Filed Under (General) by Rob on 11-02-2007

…and has a surprise visit from two very important people!

Yes, Lois’ parents secretly flew into Cotonou on Friday evening, then appeared on our doorstep on the morning of Lois’ birthday! This was a complete surprise and one which Rob had known about since November and had kept a secret since then. They’re here for two weeks and this is their second visit to Benin. Here they are with Lois on the morning of her birthday. She was, needless to say, delighted to see them.

Lois and her parents

In the evening, we went out to a local Thai restaurant and there was another surprise for her: about 20 other friends were waiting there to celebrate. A good time was had by all and Lois had a lovely 40th birthday.

Unfortunately, Rob had a fall the day before Lois’ birthday. He was just leaving our front yard, when he somehow fell over and hit his head into the edge of our heavy, wooden door. When he noticed he was bleeding, he sent for Lois and rushed to a mirror to look. Eeek! Looks a bit deep – better get it seen to. So, Lois (who had arrived by then) drove him down to the local clinic and he was given 7 stitches. Here’s what he looks like now:


Feeling fine, just a few headaches.

Other news…

  • Our internet has been down for a couple of days, so we’re relying on dial-up (hence only 2 photos this time).
  • We now have an ‘ethnomusicology’ album on the photo gallery, with various shots of Rob’s work. Click here to have a look at them.
  • Madelaine has taken up karate after school and enjoys it.
  • Our junior school show, ‘Rats’ is being performed on Wednesday. Mads sings a couple of solos in it.
  • The Harmattan is well and truly over, and it’s around 34C outside in the middle of the day!
  • Our friend Jon Assheton is coming out to visit on 21st February and will be coming to a song-writing workshop in Togo with Rob. As he is a talented percussionnist, this will be a great experience for him. Jon was the drummer on the Creation CD, which Rob produced a few years back, and it will be great to see him again. Lois’ folks leave on 25th Feb, so there will be a few days’ overlap.

That’s all for now,

Take care.

7 Comments posted on "Lois hits the Big 4-0 !!!"
Rachel Lewis on February 11th, 2007 at 4:16 pm #

I can imagine you were a bit taken aback to find your Mum and Dad on your doorstep, it’s hardly ‘popping down the road’. Hope you enjoy your 40th year!

Hope your head gets better soon Rob. I guess it’s too much to hope that the bang on your head has made improvements to your taste in shirts…. 😉 😉

Rachel xx

Big Al on February 11th, 2007 at 6:39 pm #


Great to hear that the birthday secret remained safe for the full duration – I’ve known for several weeks.

The bump on the head must have affected Rob because he’s forgotten that he was the pianist on ‘Creation’ (and Jon was the percussionist).

The Ampthill end of the birthday night out was a success, with 15 in attendance. Clive A has the photos.


PS interesting to see that they have grocers’ apostrophies (i.e. extra ones, where they should not be) in Benin and well as Blighty!

Reggie on February 11th, 2007 at 10:04 pm #

Congratulations, Lois.

Join the happy club (the “I-want-to-believe-that-life-begins-at-forty-club”).

Actually, it won’t be long before I get pushed out to join Clive’s club (the “fabulous-fifties-club”).

I’m glad your parents could join you for a birthday surprise. I hope you all have a wonderful time, and that the bump on Rob’s head heals quickly and doesn’t adversely affect his humour!

Cheers, Reggie

Rob on February 12th, 2007 at 5:56 am #

Thanks for all your comments, folks. Feeling better every day and Lois is loving having her folks about (NB so am I!)

Rob on February 12th, 2007 at 6:01 am #

Now, onto that grocers’ apostrophe. In this case (and similar ones) I would always use an apostrophe, as “a few days’ overlap” means “the overlap of a few days” and so a possessive is required. Am I right? Similarly, I would say: “We return in 18 months’ time.” However, I would not say “We return 18 months’ from now” as there is no possessive. Any thoughts (Maryla…are you out there??? You’re bound to have plenty to say on this one!)

Big Al on February 12th, 2007 at 7:29 am #

The days (or days’) is not what caught my eye. I was referring to the headline “Lois hits (not hit’s) the Big 4-0 !!!”


Rob on February 12th, 2007 at 8:05 pm #

Doh! Silly me! Maybe the apostrophe part of my brain was effected by the bang! Sorry about that! You’ll notice it’s bee’n modifie’d now!