Bertha's opening scene?
The second Bertha is just as nasty. Exactly a 100 years ago, at the outbreak of WWI, the German army brought in the Big Bertha's, killer guns that fired 420 mm projectiles that brought death and devastation to many Belgians. Since last week, August 4th to be more precise, there are commemorations all over the place and many newspapers give a day-to-day report of what happened 100 years ago. Today, on August 10th the first Big Bertha's were brought to the advancing front.
As for the third Bertha ... unlike the hurricane and the heavy artillery gun ... she's not dangerous at all, although she can occasionally be a bit whimsical. But, if it hadn't been for her, I wouldn't be typing this. Because the third Bertha is none other than my mother. She celebrated her 86th birthday last Thursday, and today we are having a special lunch to mark the occasion. I've bought a small bottle of Champagne 'Rosé Sauvage'. We'll have that as an aperitif with some nibbles on the side. The main course is her favourite. Nothing fancy, but something she really enjoys and never makes herself because it takes too long to prepare. Anyway, for the last 18 months she has been having 'meal-on-wheels'- four days a week. On Friday she makes her own lunch and on Saturday and Sunday I provide the catering.
I know that my mother never liked her name, and now I understand why. My father used to call her 'Bert' which she enjoyed immensely. I just call her 'Ma' (mum) and I hope I will have the opportunity to call her that many more years. Happy Birthday Ma, and many happy returns of the day ... in good health!