Monthly Archives: December 2013

Pretty Tough Tea Parties


I love organising parties. In fact I’m pretty sure this is my real calling!

This is probably because I like to go overboard!

It is like performing an unrestricted version of my planning job only with a smaller budget; in most cases!

Year 3 2005

For Inny’s 3rd birthday we hired a small church hall and a clown.The whole nursery attended that’s 36! and parents.  The twins of the ‘Aunty Mafia’, we like to call them, (McDad’s three sisters! A Louis Vuitton wielding set of identical twins and another who is pretty much identical to the other two) had a face painting table and there were 3 long games of pass the parcel. My brother M was in charge of Piñata and drove the kids crazy with his on stage version of ‘there was an old woman who swallowed a fly’ as well as his impromptu fall on his backside. The kids found it very funny while he held back an agonising howl of pain!

I caught this on video and wish I route it out for your enjoyment unfortunately I can’t find it.

Year 5 2007

For the 5th birthday we threw a pirate, monsters and princess themed party and held it at a local hall. My brothers were dressed as Zorro, a ghoul, and Spiderman. La & her lovely boyfriend came as pirates and I was a witch (of course).

One little boy was so enthralled by the 6”3’ Spiderman that he almost threw up with excitement.

We had a bouncy castle and an entertainer called Ziggy.

He brought with him bubble and snow machines and a well of energy that quite frankly was exhausting!! There were all sorts of party games a conga line and a through embarrassment of myself and McDad (particularly the ‘hold hands; go on give her a kiss’ moments)

Year 7 2009

For her 7th birthday we stayed at home and invited just 15 kids. I booked an animal show. By now word had got around school that Inny’s parties were pretty cool so 22 or so kids turned up and all but 3 parents decided to stay for the party!!


2 owls, 1 snake, 2 skunks, 1 pygmy hedgehog, a tarantula, a giant millipede, a lizard kept the whole lot entertained for over 2 hours!



Year 8 2010

I opted for something small and girly. A tea party! How hard could that be? After much negotiation with the celebrant we settle on inviting 8 little ladies (and I made it very clear that tag along siblings/parents were not invited!). McDad was engaged as the butler and SuperGran and Aunty K were asked to come along for momma-moral support.

I started off by buying a length of fabric from Ikea to cover the tables and then I trawled eBay for the cake stands and the unique party ‘bags’.  I found little ceramic cup cake shaped sugar bowls/trinket boxes from Staffordshire Collectibles for £2.40 and bought 10 to fill with Haribo and trinkets.  I popped into Oxfam’s Dalston branch and bought lots of lovely little tea cups and saucers for the hot chocolate and marsh mellows (instead of tea). I simply love that Oxfam it is so well organised and has a huge range; there’s always a treasure to be found in there.

Inny and I had a practice run at making cup cakes the weekend before and they were lovely but come the weekend of the party I was just too busy to make them. I took a trip to our local Tesco and found they had a lovely selection of cupcakes at only £2 for 4!!!!!

The dress code was fascinators, tea dresses and gloves and everyone made a lovely effort to dress the part!

The butler turned up an hour late and the young ladies called for him to be sacked ‘or at the very least not be paid!’ The game of Twister descended in to chaos and there was an unpleasant punching incident between two young ladies.

But over all the four hour party was a great success with lots of laughter and fun. It was so super worth it to see my little miss having so much fun with her friends!

Year 9 2011

For the 9th birthday we headed to Finsbury parks somewhat grotty bowling alley (not that the kids noticed). My good friend Chez of ‘A Strawberry Cupcake’ made the most amazing cake. The girls thoroughly thrashed the adults and I vowed never to play against them again!


Year 10 2012


This was a challenge! Trooping six of them off to the movies and then having them stay over for the first big sleepover. So far it’s only ever been one or possibly two at a time for a sleepover so I planned to just sprinkle some food around the living room throw down some soft stuff and lock them in there until morning.


Year 11 2013

We went bowling again this year but at the fabulous all Star Lanes in the Westfield Stratford shopping mall, London. 10 kids 5 adults.

The first challenge was getting them all dropped off at my house at a good time. The Lane was booked for 11am so it was a 9.30am start. Fortunately all the kids were at my place by 9.45 including Nut and his two boys from far across London. I checked the train services the night before to find that our direct 10 minute journey train was suspended for the weekend, so we made our way via a 40 minute bus ride. The kids occupied themselves chatting and there was a lovely rendition of an unintelligible song form Nuts gorgeous 3 year old.

Once there we swiftly changed into our bowling shoes and moved to our two booked lanes. True to form I lost miserably but remained the hero when I announced that I had in fact booked them in for a meal with dessert too. The All Star Lanes staff were super cheerful and helpful and we all had a really good time.

We returned home to tuck into a lovely cake once again made by ‘A Strawberry Cupcake’ by which time 3pm had passed and parents who had turned up to collect had to either stand around waiting for their child to peel themselves away.


2014 the last year of the tweens!

The last tween birthday. The possibilities are endless.

Wish me luck?


A visit from st Nicholas – Your Favourite poem

Remember this lovely piece


Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old…

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Top 10 Lit Mags to Send Your Very Best Poetry (and get happily rejected)

Check this out poets



The following list represents the varsity squad of the indie-competitive, not affiliated with a university, hipster poetry scene. This top ten balances competitive and COOL, really cool, on its forefinger and makes it spin. If you can get into these, you’ve got your cool poet shades on, “hangin’ round the water fountain, playin’ the fool,” as sung by Randy Newman-esque Vince Guaraldi. Can you hear it? Can you dig it? < that is the sound of finger snapping >

Sixth Finch (0.66 % Duotrope-acceptance rate; 29 avg. days per acceptance) “We take pride in bringing your poems to a wide audience, and your work will become a part of our permanent archives, so please be sure to send us your best.” The poetry is a crisp autumn apple, a late-night walk through misting rain, a swift combat boot to the face. The gamut marches towards you in the opening lines…

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