Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Happy 30th Birthday to ME!

The 14th July 1982 was the 193rd anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution. It was also 201 years to the day since Billy the Kid was shot and killed. It was also, and perhaps most importantly, the day I was born in Hertford, England.

The Birthday Boys
Now, 30 years later, I'm married to the love of my life and we have a beautiful daughter, living together in a foreign country and speaking a different language. 10 years ago if you'd told me that would be my future I would have laughed in your face. I really hadn't ever planned to move outside of England, and had no interest in learning French. Just goes to show how much true love can really change your life.

To celebrate the big 3-0 this year, I wanted to have a party. A friend of mine in England, Dave, was born on the same day, and so we decided to have a joint 30th birthday bash. We rented a pub in a village local to where Dave lives (and pretty close to where all our family and friends live), and waited patiently for the big day to arrive.
When the weekend finally came, Chris, Lydia and I flew over to Luton airport (fortunately with an uneventful, peaceful flight), where we were greeted by my smiling mum. Lydia instantly recognised her and gave her a cuddle, much to my mum's delight (she worries about Lydia forgetting who she is in between visits). Chats with my family and a Chinese takeaway followed that evening.

Pin the Tail on the Donkey
(my attempt on the right)

The next day, after a bit of shopping in the morning, I arrived back at my parents house to find they had put up balloons and banners to celebrate my birthday. To my delighted surprise, they had also planned party games for us to play, as they had decided to throw me a children's party (a mocking reference to my advancing years, perhaps?).

Pass the Parcel, Pin the Tail on the Donkey and dancing to old kid's dancefloor classics (such as "Superman", "Agadoo" and "Music Man"), were just some of the fun we had. After a nice, big meal for lunch, plus a "Colin the Caterpillar" birthday cake for dessert, we had a relaxing afternoon playing with Lydia inside.

Lydia playing in the pub garden

Then the evening came, and it was time to get ready for the party. I gave Lydia a shower and got her dressed in a pretty little dress inspired by the Union Flag and in keeping with national pride following the Royal Wedding earlier in the year.

I got dressed myself and then we headed to the pub. We were greeted by lots of smiling faces, and I was every inch the proud father showing off my little beauty. Well, at least until she got bored and wanted to walk outside. The pub garden had a little children's play area, and Lydia certainly enjoyed that.

Back inside, Dave's brother's band (Crisis of the 3rd Century) provided the musical entertainment. An initial blast of a song at 7pm was quickly interrupted by the landlord due to it being too loud. The volume was lowered for when they started up again a couple of hours later.

Some of the pub decorations
The pub itself was decorated inside and out with pictures of Dave and me as babies and young children, as well as selected pics of us a teenagers and adults. A nice buffet was laid out for the guests to enjoy, and a good crowd had turned up for the party. It was a great atmosphere as everyone seemed to be in a good mood, despite the rain's attempt at dampening our day.

Lydia managed to stay with us until around 9pm before she began to look really tired. My sister then took her back home to bed, allowing Chris and I to keep the party going.

Me and my brothers
(I'm squatting down, BTW;
I'm talling than them both!)
We chatted, drank, ate and danced until 12am, when the music was abruptly cut off. We managed to briefly turn it back on again but then the landlord cut the power completely, so that was the end of that. Basically the pub was only licensed to play music until 12am, as it is in a residential area.

Last orders had already been called at the bar by this point, and although people still wanted to party, we all made our way home, some of us a little worse for wear than others (*ahem* Chris *ahem*).

The next morning I was very pleased to find myself without even the slightest trace of a hangover (the same cannot be said for Chris). We spent the day playing with Lydia, my family making sure to make the most of their time with her.

One of my fave photos:
My two favourite ladies!
Monday was also a quiet day, more quality time with the family. In the afternoon we said our goodbyes and flew back to Geneva. On the flight Lydia managed to sleep for quite a while, and was then in a good mood when she woke up.

She was even nice enough to giggle and laugh with Chris, including giving her a big kiss (see photo). Aaaaaaw!

It was a brief trip back to England, but a good one nonetheless. I take many memories back to Switzerland with me, thankful for the thought and effort that everyone had put into making my birthday such a special one, particularly my family who had clearly been planning my children's birthday party for a while.

See you all again in 10 years for the big 4-0!

1 comment:

JOHN said...

Happy belated birthday.Very nice blog.Looking forward to following it.Stop by Life In Johns World when you have time.