Thank you for all your lovely comments following my last blog, and now here as promised is the low down on The Party!! Lucy and I first started talking about it in January, and then having asked me for a budget she set about arranging the night.
We have a lovely little pub in the next village and they were happy to let her, her man Rich, and friends Mel and Joe get in and decorate the room as well as setting up a PA system too, for those of us nimble enough on our feet to dance!
She and Colin also set up a screen which ran most of the night with various photographs of us – family, friends and holidays – even pets! Colin had been in touch with loads of people and borrowed pictures which he then scanned and saved so many of them I'd not seen before. I think the one of me striding out of the sea looking more like a strawberry than Halle Berry raised a few laughs
I am still stunned by the number of people who drove such mighty distances to be there – although my family are always game when there's food and drink involved! My mum and her partner Joe came and they live in Bishops Waltham (not Waltham Abbey as I once told you, elevating my family status somewhat untruthfully…).
My sister too managed to bunk off school early (she's not a pupil, but actually teaches the class), Jules bless her is way down the M25 near Gatwick Airport, with Lady Greenwood not far from her. Oh, and my school friends who are all in Surrey came, along with Claudia, Anthony, Erika North and many others who battled through the traffic on a Friday night.
Others had a very short distance to stagger back, and judging by the number of aerobeds that were inflated in my somewhat tiny living space, most of them slept at mine! Of course, there were those who couldn't come because of work or family commitments, but we raised our glasses to them anyway
The food was fab, the champagne was sparkly, and the company was excellent. Lucy had chosen the music and it wasn't long before most of us had taken to the dance floor. Sam and Jack were hilarious, and to see Sam leaping around and bopping with the best of them just made the night for me :)
Julia sadly didn't do a repeat performance of her Ravel's Bolero type move (probably as her children were there), but was dancing at such speed that I don't have a picture of her that's not blurred! In fact the look on Paul (Debbie's husband) and Jenny Pickering's faces were a hoot (above left), as they tried to identify who the whirling dervish was :)
Anthony Heywood was a little slow in getting to his feet, but inspired even the younger guests with his moves!! Claudia, her bump beautifully displayed in a fab dress, danced with her husband Steve, and I thought you might like to come up with a caption for the photo of my sister Jenny and I clearly laughing at something that was filling a large space… I fixed the red eye but could do nothing about the red faced aspect!!
Not only was I spoiled rotten with my presents and 54 cards in total (!) but Colin made me a fabulous cake which was placed perfectly on the backdrop painted by my friend. Great isn't it?! It was just the best way to celebrate reaching half a century, and the only thing missing was you!
Hope you enjoy this little snapshot of the night, and let me know what you thought of the dress!!! Well you've got to sparkle at your own party haven't you
Love Ali x