Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Tip 13 - And the birthday party

Tip 13 - It is eminently not sensible for two 6 feet adults to attempt to sleep in a children's pop up day tent!

I must admit that I totally forgot in my last blog to tell you about the events surrounding Hubby Hobbits' best pals 40th birthday party. Having been reminded of events I feel it essential to pass on the details of this spectacular event.

The event in question fell slap bang in the middle of our Devon adventures during half term week but in view of the importance of said event we felt it advisable, nay imperative, that we attend.

I should explain. Birthday boy, Jock, and his lovely lady wife have been friends of mine and Hubby Hobbits' for many years. Since comparing bumps at what was humorously labelled 'Parent craft' classes and following each others lives since the birth of the bumps (which turned out incidentally to be both boys who are now and have been best friends since birth), they remain our best pals and the turning 40 of our friend Jock was not an event that could be missed.

So we hauled ourselves back from the peace of the Devon sunshine in an effort to be a double surprise at the already surprising birthday party. I should say it was even more surprising because Mrs Jock is not renounded for her secret keeping skills. She really wouldn't blame me for saying (and I really hope not.....please don't be offended Mrs Jock if you are reading this!!) but she has been the butt of much joshing over the years for her completely unintended 'putting her foot in it' as far as secrets are concerned. However, in this instance not only did she manage to keep the party and all the massive amounts of organisation it entailed a secret but also planned several other birthday surprises, including the visit of the entire clan from bonny Scotland on his actual birthday, go-carting the day after and rowing down the River Exe the day after the party (more of which later!!). More credit to her! We all feel totally reassured that our secrets are safe with her from now on.

Anyway I digress, Hubby and I arrived at the house, ahead of the main party to spring our surprise on our friend, only to find that unfortunately, unknowing of the party that lay ahead of him, he had already been the pub for 'one or two' with his clan and already slightly worse for wear was rather non plussed at our arrival. Offence wasn't taken.

More guests arrived and the evening wore one. Food and drink consumed in it's usual vast quantities and the summer sun shone.

Now to the crux of the story. Hubby and I had, in our infinite wisdom, decided, having deposited small and medium Hobbit on friendly auntie for the night, that we wouldn't accept Mr & Mrs Jock's kind invitation of a comfortable sitting room floor for our nights accommodation. Oh no, we thought it would be fun (for fun read pure insanity) to camp in their back garden. Fortunately the weather was kind to us. This was in no way any compensation as it turns out.

The only tent we could lay our hands on in our hurry that particular evening was one of the children's 2 man (HA!) play tents. I am sure you are aware of the variety of which I speak.... the kind that two six foot adults really shouldn't attempt to sleep in! But sleep, or attempt to sleep, in it we did. Much alcohol aided the process and turned the entire evening into general hilarity until about 6 in the morning at which time the inside of the tent, which probably isn't designed for actual sleeping in, was condensed up so much that it felt rather like sleeping in a sauna, only colder. In addition, cramp had set in and the possibilities of return to sleep with the birds, chickens and horse all making their presence felt was fairly remote. At this time wisdom took over and we did retire to the generously offered sitting room floor.

A couple of hours later we emerged to face the detritus of the party being professional cleaned up by Mrs Jock who was totally lacking in hangover.

The days activities, rowing or at least floating, down the River Exe ensued. Clan and assorted hangers on took their places in the two or four man boats with requisite reluctance and rowed their way down to the nearest public house where we all took solace for lunch, together with most of the populous of Exeter, it being a lovely sunny day and that is the only thing to do on a day like that.

The return rowing trip back up the river was slightly more ridiculous with several clan members having declined to re board the boats. Their replacements were smaller children with more enthusiasm than actual rowing ability. The members of each boat where adjusted so that Medium Hobbit, Master Jock and their other friend Cap'n Jack (all aged 11 incidentally) could row themselves round in circles for the remainder of the afternoon.

It should be said at this point that I successfully managed not to involve myself in the actual rowing process, choosing to excuse myself by offering to walk Bobbit along to the toe path and laugh in the general direction of the rowers at their efforts.

Birthday events came to a close with Mr & Mrs Jock taking a brief trip, without childer who parked themselves in our spare room for the period, to Cornwall for two days. The sun smiled on them and I believe they had a wonderful time.

All in all.....a classic and well orchestrated 40th birthday event. Mine...when it comes will be spent hiding in a darkened room, avoiding all and every contact with the outside world, continuing to convince myself that I am actually just 19 years old, which is what my brain remains to believe, and not the 40 years old that my body reminds me daily that I have become.

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