This nearly didn’t get off the ground due to my usual amount of procrastination and disorganisation.
PLUS the fact when I first mentioned it, Terry didn’t WANT a party and he is a really difficult bloke to buy for (aren’t all blokes?) Discussions with friends and the children came to nothing, after all… do you go against his wishes?
So as the time drew closer to his 50th I began to panic!
Thankfully with only a couple of months to go, things started slotting into place, the first was the gift, we decided to go to Ireland for a few days. Plane tickets were bought – tick! Ok the trip wasn’t going to be a surprise, but at least we could all look forward to it as a family. Terry’s cousin Mary very kindly offered to put us up in Dublin so we were all set.
It also solved another problem – now that Terry thought all was organised, it left the coast clear for me to organise something as a suprise.
I told Terry that I had invited a couple of friends round for drinks, this is something we do occasionally so he was expecting the usual crowd of East Grinstead social animals. I could also arrange a certain amount of food and drink without him getting overly suspicious.
What he didn’t know was that I had invited a few people from further afield. I spent the next few days emailing people far and wide, and although it was right at the beginning of half term and short notice, I was delighted that so many agreed to make the journey.
Cake and decorations were ordered and help came from two very very special people who i couldn’t have done it without. My good long time friend Janice, came up from Stoke for a visit and ‘just happened’ (teehee) to be around the day before to help, and another friend offered me the use of her kitchen as they were going to be away for half term. It was a bummer that she couldn’t come to the party, but hoorah for the space!
It was a crazy time!
The day before, as usual Terry went off to work and the kids went off to school and Janice and I sprang to action – we flew to the supermarket and loaded a trolley sky-high with goodies. We took it to my friend house and then spent the afternoon cooking two amazing chillis to eat on the Sunday. Because we have a few people staying over at home and in hotels around the town I did not want to be worried about feeding them after the event.
After school the kids came round and we iced the 50 cupcakes we had baked the day before and got everything ready so that we could collect it quickly the following day
Birthday Party Day
Actually the daytime was pretty wierd, we could do no more until the evening and Terry was still convinced there was only going to be a couple of people. Janice took the boys into town for the last couple of things but even they were extras…..
The time came. We had contrived with his Mum that she would arrange that he should take her to Church so we knew we had an hour and a half to get everything ready. The second he and the children left, Janice and I sprang into action and went ot collect all the food, drink, cakes and decorations.
Soon afterwards Terry’s best mate Bob arrived with his family and he and their children got to work on the decs and us girls set out the food.
Quick change and tahdah!
Terry arrived back and was gobsmacked to see Bob and family, which was really lovely in itself but before long the doorbell started to ring…and ring…and ring… I was very pleased that I hadn’t organised a ‘big suprise moment’ it would have been too stressful and it was lovely that the suprise guests kept coming, not only to good people from East Grinstead but guests from Surrey, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Northampton and more!
It was a lovely evening – lots of chat and giggles, nothing raucous just a really marvellous chance to catch up. I was really pleased how it went.
We even had people skyping in over the weekend from Plymouth, Singapore, China and Hong Kong a truly international party!
Several people stayed over until the Sunday so the fun continued with a brisk walk across the forest (nothing strenuous, just a couple of miles) and a steaming plate of chilli.
After all that a rest was needed – but with a flight to Dublin the next day, there was more excitement to come.
More about Dublin next time 😀