CORONAVIRUS may have stopped Peggy Bloomfield from celebrating her 100th birthday in style.
But it didn’t stop neighbours, friends and local authorities from surprising her with sirens and a ‘Feliz Cumpleaños’ sung strictly two metres outside her Spanish villa.
Daughter Val told the Olive Press a big celebration had been booked at the beachfront bar-garden Saxos, in Moraira, to mark Peggy’s outstanding century, on April 27.
Children and grandchildren from the UK were to be there among the 150 guests, until COVID-19 cut the lights.
“Everyone was coming over for this one big party, but now we’ll just have the grandkids on Zoom,” Val, who moved to Spain with husband, Roger, and mum Peggy in 2005, told the Olive Press.
“Peggy has so many friends,” added neighbour Shirley Young, who met her in a coffee club 14 years ago – one of many social circles that have made her so well-known.
“I wish I could give her a hug!”
Though not the blast Peggy had planned, her daughter Val passed the champers round thanking Teulada-Moraira PP leader Raul Llobell for the gift inside a surprise birthday basket. (Glasses of course passed around with sanitary precautions.)
Personalised balloons and decorations from the expat-run Letters R Us were also hanging outside, as were the Olive Press and camera crew.
The small crowd sung a second chorus of Happy Birthday, in English, before ironic shouts of ‘See you down the pub later!’ brought a sparkle of laughter on Peggy’s big day.
It was the least – and most – we could all do.
“It’s so very nice of you all, thank you, I really appreciate it. I really do,” Peggy said before neighbours went back to their respective lockdowns.
The idea was the brainchild of longtime friend Shirley, who organised the Protection Civil surprise stunt thanks to the help of Teulada-Moraira Partido Popular member Sarah Richardson.
Sarah, another close friend of Peggy’s, told the Olive Press: “Civil Protection have been taking bookings since the start of the crisis for young children celebrating their birthdays in lockdown – so I thought, why not celebrate a 100th birthday?”
A spokesperson for Teulada-Moraira’s Civil Protection said: “Celebrating birthdays in our ambulance and emergency-response vehicles only came about after the state of alarm.
“We’ve never done it before, but now we are doing it nearly every day for young children and the elderly.
“We are all volunteers.”
Peggy was born in 1920 in Holborn. She lived for a long time in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire, before moving to live in Cambridge with her daugher Val.
They left the UK in 2005 to the sunny Costa Blanca.
Val added she has applied for a letter from the Queen, which did not arrive in time for the big day.
“It is due to arrive shortly,” she said, smiling.