Legends from our own lunchtimes

Sunday, June 02, 2024

Mission Accomplished
Saturday 1 June - Kemmeriboden Bad


Fifty-one years ago, Graham and the other of us conspired to surprise their respective partners with a party to celebrate our birthdays.  That event served admirably as Graham and Jill’s first date which turned out pretty well, and if we weren’t already, we weren’t far off being betrothed ourselves, which also turned out pretty well It probably doesn’t need to be said. 

In the intervening years we’ve  always been separated by great distances, at times on opposite sides of the globe, with some invisible bungee cord joining our families, banging us back together from time to time as our lives took their separate paths, forming mutual friendships along the way.  

We met Erika, in this story formerly known as “E”, the grand conspirator in today’s tale, and Christian almost decades ago in Latvia as fellow guests at the wedding of one of Graham and Jill’s progeny and as these things happen, have been in touch ever since.   When she enquired in January as to our availability for a small soiree to be held in Switzerland to celebrate Jill’s biggest birthday to date, we naturally replied in the affirmative, and once again that bungee cord began to do its thing.  

When she suggested that perhaps we could make it a surprise for them, we underestimated the effort that would take, but during six months of visits and telephone conversations and reunions with family and friends, not a single word of this plan was leaked.  

So it was that when we turned up at the Hotel Kemmeriboden Bad, exactly on time (this is Switzerland after all) at the table at which they were already seated, with two extra places set, every emotion that could be experienced moved over all of us in great waves.  I suspect that actual tears might have been shed but I had something in my eye at the time and couldn’t see clearly enough to tell.   

Erika’s plan had worked flawlessly.

Hours later, in the midst of C & E’s family, still not fully recovered but with our moods as mellow as the evening light over the Thunersee, it was impossible not to be grateful for our friendships, and for every twist of fate that over the past half century had ultimately led us to this very place.



Graham Boothby said...

Beautifully expressed. Yes there was a tear of joy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Peter, there are some tears in my eyes while I'm reading your text!
It made much fun to act as E!!!

Vallypee said...

How very lovely. What a wonderful surprise and what joy you must have given them.

Ian said...

Always a delight to read but a wonderful story about a memorable event. I'm sure everyone will cherish the effort and the effect. Superb.

Anonymous said...

I very much second Val’s comment. Lovely (which is not a word I often use)
Oldtimer Don

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