Turning 58 and morphing from an English Rose to New Zealand Flightless Bird in one month was worthy of celebration I thought!  A surprise party with as many friends and family I could fit into our small house built for two would be just the ticket for him.

It had been a few years since I had thrown a party, and even more years since HG had one thrown in his honour – 37 years to be precise when he had turned 21! Gaining New Zealand Citizenship 56 years after arriving in New Zealand was also a milestone, and something he’d intended doing years ago but his pronunciation of simple Kiwi words such as Fush n Chups, and Peaah (Pear) let him down……..needless to say the boys and I frantically pointed him in the right direction with our pronunciation lessons and the powers that be declared he’d done enough to be a NZ citizen – and a fine one at that too.

I was slightly shy of organising such a ‘do’ so did what I must learn to do a bit more often and asked for help.  It turned out to be the best thing I’ve done in a long time because I soon realised a few days before the night of the Big Surprise Event for HG, it’s almost impossible to organise a surprise anything at all when the recipient works from home! 

I could sense him exclaim ‘OK, keep your hair on’ every time I might have yelled ‘Don’t look at that’ a bit too loudly – usually when my phone pinged, or he glanced my way as I worked on my laptop sending secret emails. He’s not used to me raising my voice – either in frustration or to be heard by slightly deaf ears, so ………….. quite a shock for him you understand.

HG must have thought I’d finally gone mad as less than 24 hours before the night of the BSEfHG he watched me turn three loaves of bread into cheese rolls and a kilo of minced beef into miniature meatballs whilst explaining that I was ‘just making a few things’ to try out.  I had hoped that he would have sent himself off to bed earlier so that I could have done this without his knowledge, but at 11.30 pm I gave in and out came the oven trays, bread boards and mixing bowls.

So, it was with relief and gratitude the boys took their dad out for the day of the ‘do’ so I could spend the last 8 hours before kick off finally free of pretending I was doing nothing other than anything ordinary. I could see the confusion on his face when they told him that they would like to take him out – of course, he didn’t know there was a ‘do’ so you can understand his surprise. We should have told him it was a practice run of what to expect when he really is old and grey and they pick him up from the rest home for a wee change of scenery for a few hours before dropping him back to ‘the home’.

Lucky for me my sisters’ provided yummy home made pate, and beautiful smoked salmon, which I was counting on to take the glare off my roughly rolled and rather chunky ‘11.30 pm after a glass or two of wine’ made cheese rolls! My brother arrived early and helped set up the newly bought especially for the BSEfHG Patio Heater (which would have been perfect if I had thought to check our gas bottle wasn’t near empty) …………. and put up the pergola – thank you! Son 3’s gorgeous girlfriend baked and iced the most beautiful Lemon & Almond birthday cake … Son 2’s gorgeous girlfriend created the dessert table making it look magical … Son 1’s gorgeous girlfriend made the tastiest brisket sliders, walked Millie Dog to exhaustion on the day of the BSEfHG, and did the very last forgotten bits shopping. And there was a lot of extra help from many more too …. thank you all so much xo.

HG’s favourite type of evening is watching VERA whilst enjoying an IPA – a hazy one at the moment – so I wasn’t sure that throwing a party for him was the right thing to do …….. but he LOVED it!  And that is because, of course, our friends and family are awesome individuals who make us smile, whom we trust, and if we don’t see them as much as we should we just take off where we left it the last time we caught up with them.  I liken them all to those beautiful drops of frost I love to photograph in the early morning sunshine – made of the same stuff, but all very unique and sparkling in their own right. 

We missed those family and friends that couldn’t make it ……. we will just have to have another ‘do’ in summer time. I took some pic’s but not used to taking inside night time shot’s alot didn’t come out 😦 (I will catch you next time x) Thank you all for making it such a good night for our new KEEWEE! xx

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