ginette was on the other end in Australia.
“She said ‘Hi Mum, there is a special surprise coming for you’ and as she said this a large cardboard box was pushed into the room.”
Inside was Mrs Botham’s nine-year-old grandson, Rupert, who she and her husband, Eric, had not seen since last Christmas; complete with a koala soft toy in his hand.
“I just hugged him and burst into tears,” said Mrs Botham.
“And when Ginette herself walked in, there was not a dry eye in the room.
“I thought they were still in Australia because I had been told they couldn’t have the time off from work and school.
“Sadly Ginette’s husband wasn’t able to make the celebrations but we didn’t let itspoil the occasion.”
The surprise at the Thurlby Club, Ashton, was arranged by Mrs Botham’s husband three months earlier.
Mr Botham said; “They had asked if they could have the time off and Ginette’s work said it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, of course they had to go.
“It was hard work trying to keep it a secret but Pat has said it was the best birthday she has ever had.”
Mrs Botham, who spent 40 years working as a secretary for a timber firm, has travelled over to Australia a number of times to visit her daughter and grandson since she moved their 12 years ago.
And her husband wasn’t the only family member in on the secret.
“My son, Mark and my daughter-in-law came round for their tea as usual the night before and they had to not let it slip that Ginette and Rupert were staying with them!”