The here and now and a bit of way back then

I relived my journey to 40 and found there's so much more to say

Friends are what pull a party plan together

on August 25, 2013

I’ve spent today exhausted from all day partying yesterday. I fear my stamina is nothing like it once was. Except I haven’t been slumped on the settee watching crap TV and lying very still in a cool, dark room until the fogginess of a hangover clears as would be the inevitable outcome of all day partying from yesteryear. Actually, if I’m honest, I was never very good at the all day drinking marathons because the hangover would kick in by 5pm and then I wouldn’t feel so good carrying on but then neither could I slouch off home to bed. Who goes to bed at 6pm? Though sometimes you could sneak in a nap and be fresh again for round two but then risk being branded a cheat.

Anyway, yesterday was all about two very special young people turning 5 and 3. Living in Singapore, where you have Groundhog Day weather nearly all year round, it is more or less safe to say you can throw a pool party and be fine and the weather was indeed glorious. Not that these things matter to young people of 5 and 3. All the guests at both parties had a ball splashing around in the pool and then sitting down for the Birthday sing song and cake afterwards. Even without a pool, I’ve seen kids happy as pigs in mud chasing each other around a room and then sitting down for the Birthday sing song and cake afterwards. This seems to be the bare backbone for contented kids at a children’s party. Though I really don’t think I could risk that incase one child does say out loud it’s a rubbish party in the honest way children blurt things out. The parties I throw don’t have to be the best but I want people to have enjoyed themselves and for the children’s parties then I want their guests to feel it’s a bit about them too because there is no party without your friends.

As my Birthday always fell in school and University holidays, I never really celebrated it with friends until after we left University. In my early twenties that would consist of frequenting the same establishments as we did whilst still at University, it’s take a while to shake off old habits. If I think about previous Birthday celebrations then one of the years that stands out is my 28th. It was a cocktail party at home. Don’t imagine sophistication. By cocktail party it was bring a bottle to be randomly mixed together and form anything to drink. There was also this yellow plastic gallon bottle that someone had the idea of putting in a bit of everything and was the obligatory party drink for all guests. Incidentally my cousin met her husband at this party, an old Uni friend, and they were married a few years later on my 31st Birthday so that was that year’s celebration sorted out for me! What I enjoyed most about this party was definitely the people who were there. I know that’s what everyone says about good times, it’s the people who were there that counts and it really was. At 28, we had no restrictions on our time or energy and you were in that buzz of mingling with familiar faces and getting to know some new ones. A time of few responsibilities, lots of possibilities and much freedom.

The unexpected good time party is a real bonus and I have some really fond memories of this party. Especially the after party with the staying over guests. There’s the guest who pretended to be asleep with cigarette hanging out of his mouth in order to bagsy the couch. I think he credits this performance for the getting together of the couple who later got married. Then there’s the guest who built a ‘duvet barrier’ around herself so that she wouldn’t get a fright when she woke up in the morning and come face to face with the other stay overs. Then there’s the shared bleary, foggy start to the next day with each other, solace that it’s not just you who feels so bad. Good times. Although it’s been 5 years since I’ve celebrated a Birthday with anyone present at that party (apart from Husband), I know I would still have a great time with them when I do next.

So back to today. Yesterday was our very own #2’s Birthday party. Even though I think I’m going to organise a simple affair, it never really is. There’s always something I’ve forgotten to do at the last minute like I’ve mentioned in a previous post. Anyway, I wish I could say I was the host who swanned around greeting guests and what not but I was too busy doing the last minute stuff. #2 was happy because her very own friend from school was able to come, L who is not friends with #1 or #3 but just #2 alone. She was equally happy to see everyone else because they make up her everyday world. Except, I’m not sure this was apparent when it came to the Birthday sing song where #2 refused to blow out the candles and instead blew raspberries at the guests doing a 180 degree raspberry blow out circle to make clear her feelings to everyone! Of course I was mortified! Then again, all present are more than familiar with such outbursts from young people but you do hope it’s not done so publicly. This will be a memory for #2 to be reminded of at all future landmark Birthdays. She later explained it was because the singing was too loud, so next year I must remind myself that the Birthday sing song will be done as a Birthday sing song whisper.

Friends are the important element of any party, no matter what you do beforehand or how meticulous your planning. Yesterday proved this to us in new ways as we couldn’t have done it without the help of some really good friends looking after #3 and taking charge of the entire BBQ, leaving us free to get on with the last minute stuff. Thank you.

So a rather long one today but I’ll finish now with a photo of the Birthday cake. Some improvement since the green icing train cake I hope you’ll agree?



2 responses to “Friends are what pull a party plan together

  1. freya says:

    Hi Karen! Hope you’re doing well in Singapore. Keep up the writing, I really enjoyed reading it! Xx


  2. Thanks Freya, I saw your own very exciting news on FB the other day. Congratulations!


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