A Taste of Southern Comfort

Fifty was a special birthday for me: I had a new teaching post to start in September, my daughter had come home to celebrate with us, and I had completed half a century pretty much unscathed.  I opened cards and a few presents and was feeling good. I knew that my husband was planning something, but I didn’t have a clue what it was.

It was early afternoon when we set off on a mystery tour along the back lanes, passing farms and smallholdings. For months, I’d been talking about wanting a goat to keep the grass a little shorter in our garden. That was it, I thought, a goat! It wasn’t until we parked up in a local village on the Norfolk Broads, and I saw the Southern Comfort Mississippi Paddle Boat moored up and a group of people with their backs to us waiting to board, that the surprise dawned on me: a trip on a paddle boat! There was music playing and I spotted a band on the top deck. Even better!

As we approached, the crowd of people turned to face us – friends and family from around the country, some of whom I hadn’t seen in years. My husband had been planning it for months: the band, a bar and buffet on board, and a two-hour trip on the Norfolk Broads among reeds, overhanging trees and wildlife. But it didn’t stop there. When we arrived back in the early evening, we continued the celebrations in a traditional pub.

boats and waterfowl
fading sunlight in their wake
another year gone

Kim M. Russell, 3rd August 2020

Paddleboat On The River Bure At Horning Norfolk High-Res Stock ...

My haibun for dVerse Poets Pub Haibun Monday: Birthday

I’m hosting at the dVerse Poets Pub this Monday and it’s all about birthdays. Sadly, I don’t have any photographs of the event as I was enjoying myself so much. One of the guests took a few, but they are all of the people inside the boat and people, and I would have loved some of the view from the boat.


53 thoughts on “A Taste of Southern Comfort

  1. This is fabulous! Our husbands were on the same page for our 50th. The thoughtfulness and planning leaves memories that last a lifetime. Love how you would have been just thrilled with the goat! Haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mish! I had a few birthdays I could have chosen from, but that was the biggest surprise. The views from the boat were stunning, there was plenty of food and drink, everyone was chatting and having a great time. I still wouldn’t mind a little goat. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Such a beautiful gift as described in your lovely words. Oh, that sounds so nice and I can feel the warmth of love radiate from your experience. Excellent piece and an excellent prompt you created for today. So many memories recalled, we can see the emotional process on what it means to the dear poet. I thank you for the prompt. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Lucy. It’s the only tiem I’ve been on the paddleboat. Usually we hire a small craft and spend the day out on the Norfolk Broads which, sadly, we couldn’t do this year with the pandemic.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So lovely, special, and sentimental; kudos to your hubby. For most of us 50 was the new 40. Now the 70th, a different critter all together.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This birthday sounds like so much fun! And having so much fun that you didn’t get round to taking photos of the boat is a good sign. On my wedding day I don’t think I took a single photo, I let others do that job while I enjoyed myself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Pat. We won’t be together for my birthday this year as I’m spending it with my daughter and he’s staying at home with the cats – he has taken the week off and I think he has planned to do some decorating. We’re going for a meal on Saturday, the first one since lockdown, so that will be very different. 🙂


      1. Well, enjoy your birthday with your daughter 😊. And you’ll enjoy eating out. It’s a very festive mood out there after all the lockdown people are just happy to be out. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Kim, what an evocative haibun. How we all miss such inclusiveness in these covid times. I thought your haiku enlarged and expressed your viewpoint of the quiet beauty surrounding what must have been a very jolly event. Cheers, Max.

    Liked by 1 person

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