18th Birthday Party

Well, it seems like yesterday that I was awaiting in great anticipation the arrival of our first born, a strapping son, born to very proud but very naive parents!!! The first of three! But, suddenly here we are frantically preparing for his 18th Birthday Party, whilst he is away at University oblivious to all the goings on! Even the dogs have noticed the frantic activity of furniture rearranging, party lights, tressle tables, table cloths, flowers, champagne, balloons etc etc.



What keeps running through my mind as we countdown to the big PARTY this weekend is the old adage ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. So preparing is what we are doing, maybe badly but we are giving it a shot!!

Being organised well in advance is the key. We have chosen to go with caterers which takes a huge chunk of the workload, but then there is still the big issue of drink, alcoholic and soft, not to mention the cake. In the end went for a photo cake as the cake lady was fully booked due to Christmas orders……….. actually good fun, but don’t forget the candles!!

Choosing a theme was a good idea, or so we hope. Our son is farming mad so we went with the theme of Country Shoot which hopefully means we will see an array of hilarious outfits. It is also an excuse to crack open the Sloe Gin as guests trickle over the threshold and to stimulate conversation between the young and old gathered . Other entertainment includes the magician, and the projector show running throughout the night of the said prodigal, from birth to 18, guaranteed to provide a huge dollop of tears and hilarity from family and guests alike!

Flowers were the next big thing and the theme has really helped there, pigeon decoys being the centrepiece for each table, adorned beautifully with berries and flowers – should be a conversation starter!

Then of course, the menu is carefully planned, game and beef casseroles with earthy root veg and Dauphinoise potatoes, favourite puddings of profiteroles, lemon mousse and crumble, finished off with cheese, chocolates, coffee and the speeches!  The perfect meal for a winters night.  Don’t forget the vegetarian and the coeliac!

I hope all this care and effort pays off, for celebrating 18 years of your childs life is a true privilege. What better way than to share it with Grandparents, Godparents, family and friends, and despite the chaos,  I know how lucky we are.   Pray the party goes off with a BANG and proves a robust rehearsal for the 21st ahead!

Bonfire Night!


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Remember Remember the 5th of November …………
So we are here again at Bonfire Night! Such a Great British Tradition, bonfire, bangers, fireworks and BONFIRE TOFFEE, all wrapped up with family and friends. Its the simple things that count and that make memories and traditions that are passed down through the generations! Why not get the kids involved and follow this simple and timeless recipe below. Something tasty to savour whilst watching the sky light up with fireworks!!


1lb Demerara Sugar
1/3 pint water
21/4 oz butter
2 level tablespoons golden syrup
1 teaspoon vinegar


– Put all the ingredients into a strong saucepan and stir over a steady heat until the sugar has dissolved.

– Bring to the boil and cook slowly.

-To test for consistency stage drop about half a teaspoon of the mixture into a saucer of cold water. When its sets hard it is done.

– Pour into buttered tin and allow to set as a slab.

– Shatter into pieces when set

– Serve in grease proof paper.