Sunday we celebrated the ninetieth birthday of Dorothy Watson, owner of the village bakery and matriarch of St. Michael’s in Guiting Power, a title for which she has some competition given the regular church congregation consists of about six other little old ladies. She had indicated in her birthday party invitation (cover of which is pictured) that she hoped her guests would join her at church before the celebratory luncheon, and her request was heeded. The church was fuller than I had ever seen it before, including the harvest and Christmas carol services. Much to the amusement of the crowd, Dorothy heckled her grandson for failing to partake in communion, jokingly calling him a heathen. Thinking out loud in church is a specialty of Dorothy’s, often directed at the vicar and part of the reason I find it so enjoyable.
Afterwards we adjourned to the village hall for champagne and cocktail sausages, fishcakes, cold roast beef, swiss roll and banoffee pie. Dorothy’s grandson made a speech and Dorothy heckled him again. She was toasted by her friends in the Women’s Institute and by her daughter, who barely made it through her salute before bursting into tears. Dorothy looked radiant throughout in her bright red dress, working the crowd and enjoying her day. May we all be so lucky at ninety.