'Having a knees-up in lockdown'

As 18th birthdays go – on lockdown at home with your mum, dad and sister – daughter #2’s big day went pretty well. There were presents, bunting, cakes, music, prosecco and glorious sunshine.

Friday, 8th May 2020, 12:30 pm
Who's the Daddy

We had a family Zoom chat and a quiz, a delicious cream tea takeaway (who knew of such an amazing thing?) and home delivered veggie burgers for dinner.

But the highlights of the day were provided courtesy of daughter #2’s friends. First of all, they’d clubbed together to buy her a pair of Heelys trainers with a wheel in the heel that our kids used to glide around airport departure lounges in like Olympic figure skaters when they were eight and six. Daughter #2 literally squealed and cried with delight when she opened them. The rest of us hadn’t even thought about Heelys in 12 years. Speaking as someone who has been hospitalised after falling off a mountain bike, collapsing on a cross-trainer and putting on a sock, having wheels in the heels of your shoes does seem an unnecessary risk.

And later on, daughter #2 had a Zoom chat with 24 of her friends, most of them wearing her trademark cardigan as a tribute. I don’t know about you but I haven’t got 24 friends on Facebook, never mind in real life.

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Our grown-up Zoom chats have all the warmth of a barrister cross-examining a hostile witness in a murder trial. But daughter #2’s cast of thousands kept it going for ages as she peered into her laptop at a sea of smiling, friendly faces. Everybody pulled out all the stops as best they could to make a very special landmark birthday as memorable as possible.

The only trouble with drinking gallons of sugary prosecco and eating mountains of cake is that you get a rush like you hadn’t had since the early 90s and find yourself wide awake at 2.30am.

I hadn’t had that much sugar since Dr Maguire banned me from drinking orange cordial in 1979, when the highs were high but the brutal comedowns were unbearable. Daughter #1 is 21 in November.

I hope to God we’re out of lockdown by then.