Elf turned 40 on Saturday. She told me ages ago that she wanted to have a cocktail party for her birthday, as mentioned back yonder. I said at the time, unchivalrously but honestly, that she would have to arrange that herself. I could not organise a function to save myself, and am not a naturally cocktailsy type of guy, I guess. She threw herself into it and I think it came out very well - she had a lot of fun.
Our main headache had been finding a place for 6 kids during the proceedings (Karri, Miah, our two, plus my visiting nephews). Elf finally turned to our family day care stalwart from early days, Allison Winchester, and she supervised everyone in the gracious grounds of Firthfield (Imp and Ed's rented sandstone gracious home).
The Cocktails Facilitator arrived half an hour prior to kick-off, and started taking over the kitchen. We had to surrender the freezer and half of the fridge to her frozen pre-mixed adult slushies. The family were all there from the get-go, including all 4 of our parents, Imp, Ed, and Elf's brother Fred and cousin Grace* who jetted in from Melbourne. My sister Sal and her husband Matt were there and met Elf's siblings for the first time.
Initially the CF lined up a set of Peach Bellinis, followed by a set of Strawberry Daquiris, etc. After a while she was taking requests. We had 38 guests, and I was too trying to talk to everyone to actually drink much. I must apologise to some regular readers who were there, it was very hard indeed to get in more than "hi" and "bye" with a lot of you. I am not adept at party strategy and the easy slip-n-slide from one conversation group to another is a skill I have yet to master.
We turfed everyone out at about 7.30 and started moving the family in groups down to the restaurant for dinner. It had been a pretty humid sticky day, and around the end of the party a cool change swept down the mountain and over us, accompanied by a bit of thunder. The colour of the light changed in a way I don't recall ever seeing - a very blue/white light, with all the warm tones completely drained out of the landscape. Freaky and beautiful. Just as it was my turn to go out to the car the heavens opened with big Singapore-style raindrops.
Dinner was at a Thai/Indian/But Mostly Thai place called Infusion. The food was excellent but I didn't enjoy the meal that much as we were split across two tables, and the kids were all at the other table. I was feeling stressed about whether they were eating, were they going to spill stuff, should I let the nephews have Coke when my kids aren't, etc etc. I was overtired and that didn't help.
Eventually it was over, everyone was carted home, beds were organised and I crashed into bed myself. Although Elf did all the organisation somehow I felt like I had run a marathon.
There are still 12 litres of adult slushie mix in the freezer if anyone wants them.
*Actually - Grace arrived mid-party. We were expecting her on an 8am flight. She rang about 7.30am just after Elf had left to pick her up. She was now due at 5.15pm. Elf doesn't have a mobile so we had all all sorts of larks trying to find a human at the airport who would pick up the phone and take a message to page her.