I want to write so much about the preparation for our party accompanied by the days of anxiety and fear, to describe the actual day with the rain falling out of the sky threatening to mar our day and the amount of food prepared, and to record everything we have now learned about how to organise and how not to organise a party in France for over 60 people including children.
I want to tell you about my presents, but more importantly about the people who gave these presents. I want to tell you about being such a lucky girl, hearing comments about myself and wondering, "Is that really me?"
I want to tell you about the man I love and how he and his friends and our friends helped us to create a birthday success out of our planning which had gone awry because of our lack of experience and practice. You see the French know team work. They have learned it since childhood. They know exactly what to do because it is THEIR culture.
I have only ever given three big parties. One was to about 20 people when I was 30 and I prepared raw foods! The second was when I was 50 and I chartered 'The Girl Sybil' in Southwold for my immediate family whereupon once out of the harbour I became comatose with seasickness! Marcus a great seafarer and RNLI member had never ever seen anyone quite so ill. On terra firma I took a taxi alone along the coastal route whilst they sailed home! I was so excited to see the joy I had given others sailing into the harbour. They surprised me with Champagne lunch and birthday cake! I know that I LOVE the sea but I learned that I prefer to walk alongside the place where water and earth meet! I can dream of sailing across the waters to be free but my crab sign likes me to scuttle at it's edge. Three years ago we entertained THE GROUP enjoying our first long table of French dining with 12 people dans notre jardin. Fish hung from the trees and salmon was grilled on the barbecue. Carole and Edna played their accordions. It was magic.
Now this ...... I will start to write and capture the event with words and photos but you may have to wait a while for it all to come together as a story, an event never to be experienced ever again. I have come of age and am proud to receive my pension when the UK government concede to send it to me. I had to complete a dossier in order to claim it!!!