Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Barry!

Today we celebrated Barry Qualls's 65th birthday (just think! in London he could now have a free Tube and Bus Pass), and did so in some style - afternoon tea in the Geology Museum (stunning cake baked by Carla Yanni, which was fundamentally chocolate with some kind of coconut flavored softish tube running through it - I don't even like coconut, officially, but this was delicious; cup cakes; strawberries, and hot coffee that I managed to spill over my wrist and just managed to stop from seeping into a case containing a long dry bone). I didn't even know that the Geology Museum existed - still less that it had a rather censorious unwrapped mummy in it: she really looked very disapproving of our rituals. And there was a huge mammoth, and a couple of walrus tusks from NJ, and lots of stones. These, I guess, are standard issue in geology museums.

A number of us had contributed to a book of reminiscences about Barry (my coup de grace was ventriloquizing Queen Victoria - in fact cribbed directly from a birthday letter to her uncle, on Balmorral notepaper that I'd downloaded (with a letter on it), and photoshopped out the letter's text, leaving in only the address, Balmoral Castle, and a gloomy etching of a stag as heading). But here Barry is holding the most extraordinary and memorable high kitsch gift - a cake cover, embellished with shells and, yes, a mermaid. Oh, and he's wearing a button that says Top Dog on its ribbon. Shouldn't that be Top Cat? (although those of us of a certain age from the UK will think of that as a brand of canned cat food - so much so that the TV show Top Cat had to be renamed "Boss Cat" when it was aired in Britain, for fear of confusion - or free advertising...).

1 comment:

  1. Carla YanniMay 14, 2010

    Thanks, Kate. Great photo and lovely description.