a success...a great success even.
The magician did magical things - and everyone laughed. Much party food was eaten by almost everyone.
The cake, decorated by our friend Polly, was a work of art. It was pale cream and there were two "books' on top. One was "The Compleat Gardener" and the other was "DIY". The first had flowers and vegetables on it. The second had carpentry tools of all descriptions. It was much admired by everyone.
The speeches were short. The great-grandchildren behaved perfectly. (Two of them are of an age where they slept for most of it.) The Senior Cat insisted that they were the really important people there so they had presents given to them. He had made two little wooden walkers and I put teddy bears in them for the youngest two who will soon be walking. The older two are getting sets of modified "Lincoln Logs" so that they can build houses and sheep pens - just the way we did when we were young. As there were too many pieces for safety in a crowd I compiled "busy bags" of a blank book, pencils and some activity cards for the day. They were soon "busy" - mostly loading everything into the laundry trolley and "going shopping" on the back lawn!
We had name tags for everyone and, underneath we had written something like "cousin" or "friend" and, in the case of one of the Senior Cat's oldest friends "ancient friend" - because they rib one another about this sort of thing all the time. That worked well because it told people about each other's relationship to the Senior Cat.
Old friends discovered one another - "we haven't seen you for forty years!" Unexpected connections were made - "yes, I taught her music!".
My brother had compiled a "book" for my father. We all wrote short pieces and he put it together with photographs. It is the sort of thing my brother enjoys doing - although how he found the time is nothing short of extraordinary.Many more photographs were taken.
And the Senior Cat's smile grew bigger...and bigger.
The little ones will be back again today for a while. I have, as far as possible, child-proofed the house for their safety. The Senior Cat is already purring at the prospect of seeing some more of them.
They will be going back to their home halfway across Australia tomorrow so we are making the most of it.
It was worth all the work, definitely worth all the work just to hear the Senior Cat purr so much!