Tomorrow is Family Party Day and preparations are in full swing.
I know this, even at a distance of 70 miles or so from the
party venue, because I have been in constant communication over recent days with the Youngest of the Darling Daughters (aka the Hostess with the Mostest.) You name it, we have checked it out with each other, from the size of the gazebo and the comfortableness
of the new garden furniture - right down to the price of the scones and whether we should serve full-size or mini mertingues with our strawberries and cream.
not that either of us doubt our judgement - and neither of us would dream of querying the other’s taste in Party Fare - but it does add to the growing sense of anticipation.
I was all prepared to make the scones myself, following the tried and tested recipe for “Sconners” which you will find on my Cook Book page. I did, after all, provide many a sconner for grandson Jack’s 18th birthday party eighteen
months or so ago. My daughter, however, thinks this is a Step Too Far for one still recovering from eye surgery. She sends me photographs of packets of scones to prove that I couldn't bake them for twice the money - and brings samples down for me to taste.
We agree that they taste completely delicious and nobody will be any the wiser that they were not home-baked.
It was also my idea to provide our guests with strawberries
and cream. How very Wimbledon! I had the idea from the Annual Garden Parties organised by the U3A (University of the Third Age) of which I am a member. I seem to remember that strawberries and cream went down really well even though I'm quite sure not every
U3A member is Always Thinking About His or Her Stomach. There is not going to be a U3A Garden Party this year, because (I suddenly recall) it was thought to be too much hard work. I will not share this with the Youngest of the Darling Daughters who has quite
enough on her Party Plate at the moment…
Regular readers will know that this is to be a Joint Celebration, for my granddaughter Hazel's 18th birthday and my 70th. She will celebrate Coming of
Age and I will mark my Three Score Years and Ten which, my Son In Law informs me, means that in Biblical terms I am now living on borrowed time. All the sweeter, I must remember to tell him, making every day count.
Excellent! Here is a photo of Hazel Bagel’s birthday cake which, unlike the scones, has been baked and decorated with a mother’s loving hands. “It's beautiful!” I message back, “Hazel will love it!”
As much, I think, as the several other birthday cakes my daughter has baked for her daughter over the years - the fairy castle, the ballet shoes, the Punch and Judy cake. To mention but a few. As befits a cake celebrating a Coming of Age, this latest creation
is All Grown Up.
I send a photo of my eye so that my daughter can see it is nowhere near as bruised and swollen as it was - hopefully I won't scare our guests
away. Even wearing sunglasses, I do still get comments (mostly, surprisingly, from young, fit men) who ask me: “Who did that to you? Let me know if you want me to fix him for you…”
Tomorrow morning the Eldest of the Darling Daughters will arrive to transport Mr B and me to the party. We will have a car-full but we have already checked out that Mr B’s trusty chariot will fit in the boot. I
did think it would be asking too much to accommodate the traditional Birthday Balloon - but my youngest daughter says not to worry, she will simply phone and add it to her balloon order. Fancy that, a balloon order, no less. Not just a Food Order. Or
a Drink Order. This is organisation with a capital “O”. I imagine the Balloon Order being delivered in a bountiful bundle from the sky.
When the party
is over, it will be the Middle of the Darling Daughters who drives us home - such a long round trip it will be for her but she is adamant she doesn't mind. She wouldn't tell me, even if she did, bless her.
So much planning, so many preparations, such a lot of love in every tiny detail.
Yes, you are there before me, as usual. We will,
indeed, have SUCH fun!