Jaqui's Daily Blog

The Party Business

The Middle of the Darling Daughters has asked me if I would like to host Young Faris's second birthday celebration at our house. I didn't consult Mr B - I just said, oh, yes, please!

Now you need to know that I am not required to go to enormous lengths. No live unicorns will be needed, Myleene Klass. Nor will those attending be required to stump up a contribution towards a large and expensive present. Indeed the Birthday Boy will be enjoying a visit to Chessington Zoo in the company of three of his closest friends - Oliver, Harrison and Emily (plus parents, I presume) as his main celebration on the nearest Saturday to his Big Day. My part will be to plan the On The Day celebrations - the birthday banner, the cake, the balloons and All The Trimmings.

I think I am admirably qualified for the task though I say so myself as shouldn't (as my dear Mum would doubtless have chided me.) I have lost count of the number of birthday celebrations I have masterminded over the years.

When My Foursome were small, to be fair, birthday parties were rather different from those of today. I doubt the Middleton Family's Party Pieces business would have had all that many customers in those far-off days. "Home-grown" is probably the best word to describe the many parties I planned. No co-ordinated tableware, no magnificent cake, no party bags for the young guests to take home.

Nevertheless, we were actually considered quite ambitious among our peer parents. We were the family who held an It's A Knockout Party in the Parish Rooms, complete with Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals (appropriately wrapped toffees on pieces of ribbon.) The Youngest of the Darling Daughters once had an Around the World party - my home baked birthday cake was a triumph because all the flags of the world, stuck on cocktail sticks, completely disguised the fact that there was an alarming dip in the centre of said cake, filled up with thick icing. I wouldn't let any of the guests take their slice of cake home because I didn't want their mums to bear witness to my culinary disaster. "We will all eat our cake NOW!" I commanded the suitably cowed guests, in my best Mary Berry voice. No soggy bottoms to be used in evidence against me.

We hired a magician for one party. He turned up in a rusty old Ford Cortina and unpacked his equipment from a battered suitcase. His magic left a lot to be desired too. The next year, we booked a magician by a different name - but when he turned up, unbelievably, it was the same man, in the same rusty Cortina, with the same battered suitcase - all just a year older, a little more rusty, more battered and no more magical. Mind you, he had magicked himself a new name, and fooled us good and proper. That's magic for you.

Nevertheless, Hope Springs Eternal and our third attempt to inject magic into the party proceedings brought us Colin the Clown who made up for everything that had gone before and earned himself many follow up parties from the parents of Our Boy's guests. It was just a shame we weren't on commission.

Possibly even better than Colin the Clown was the magician at grandson Jack's seventh birthday party, ten years ago. Two minutes before the party was due to begin and he still hadn't shown up. The Youngest of the Darling Daughters was panicking and I was trying to remember any magic tricks I may have picked up along the way, preferably involving white rabbits and top hats with a generous helping of Abracadabras. Then the doors of the hall burst open and in bounded a youthful wizard wearing a suitably swishing cape, long shorts and Doc Martens who proceeded to take over the party with an energy and enthusiasm which was, well, quite magical. No rust-bucket Cortina parked outside, no battered suitcase containing his wizardy clothes and equipment. Pure, unadulterated magic!

All in all, with so much experience of the Party Business behind me, I feel I am well placed to head up my youngest grandson's celebrations. Don't you think?

Tala and Lilia say: We didn't get a chance to have our say about our Sunday Seaside Day in the last Daily Blog. Faris, who is Our Hero as well as our Big Brother, probably thought we didn't have anything to add to his superb description of our lovely day out. We have, however, explained to Nanni that we need to be fully involved in his birthday celebrations because we are the only sisters he has.

The trouble is that Nanni is talking about things like banners and balloons and birthday cake and, to be honest, we probably won't know anything about any of these until we are a bit older, maybe six months or so.

Perhaps, for the time being, we can just be sleeping partners?


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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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