It had all the ingredients of a Good Party: drama and tears were provided by brothers Paddy and Gus (6 and 9) who were walloping each other one minute and bursting into song with their arms wrapped round each other's necks the next; danger came in the form of Uncle Charles, in his eighties now and with a balance problem and very frail on his pegs as a result, so walking for him is fraught with peril; humour from my husband and his brother who had a competition to see who could roll their hips most seductively (answer: neither- they were like a couple of planks of wood); forgetfulness came from Aunt Sylvia who greeted me with an enormous "hello!" and a huge hug, only to repeat it five minutes later when she saw me again. Glamour was provided by sis in law Gill who wore the most fabulous outfit but also cheated by having her hair cut that very morning. She looked GORGEOUS; gossip from the girls, J and her cousin Emma, who had their heads locked together all night exchanging delicious snippets, and sublime cooking from sis in law Lizzy who made the most divine soft, light and fluffy birthday carrot cake with mascarpone cheese topping for her mum in the shape of an "80". We all extended our vocabulary courtesy of Paddy and Gus (6 and 9 remember). I shouldn't think I need to explain what a "gentleman's sausage" is, but I bet it becomes part of your lexicon from now on too :o) The most memorable part of the evening, however, was provided by my own son, who, having necked a glass of champagne in double quick time, spent the next hour and half asleep beneath a pile of clothes behind the sofa :o)
|The Patient- he don't look bad for having had open heart surgery less than two weeks ago, do he?|
|The Glamourous Gill and my Pa in Law|
|Me, M and Lizzy|
|The Gathered Clan|
|J and Emma deep in thought|
|Demolished Delicious Puds :o)|
|The Birthday Girl|
We got home at eleven, I declared my intention of going to bed but somehow ended up sitting round our kitchen table till one in the morning with M and his cousin Chris and wife Bel drinking too much sloe gin and plum vodka, and that was before the cigars came out.
Mercifully, no hangover the following day, which was just as well as we had Round Two at our house with the entire clan turning up for lunch. The weather was glorious so we took the dogs for a stroll down the lane then all the kids played games in the garden till lunch was ready...
Very few leftovers remained at the end and everyone enjoyed themselves, especially what has become the traditional after-lunch-game at our house of "who cane survive the biggest electric shock" from the dodgy game I bought M from China. My mother in law always wins that one hands down.
I love them all dearly, but by 3pm was ready for everyone to go back to their own homes and to let ours settle back into peace and quiet, so we packed them all off into their respective cars with most of their belongings intact (it is traditional for someone to leave something behind and this time it was a pair of Gus' monster socks and Paddy's disney themed toothbrush), then M and I took the doggies out for a blissful hour and a half in the sun and wind across empty fields, while L succumbed gratefully to the solitary bliss of a computer game that involved blowing up zombies. We were all in bed by nine :o)
Happy Days :o)