Party Planning!

As I approach and agonise over the speed of time passing and my next milestone birthday, I try to plan how I should mark the occasion for myself.  Thankfully I have a couple of years to plan it but with each week, then month, a year will follow on closely behind.  It is not just the planning but the financing to be taken into account.

Looking around for inspiration I am aware that this year sees a spate of significant birthdays; none more so than Brother-In-Law (BIL) who with much aplomb celebrated a half century this weekend with a Glastonbury style bash.

Glasto like, with many guests opting to camp in the field, rather than make their way home in the wee small hours.  An excellent band entertained us during the evening, after a close friend opened proceedings with a fantastic rendition of the quintessential “summertime”.  No mike, her audience surrounded her as she stood on the lawn in the sunshine (which finally deigned to join us), pimms filling our glasses, she serenaded us acappella.

Before the disco began BIL did make a short speech before inviting his niece, my Goddaughter to the stage where she sang a beautifully in tune and strong performance of Keane’s version of “somewhere only we know”.    Not a dry eye in the marquee!   Her mum did not breathe for the whole three minutes and suffered all the agonies you can imagine whilst willing her daughter on. Goddaughter captivated her audience as if this was a regular gig.  Move over Keane!

Beer and wine on tap saw many youngsters stretching the bounds of limitation past the limit, not to mention a few adults.  BIL will awaken to a huge dent in his bank account, a serious hangover and a resounding memory.  The memory that will stay with me, was the following morning, after the bacon baps and help yourself to tea and coffee urn.   A progression of classic cars left the house to take part in a rally; organised by his fellow car enthusiasts as a final treat for his special occasion.

Ready to Rally!

I am not sure that this kind of party is very me; I would spend all night worrying so much that everyone else was enjoying themselves that even the idea fills me with sleepless nights and disturbed thoughts!

Grandad of course has just had his significant birthday and memories of that stressful holiday still haunt my dreams and waking moments.   Gathering several members of mine and Sexy Sporty Dad’s relatives together for a week is not on the cards either.

A close friend of ours has also just celebrated his half century.  He and three close friends hired a VW campervan and took it to Glastonbury for the long weekend.  His family camped at the festival and at times they met up; but the family never found the campervan.   Unknown to him his family also had a treat in store; they took him to Silverstone for the Grand Prix, three weekends later.   Unfortunately for me having a winter birthday means Glasto is definitely a no no and to be honest I would rather Wimbledon than Silverstone.  The idea of the campervan and friends is a possibility!

My best friend reached the “life begins at” age of 40 some years ago and her husband spent a long time rummaging through old address books and past Christmas cards to arrange her secret party, which she thought she was hosting for their eldest daughter who reached 21 two weeks later.    Yes! She was a child bride and yes it has lasted the course.   The idea of Sexy Sporty Dad fumbling through my history to drag out childhood schoolmates that I would rather forget is not that appealing either.  Although the possibility of him sharing a birthday with No 1 son is more likely as there is exactly 30 years and two months difference between them.

Talking of which; for his last milestone I whisked him off to Rome for a weekend.  It would have been a complete secret had there not been an important meeting he tried to organise on the Monday; he could not understand why his wonderful secretary had booked him holiday that day.    She argued valiantly that it had to be kept free, until finally in desperation, she suggested he speak to me.  So a week before we flew he knew something was happening involving a flight and days off work!    I am too much of a control freak, like BIL, I would not allow anyone else to plan my revelry for me.

My ideal plan was to take three to six months off with Sexy Sporty Dad and three boys and go on a long world cruise, stopping at all the places I would love to visit, but know I will never get the chance.   Money of course comes into it.  Taking the three boys out when they will all be at critical educational points in time will, I fear, be the final nail in that plan!   No 1 Son will be in the middle of A ‘levels and doing any AS levels he might choose to take.  Middle Son will be taking his GCSEs and Mini Son right in the middle of SATS, if his school continue to take part.    Not good planning really to allow me to take any time off with them.

Happy Birthday BIL! Appropriate greetings; to those celebrating a special event this year.  I will head back to the drawing board and contemplate a quiet retreat in a spa hotel with good wine and good food and a handful of my best friends!  The local airfield takes adventurous passengers on flights over their houses as they acrobat around looping the loop before trying to land again.  Not sure the body is, or will be, still that adventurous!


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