A birthday surprise – 22nd October 2011
This afternoon we, along with around fifty others, were invited to Judith Hamm’s surprise 21st birthday celebrations which were hosted at Parkside Christian Fellowship.
We arrived just after 3.30pm, well in advance of the planned 4pm curfew by which time all of the guests were supposed to be in situ.
There were a mixture of ages of the guests attending, ranging from under a year to over 80! Some were relations of Judith and Brian and there were also a healthy contingent from those at Parkside.
It transpired that the guest of honour, with her parents and boyfriend Brian, were timed to arrive at around 4.15pm but were delayed due to traffic. Various text messages filtered through to advise of progress made and they finally arrived at around 4.35pm to be greeted by a bevy of well-wishers and a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’.
Fortunately the element of surprise came off well and Judith entered the building completely unaware of the plans that had been put together for her benefit.
This was also the debut outing for my new Canon 5D Mk II. Although it performed well, once I’d mastered the flash settings, it experienced some kind of lens error as Judith arrived meaning that I missed the key moment! I think it’s more to do with my old 24-105mm lens misbehaving than the camera though, fortunately.
Judith’s Dad had appointed himself host of the celebrations and her parents had arranged various games for the afternoon which began with one to identify various countries and buildings displayed in pictures spread around the room.
For the second game, the guests were split into teams and issued with a bag containing various items deemed as ‘rubbish’. Their task was to join the items together to create the longest line of ‘rubbish’ possible.
By this stage, stomachs were beginning to rumble and it was time to stop for some food. An extensive smorgasbord had been prepared in a room at the back of the hall.
A variety of sandwiches, cold meats, rolls, salads and cheese were laid out awaiting consumption.
A second course, more suited to those with a sweet tooth, had also been arranged.
Once the guests’ hunger had been sated, it was time for the birthday cake. This actually consisted of two separate cakes, one lemon and one chocolate. Atop one was a number ‘2’ candle, while the other was decorated with a flaming ‘1’.
Once Judith had successfully extinguished the candles, the cakes were cut and distributed and cups of tea appeared.
It was high time for the third game – Chinese Laundry. This was again played in teams and consisted of items as diverse as ‘thirty-seven pence’, ‘a black shoelace’ and ‘a Sat Nav’.
The fourth game was a little more relaxed. Various advertisements, cut from magazines, were passed around to the teams. Crucially, all mentions of the manufacturer of the item had been removed and it was this information that the teams had to supply.
The final game that we stayed for was a game of Pictionary centred on London Underground names – e.g. Bank, Paddington and Tower Hill.
It had been a fun afternoon but we, like one or two others, decided that it was time to head homewards at around 7.30 to put three tired children to bed.
Happy 21st Birthday Judith!