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Pigling pulls it off 

I think we should sub-title today (which just happens to be my 100th birthday, don’t you know) “Pigling pulls it off”, as I managed, with great aplomb, to make all of the staff at Lindeth Howe think that my surprise birthday party really was an out-of-the-blue event, even though I’ve known about if for days! I strutted my stuff and looked suitably overwhelmed when they took me into the new-look dining room to see my cake and birthday balloons. I even acted a little coy and pretended to blush, though that was just the reflection off of my pink jacket! I think I really should be applying for parts on the London stage very soon (oink, oink!).

I have to say that their Marc chap, who’s frustrating me by hiding his truffles away in a truly Gallic fashion, really did do rather a good job of making my cake and putting my

image on it in icing. I nearly wept piggy tears, jedoch, when Alison, the hotel general manager, stuck a knife into it. I’d hoped to run off with it all in tact, to show to all of my piggy pals!

The pigarazzi turned up to flash their cameras and capture my best side on camera and so did the North West Evening Mail and the Westmorland Gazette, which really made me squeal with delight, oink oink!

A pig got a little emotional when all the very well behaved children from Goodly Dale Primary School in Windermere and Little Rascals Daycare in Troutbeck sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to me. I also found a little kindred spirit who was sharing his birthday with me and he did the honours of blowing out my candles, which was a huge relief to me, as a pig can get a little out of puff after 100 years!

All of the Goodly Dale children were dressed up for World Book Day and my creator, Beatrix Potter, came along too, to read them my story – which has now reached the premier league of books by having a brand new gold cover for my centenary year! A load of my books, ‘The Tale of Pigling Bland’ were laid out on a table, along with little cuddly versions of me, just in time for the arrival of a coach full of Japanese tourists, who came in to help celebrate my birthday too. One doesn’t like to boast, but I did notice that they all looked rather admiringly at my lovely, shapely legs, which Beatrix says were modelled on her husband’s!!

All the cuddly pigs now have their own passport, as anyone buying one can take ‘me’ on their travels with them, popping me into a suitcase or bag (or preferably on a child’s lap, as I love a good cuddle) and then help raise a donation of 1p per mile that they have taken me. Each journey only counts once, but all the 1ps will add up to a big total that will help the good chaps at Nurture Lakeland help fund conservation projects in the Lake District.

Now for the real news of the day – the delicious afternoon tea that a pig was able to tuck in to on his 100th! What scram!! The scones with jam and cream just melted in my mouth, while the aroma of the chocolate cake tickled my snout and drove it wild. I soon took my trotters round to the sandwiches too …and those Lindeth Howe homemade crisps are just the best! I might have to unloosen my knickerbockers a little this evening!

Now, I must mention how the clever children of Goodly Dale recognised how talented Beatrix Potter was (and one might say very enlightened too) when she created me! One child wrote: “Beatrix Potter rocks; she is the best story writer. Rock ‘n’ Roll”. I’m not too sure what rock ‘n’ roll is, as I think the 60s passed me by, but it sounded very complimentary!

Finally, a pig was overjoyed to celebrate his 100th in the presence of Mr Doxford, whose parents bought Lindeth Howe from Beatrix Potter. He was only three years old when he first came to live here and that was 80 years ago this month – not quite as many years as I have knocked up, but still a good old age. It was lovely to have him here for my centenary and I hope he enjoyed the day as much as I did.

Now my trotters are killing me after all this standing up today and I need forty pig winks after all the excitement, so I will bid you adieu for today. If you want to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me though, please feel free. A pig rather likes that little ditty.