19. Have a big 50th birthday party

party room

Where do I start?

Well, I’m writing this the morning after the night before. I’ve had about 4 hours sleep, but the birds are singing, the sun is out…so I’m up. And there’s one heck of a clear up operation on the agenda for today!!

Yesterday was pretty manic from start to finish…From waking up at an ungodly 5 a.m., the day was non-stop. Hair and nails first thing and then a frenzy of collecting food, chilling drink, washing glasses, erecting gazebos, decorating the house and garden with balloons and lighting… So many people to thank for all their help with that; it was like a barmy army here!!

7 o’clock took me rather by surprise and I was still upstairs getting ready when the first guests arrived. Prosecco was flowing and by 8 the place was buzzing and the food table was looking fabulous. Burgers, sausages and onions, salads, cheese & biscuits, desserts a-plenty and the most fabulous birthday cake centrepiece.

Friends from near (next door and up the road) and from far (London, Wiltshire), friends I’ve known for too many years to wish to mention (orchestra friends, coparty pressiesllege friends, housemates, colleagues I worked with 20+ years ago). It was fabulous to have so many special people with me to celebrate.

But nothing could have prepared me for how special the next part of the evening was about to become. I knew one of my friends had been ‘up to something’ as regards co-ordinating a surprise… A surprise that turned out to be huger than I could have imagined, as I was presented with gifts and vouchers related to not one, not two, but SIX of the challenges remaining on my #50ShadesofBrave list! I was/ am blown away by the generosity and I cannot wait to enjoy these experiences.

We ate, drank, danced, sang, chatted, laughed and waved the last guests off at about 3 a.m. Coaxed (bullied?!?) into some clearing up before bed, I finally hit the sack at about 4. What a wonderful evening!

And so to a list of major thank yous, to people without whom the party could not have happened the way it did:

to Tara, for my fabulous at 50 cake;

to George, from BalloonPlatoon, for the gorgeous balloon decor;

to Alison, for arranging hire of glasses;

to Chris, for cooking a mountain of burgers and lending me her hostessing equipment (well she is a party-pro!!);

to Simon, for helping Owen to sort out the music;

to Jake and Chris, for lighting up the garden;

to Kate and Anthony, for their gazebo erection (and dismantling) service and for rolling a 5ft round table through the streets of Lisvane;

to everyone who lent garden chairs, lights etc, brought delicious food for the buffet, brought gifts and cards;

to the washers- and tidiers- up today;

to all my friends who contributed to the amazing joint presents;

to Owen the DJ and Georgia the chef and dance-floor diva;

and last but by no stretch of the imagination least to HEATHER, for organising said amazing joint presents and for everything she did to make the whole day and evening run smoothly.

I couldn’t have done it without you guys… My friends rock 😀

party dancing



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