It’s David’s birthday today – he’s currently on a golf course with Matthew and Mackenzie (such a little sportsman!). This morning we had cards and presents and balloons and a nice relaxed family breakfast. David had said, at the weekend, “I don’t want a fuss on my birthday, just a few drinks with the family in the evening”. Well, I listened to what said, agreed with him and then waited until he had gone out with Frank Stewart for a Sunday lunchtime pint before I got on the phone. As a result, the guest list is exclusive but it’s somewhat larger than I – and certainly David – expected.
Charlie and Saskia are coming over (Charlie with Super New Rich Boyfriend Jonathan and Saskia with “some bloke I’m sort of seeing”). David’s sister Ginny has just arrived with Amelia (ggrr, am trying to be nice) and my wonderful sister has agreed to put them up for the night in her multi-bedroomed abode. Which is good really as Ginny has discovered the Jack Daniels and is on her third already.
Lydia has been marinating meat since David left at 11.30am and is receiving update texts from Matt (“we r doin 18 holes. Slowly as M keeps stopping to pick daisies”). A couple of days ago I read a recipe posted by Silvana at Landcroft House that I thought was very apt - David's Barbecued Rump - so we're doing that too! The kitchen smells heavenly.
Marjorie Stewart has made the most amazing birthday cake – slightly disturbing – but amazing all the same. I’d suggested a basic, royally iced fruit cake. What I’ve got is a fruit cake but made and iced to look like a pair of boobs wearing nothing but a whipped sugar covering. It looks amazing but Amelia is frosty and disapproving. I’ve asked her to start slicing lemons for the punch. Fitting, I thought.
Stephen, my wonderful brother in law, has just dropped off several bottles of champagne to be shoved into the ice filled bath and Frank is out in the garden setting up the barbecues (plural because we have enough food to feed the entire Avenue and he’s in practice for the Street Party – more about that in a later post). Jack Next Door has provided the tomatoes for the salad and the corn on the cob for grilling and is washing the garden furniture watched by all three dogs (who keep stealing the hose) and Becks the rabbit.
The honeymooners will be “dropping in but we won’t be stopping, we’ve got a do to go to”. Darren fell asleep in the sun on his first full day on honeymoon – his right side is bright red and Janey keeps having to “slap Nivea on it”.
Bea had offered us Enormous Au Pair (the poor girl has discovered kebabs now) to help with the salads but I feared she’d eat more than she’d chop. Jane Opposite offered to help and is currently panic buying watercress in Sainsburys. Eliza is coming too, freed from the shackles of child rearing for the evening “you go out and have a good time” Simon her husband said. She thinks that Jack is teething and so gratefully jumped at the chance of a childfree evening. Andy is heading over too (“I’ve got the most amazing present for David”) and is bringing his medium friend Alex so no doubt we’ll have a few guests from the spirit world too.
So, we’re all set!