Finally the big day arrived. The congratulatory phone calls started early in the morning. Edie arrived on the doorstep with a beautiful arrangement of roses.The cards had been arriving in the post, and there were emails from near and far. During the day there was quite a bit of to-ing and fro-ing getting things all shipshape and ready.
At 5 pm, with the weather still gloriously calm and warm, the first guests started to arrive.
It was a magic evening. Everyone was really enjoying themselves - everyone literally from 1 to 90 years old. That is the sort of party I love.
The older folk sat and chatted and reminisced, and there were great hoots of laughter coming from the tables. The Mums and Dads stood around enjoying the great atmosphere and company - not to mention the food.
There were plenty of people nearby to lend a hand to John at the fryers, cooking the fish and the green banana fritters, which were served with a caramel sauce. We had prepared lots of food, but much of it did not even leave the kitchen, because so ,any people turned up with platters of tasty treats.
The kids - of all ages - ran around both outside and in, and after dark took great delight in playing chasings while wearing the luminous head and wrist bands so thoughtfully provided by Tina. The little ones had great fun on the Jumping Castle, which was left up all night. By the end of the evening, the older kids were sitting in a circle playing "Truth, Dare or Double Dare." Who said that today's kids cannot entertain themselves?
Mavis brought along a special fern headpiece for Bernie to wear. After all, he was the V.I.P. for the night.Kim had made a lovely banana cake in the shape of an 80. Before cutting it, There were a few speeches, with Charles taking on the role of M.C. It seems many people had special memories and tributes.
When it came time to sing Happy Birthday and cut the cake, all the small children suddenly appeared for front row positions. Here was their opportunity to run their fingers around the edge of the cake for the first sampling of the yummy chocolate icing!!
Charles and Kim had produced a lovely album with a collection of stories and old photos contrinuted by friends and family for the occasion. It was so beautifully put together, and full of special memories, both amusing and nostalgic.There were over 100 people there to share in the special occasion. I am sure Bernie was quite delighted to be able to share this milestone with so many friends and family.We had said "No presents" - but many were brought any way, including a wonderful selection of red wines! People know Bernie's taste! I don't think anyone wanted the evening to end, but it had been a long day for some!
When everyone had gone, Bernie and I sat in the dining room and read all the cards, savouring the wonderful expressions of love and friendship. It had been a very special day.