Jaqui's Daily Blog

Dirty Dancing, the Rubik's Cube and Many a Memory

Well, that was quite some party!


You may remember me telling you that it was my lovely niece’s 40th birthday party on Saturday.  If you thought turning 40 meant settling for a staid middle age and a cucumber sandwich with your bedtime cup of hot cocoa, well you haven’t met Our Debs and her pals.


I may have found the Eighties theme a bit of a poser (as in what to wear, mainly) but nobody else seemed at all bothered.  Here was my sister, Maggie, and her fella, all be-wigged and dressed up as Gladys and The One Whose name we Couldn’t Remember from the 80’s hit TV programme, Hi de Hi. My sister, who will always insist on having every last detail correct, had borrowed a xylophone from somewhere so we had to google to establish the exact three notes with which Gladys announced “Good morning campers!” Mags was a trifle disappointed that not everyone she approached with her xylophone and manic “Hi de Hi!” gave the correct response, which was, of course “Hi de Ho!”  It’s possible that most of the party guests were fractionally too young to have watched the programme first time round which made me feel very, very old.


Here were the Ghostbusters, complete with spirit-eliminating back-packs. Here were the Blues Brothers. Here were a selection of Wonderwomen, including grand-daughter Hazel at her most enchanting. Here were various supermen and grandson, Jack, as Robin. He was, he informed me with just a hint of justifiable self-satisfaction, the only Robin at the party. His mum, who had worn both the Wonderwoman  and the Robin outfits at past parties, had decided to leave them to the kids and dressed as a kind of Rock Chick. She looked absolutely beautiful and about twelve years old.


Sadly, Mr B had to stay home alone as he was one poorly man. This meant that he was unable to put in his planned appearance as John McEnroe. Such a pity as he had been practising saying “You cannot be serious!” for days. Fortunately there was another John McEnroe among the party-goers so we didn’t miss out altogether on this little piece of 80’s history.  Mags and I didn’t recognise one group of characters dressed in black and white stripes with ghastly, ghostly faces. Apparently they were Beetle Juice.  I am none the wiser.  The Birthday Girl was, of course, Madonna. I mean, who else could she have possibly been?


Me? Well I was a bit of a puzzle. In short, I dressed up as a Rubik’s cube. Great minds, it seems, think alike for my nephew and his wife also dressed up as Rubik’s cubes – though each of us a wore a slightly different outfit. If  you didn’t know better, you would have thought we had planned it that way.  My nephew’s outfit was a “second skin”, arguably the bravest of the outfits at the party, though a Baywatch lifeguard in the skimpiest of dresses with “LIFEGUARD” written across her posterior ran him a close second. 


The last dance of the night was “The Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing. Lots of people decided to try to do the famous lift, when Baby throws herself into Johnny’s arms and is lifted aloft.  There was a lot of toppling going on and one awful moment when the Birthday Girl (who just had to have a go) hurled herself into the air and ended up in a crumpled heap on the floor.  My heart stopped for a long moment – till she picked herself up with a grin which was not at all Madonna but totally Our Debs.


All through the evening as Our Debs sashayed about the room in her best Madonna-mode, the story of her life was being played out in pictures on a massive cinema screen.  Our Debs as a baby, as a Brownie and as a bride.  As Wing Defence in the school netball team – and as a new mum.  And because the lives of my sister’s family and my family are inextricably linked by love and lineage, here was my story too. Photos of our Mum and Dad. Photos of family holidays shared.  Photos taken in our house, in our garden, at our parties.


Thanks for a great party, Our Debs.


And for the memories.

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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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