A glass of champagne with Aunty Jean

I posted this many years ago but I was reminded of it today when I had a Christmas card and news of Aunty Jean, who is now a wonderful 99 years old!

Years ago we lived next door to a lovely lady and friend who the children called Aunty Jean. When it was Jean’s 80th birthday we suggested her party guests park on our drive – we put our car down the road so there was plenty of room for her family.

The next day, there was a knock on our front door, and there stood Jean holding a tray with two glasses of champagne for me and my husband to say thank you. We were surprised and delighted and accepted the gift with thanks. We warned the children to be very careful of the cut glass wine glasses as they were Aunty Jean’s. The children were only young at the time and tumbled about like children do, but we made sure we kept the glasses safe, and kept reminding them to be careful.

The next day as I was washing the glasses I knocked one against the tap and it broke! We had told the children to be careful, and now I had been careless! There was a very good shop in town and I went to try and find a replacement. I wasn’t lucky so went to every other shop I could think of, still without success, I still couldn’t find a matching glass.

I went down to Manchester and went round all shops, stores, any place which might sell a glass the same or similar. I found a glass which was almost identical, but it came in a set of four, so I bought them thinking if Jean wanted matching glasses I would give her them all, but if she was happy with a single replacement then we would keep the other three.

I took the glasses round to Jean and explained what had happened. She burst out laughing and said the original which I had broken was from a set she had got free with petrol! We laughed and laughed and I insisted she accepted one of the glasses which she happily did. Whenever I have wine in one of those glasses I think of dear Jean.

Coincidentally, we were able to visit her shortly after her 90th birthday and she told us that each birthday she would bring out the glass I had given her and have a  drink from it to remind her of the happy time we were neighbours together.

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