This week has been all about preparing for our son's 21st party. We are very lucky in that we have a garden that is well suited to summer parties, of which we have had many over the years. When we moved to this house over thirty years ago we used to have a big party every summer and invite everyone we knew. Although we always provided food, in those days we used to rely on our guests to bring their favourite tipple with them, and often close friends would bring a salad or a pudding. In addition to that a gang of close friends used to turn up early to help set up.
We had different themes for the food every year including curries and a number of different types of BBQ. One year for example, we went with a Mediterranean theme - there always seemed to be plenty of people to do the cooking - though I do remember that one year Brian's then boss got stuck with it for ages!
As time went on and we had our son, parties grew less frequent and more formal, focussing on major events. Our 25th wedding anniversary in 1998 was the first time we went the whole hog and hired a marquee for our celebration barn dance ( you really can't rely on the english weather in october!) we choose a harvest festival theme as the church was decorated for harvest when we married and spent hours decorating the tent.
The food had a harvest theme too - I got our local catering college to make this harvest loaf
I don't think this photos have come out badly considering they were pre-digital and had to be scanned in!
After our 25th we had big parties for our 50th & 60th birthdays ( mine was a surprise party organised by my wonderful cousin as I had decided I didn't want to do one for myself) and our son had a birthday party every year until he was 13 (we got very good at making themed cakes - the pirate treasure chest was my favourite) but this week it was time for the last party, our son's 21st.
Looking for a marquee ( people were going to need to sleep somewhere!) I found this wonderful local company who supplied beautiful indian tents including furniture - I just couldn't resist!
The tent came with its own lantern too
i think we bought these lanterns for the barn dance, or maybe it was my husbands 50th?
So why is this the 'last party'? . A number of reasons I think. For one thing we plan to move in a couple of years after we retire, and we are unlikely to ever again have such a perfect party house. Another reason is that I have been there, done that, and got the T-shirt - several T-shirts in fact! time to do something different. I have also realised that party planning has been a major outlet for my creative energy over the years, but possibly one I don't need any more since I discovered art and photography. Also it's really tiring and we haven't got quite as much energy as we once had. So how are we celebrating our Ruby Wedding which (DV) will happen in October? We are going to a Hotel in Cornwall for the weekend, with friends who are also celebrating their Ruby Wedding - Yay!
In the meantime I will leave you with this image of the clearing up after this week's party - see you soon