Monday, 11 March 2013

My 40th Birthday Bash Volume 1

My 40th Birthday Bash Volume 1
11 March 2013

I went to the most amazing party a few weeks ago.  It was simply fabulous in every single way.  An added bonus was the marvellous good fortune that it happened to be mine.

My 40th Birthday, has been a birthday that has just kept on giving.  It has stretched on seemingly forever.  And even though I turned “the big four oh” on the 10th of January already, I only had my party on the 22nd of February.

Because here’s the thing.  Birthday parties are expensive.  Shockingly so and thus I kept on putting the party off.  There are other far more needy expenses than a spot of frivolous fun.  And even though I knew exactly what I wanted and had sort of planned the party in my head, I never quite got to the arranging part.

My Grantie though was insistent that we should have one.  My kids, my mom, the rest of the family and close friends too.  You don’t just let a 40th birthday, sail on by, without a bit of celebrating.  I mean I had so many resources at my disposal, this surely was very do-able indeed.

Only one place would perfectly suffice as the party venue.  In fact, I can’t imagine having a party anywhere else.  My grandparents’ home, Cloetenberg.  And they love nothing more than their home being used and for a party to boot.  I was born from Cloetenberg.  My mom got married there twice (the family celebrated her second wedding there – without the bride and groom in attendance, though we did have a family picnic to celebrate it again – this time with them in attendance too).  My sister got married there, aunts and uncles, Grant and I too.  My kids have their birthday parties there.  We have Christenings, Christmas concerts, New Year’s Day celebrations, and random picnics in the garden there too.  My Dad’s memorial celebration was held there and when I was in Grade 7 at Beaumont, we even had our class farewell there as well.

Furthermore, my family is abundantly rich with talented musicians.  In fact, you virtually fall over them (and their instruments) at every turn.

And therefore I had already covered two huge stumbling blocks.  Awesome venue – tick.  Incredible musicians providing live entertainment – tick.  The food didn’t pose much of a problem either, as my grandparents’ domestic worker (it feels like sacrilege calling her that – she’s a second mother to us all), our beloved Myta, who has been a part of the family for 57 years, offered to make Lasagne.  And let me just tell you.  She may cook Lasagne.  I have never, in all my forty years, tasted nicer Lasagne.  And if my guests are to be believed, nor did they.

And then within the space of one short week, the party of the century was arranged.  Just like that.  With a minimum of fuss and not lots of faffing.  My talented friend, Gill, designed the invites to my specifications.  I wanted deep red and lime green with some twirly whirly patterns thrown in for good measure.  And Gill is an absolute whizz and a very clever gal too.  I loved my invites!

I had my heart set on two very important details.  Well, they were important to me.  I think it’s the little things that end up making the big difference.  Firstly, I wanted my guests to have a welcoming drink when they arrived.  But the old sherry option is just so terribly dull.  It’s been done and done and done some more.  And thus I had a little brainwave.  After employing a bit of investigative skills and making a few phone calls, I managed to get a few trays of little glass Bashew bottles.  You remember Bashew bottles right?  They’re practically part of our heritage.  I hauled out my great granny, Ouma Maggie’s awesome lemon syrup recipe and whipped up a batch of home-made lemon syrup.  There is no better cooldrink in all of the world.  Quite conveniently, I had a bottle of tequila in the cupboard.  I simply got stripey straws and candy striped cord to match.  And it was a hardly a big leap to get from there to lemon-Tequila cocktails.  I just love it when a plan comes together.

Second detail, that I really, really, really wanted, was a photo booth.  I simply love photos.  I love taking them, looking at them, admiring them, playing with them etc.  Of all of my family and friends, I am always the one recording every single event through photos.  My camera is a little mik-en-druk that I’ve had for nearly six years and it lives in my handbag.  Always ready to be hauled out to capture a memory.  I can claim, without a shadow of a doubt, that my little camera works harder than those belonging to most professional photographers.  I am not a very talented photographer, by any stretch of the imagination and I am a strong example and indeed believer of quantity over quality.  I take millions.  But the law of averages are in my favour.  If you take loads, chances are you’ll have at least a few good ones in the mix.  I also thought that if we had a photo booth, with a few select props, it would really create a vibe and atmosphere.  People would have fun with it and it would help to set the tone for a fun and funny evening.  It would literally help people to let their hair down and laugh a bit.  And boy it worked.  What a huge rip-roaring success it was.  Once again, Gill came to the rescue.  I simply asked her for a few vinyl stickers of moustaches, lips, glasses, etc.  From there, I just stuck them onto cardboard, cut them out and added sosatie sticks for handles.  Nothing could be easier.  My mom brought a few old banged up picture frames along as per request, as they really look awesome and provide gorgeous, well frames, for pics.  And Albert tossed some wigs and hats in a bag that had just recently been used for a photo shoot.  All stuff from my mom’s dress-up room at Muisnes.  Two things, I can’t explain.  Number one – the Iron Man mask.  No idea how that one snuck in.  Or who it belongs to.  And number two – the multi-coloured wig.  That one is actually Cole’s and I think he is responsible for that one.  In fact the photo booth was such a success, that there was even a queue of people lining up for it, most of the evening.  Absolutely everyone indulged and had a go.  Even quiet and shy people, took a turn and had fun whilst doing it, if the photos are to be believed.  I need to pay special tribute to my friend Maryke, who conveniently got a new snazzy camera for her 40th in November.  And she absolutely loved the photo booth too.  She has lots of energy and stood at the photo booth for most of the evening snapping away.  She hyped people up and got them laughing and indulging in a spot of silliness.  Always good for the soul.  Furthermore, the little stone stool, surrounded by logs, under the crab apple tree in the garden, provided the perfect back drop and foil for the photos.  A natural frame if you like.

The garden looked magical.  Simple round tables with white tablecloths.  Dotted with little bottles of all shapes and sizes, filled with sprigs of greenery from the garden.  Tea light candles all over.  Fairy lights, lanterns, bunting.  Love, laughter, music, even a bit of dancing.  Fun, happiness, enjoyment.  Awesome food.  Incredible entertainment.  An electric vibe and palpable excitement in the air.  People were relaxed and enjoyed themselves to the full.

In fact, the story of my party is so good, that I thought it was best shared over two blogs.  Furthermore, I have over 700 pics to choose from, so best I spread the load.  And the ones included here, were taken by Maryke.

My 40th Birthday Bash Volume 2 will reveal the musical highlights, the curious incident of the inebriated child, as well as some more awesome pics.  So watch this space.

A friendly warning – if you don’t like other people’s pic, best you skip this bit.  For the rest of you, enjoy.  It’s friggin awesome!!!  Woohooo! 

Oupa and Ouma's garden looking most beautiful - brown paper bags, filled with sand and a long candle, dotted around the garden for ambience and a bit of extra light

Breath taking - even the sundial got a spot of light

The much used photo booth ready for occupation - we had wigs, hats, picture frames, as well as an assortment of lips, moustaches, glasses, etc.  What a hit!

I just wanted simple and therefore the table centres were old Bashew and glass Coke bottles, Purity jars filled with candles, tea cups and sprigs of greenery from the garden

I just loved it!

And so the silliness began - JC had the first go.  Sporting a bowler hat and a pair of goggly specs.

Drinks on the stoep with Gail and Rinette
My Grantie and I - we only realised way after midnight that he still had his shades on his head.  Shame man.  He uses it to keep his hair out of his face.
My most beautiful, handsome, gorgeous little Cole Cuddlebug
Ouma's antique candelabras just looked so lovely
Bunting, rose fairy lights, and the digital picture frame
Guests mingling on the stoep - the band area all set up
I love this natural light.  Everyone indulging in some potent Lemon Syrup and Tequila cocktails. 


The garden all lit up - hazy and slightly out of focus, but how truly beautiful
Let the music begin - my favourite brother (okay, so technically he's my only brother, but still), the one and only Albert Frost.  He was sublime as always and I was just so very, very proud of him and felt so priviledged to have him playing.
Albert doing his thing - he was awesome as always

Amber and her best friend in the entire world, Mikayla - they had such a blast in the photo booth

The birthday girl

Maryke is my oldest (well, she IS a month and 10 days older than me) and bestest friend since school days - friends from when I was just 13

Trying to look semi-serious.  We simply couldn't pull it off.  We giggled like anything!
Maryke looking ever so glam

Gillie, Maryke, Moi

My Gillie and I having a good laugh - we normally do when we're together

My beautiful Gillie

Gill and Pete - simply love, love, love this pic!  Awesome friends.

Fabulous piccie

Me with my two youngest sproglets - Amber and Cole

The lovely Morne - it didn't take long for things to go south

Morne, me and the fabulous Mrs Bufe

Hiding in the back, is Marcel (Mr Bufe), sporting a very dashing wig

It was all very funny!

I love our mo's

Karen and I - such an aweome pic

Maryke and I - love it!

Me and my sister, Katjie a.k.a. Katarina.  I know - go figure.  Two sisters and the one is Katrine and the other is Katarina.  For easy reference, the eldest one, Katrine, is simply called Foef.  She had some or other feeble excuse as to why she couldn't come to the party.  Something about tickets from London being too expensive, blah, blah, blah.  Instead she sent her lovely husband to represent her.  And though miffed with her absence, I accepted her offer of her husband instead.

Ansie and I

I just loved the lantern look in the garden

Ansie, JC and I

Such a lovely smiley happy pic

Me with Ansie and Karyn - can't even remember why Ansie is laughing so much

Three chicks

Ian - one of Grant's oldest friends from school

Ian's lovely wife Noots

Ian and Noots - such a happy couple


Friends hanging out together

The old fogeys on the stoep enjoying the music and the vibe - double set of grandparents.  How lucky am I?

Jan and Katarina enjoying the ever changing photo's on the digital photo frame

Getting ready to serve the main meal - the most delish lasagne you have ever eaten, garlic breads and salads galore
Me and my Marmie - she is my bestie


Me and my Ouma Cathy - my Dad's Mom.  Looking absolutely awesome for an 87 year old.

Extreme close-up.  I simply ADORE my Mom!  Best chick on the planet!

Guests chatting

Foefie's old Sokkie, a.k.a. Robin Auld, my brother-in-law played us some friggin awesome tunes!  He's da bomb!

Amber and her umbilically bound twin - they're like peas in a pod

This one was taken especially for Fishbook - the nautical aquatic equivalent of Facebook

Getting the champagne ready for the speeches and toasts

Henry - an old friend, our neighbour and Grant's long suffering lecturer from when he was still in College.  He knows my family from way back in the day.

Trishie and I - when I was just 11 years old I was her flowergal and we have a very special bond.  She also happens to be the mother of two of my awesome cousins.  I love her much!

Albert pouring some champers

Thea and John warming up the dance floor - John has lubricated hips

I can never figure out what is more fun.  Watching John and his lubricated hips dancing (he has some awesome moves), or watching his wife, Gail cringing when he does his moves.

Henry and Carol

Robin and Albert did the most amazing set

They are both extremely talented, and somehow just gel together magically

Al, stepping it up a notch

He brought but a measly five guitars along for my birthday party

Sorry, six.  Or is actually the usual eight?

My Grantie and I

Some impressive looking pedals

Aaahhh.  I love my man.

What a treat!

Guests in awe and spellbound

They are absolutely awesome together and I think part of their magic comes from familiarity with each other's music, a deep friendship and the family bond too - they genuinely like each other and respect one another as musicians

Our resident photographer - Grant having a rare chance to play with my camera

Speeches - my Mom's speech was brilliant and she made us laugh lots

She spoke so beautifully - can hardly believe all the nice things she said were about me

Sadly, I also got a turn

Henry having fun!

Carol unleashing her inner rebel

Everyone simply loved the photo booth - it was busy the entire night with people queueing at times

Such a cute pic!

My uncle Dan and his lovely Jan - she is extremely camera shy, so these pics are an awesome stroke of good luck

Ant - poor Ant lost a tooth just before they arrived at the party, much to his wife Mandy's dismay.  He was cautioned to not open his mouth the whole night.  Predictably it didn't last long.

I love this one!

Mandy attemping the hide the "horror" of the toothless Ant

Ant is such an awesome guy.  The most talented horticulturist with a deep love of nature and animals.

Mandy is like my second Mom.  She is my Mom's oldest friend.

Mandy and Linky - we have all had awesome adventures together

Trish and her Adam being silly - love it!

Attempting a slightly more normal look

My cousin Christiaan - he worked like a trojan to help get things ready for the party.  What a guy!

JP and Big Jim - who knows exactly what they were up to

They look like they're up to no good - what a surprise - NOT!

Cousins - Christiaan and Adam - pretending to be erudite and ever so French

These are awesome!

Dan with Christiaan

Dan with Jacques

Dan and Christiaan again

My cousin Jacques and his gorgeous, lovely, amazing wife, Candy - we welcomed her to the Lombard Clan last year in February

Jacques and Candice

Brothers - Jacques and Christiaan

Albert and Rob (my stepdad, Daya) - a.k.a. Hardog Frost - they were INCREDIBLE!!!

Brothers - so sweet

Albert and Daya are very funny together.  They have amazing chemistry on stage and joke and laugh the whole time.  Most entertaining.

Arrgh me hearties - this could well have been their pirate song.  It is fabulous!

Then there's the little French number they did too - lots of laughing and puns thrown in for good measure

Enjoying the music - simply astounding talent

Laughing at their antics - awesome double chin pic (not)

Trish and I having a cuddle

Pulling out the big guns - Albert, Robin and Rob on stage together.  Or as I like to call them, "My bra, my bra and my pa"

They were cooking!

An absolutely electric set!

Allan and Tanya - Amber's other parents

They loved the photo booth

Too funny!

Amber with her Forrester family

Ouma Cathy and Oom Pietie

They are just sooo cute together

I love all the smiles

Ouma Cathy and I


I love her lots!

These pics are so special to me

Carlo and his little mini-harlem.  I dig the wig.

Belinda and Carlo - love it!

The photo frame pics are my best - so awesome!

Violette and Jayne - V rocked the granny wig

This is very funny!  Not entirely sure what they're up to here.  But knowing V, it's funny.

You've been framed!


Just look how gorgeous!  View from the back of the garden.

Oi vey!  And then it really got silly.  My Gavin - I adore him.  He is simply too funny!


Linky and Mandy

Gavin and the lovely Mama-Jack

Gav and Jackie having fun

And then Paul entered the fray and it got even sillier

They're a bunch of hooligans!

Jackie is killing herself laughing!  And who can blame her?

Gav took the whole granny wig to a new level and Penny looked awesome in her wig too

Iron Man and Jackie are framed.  Gav has a rather bushy beard and Penny is pulling a sexy off the shoulder look.

Gail and her John - such good, good friends

The sillies!

Maryke and her JC

JC going all rockstar on us

Love it!

Jayne and I

I love this pic!

Yes indeed.  Even Luke was there.  Though he did spend a sizeable portion of the evening hiding from the camera.

Gorgeous, handsome boy!

JC just loved the whole Iron Man mask way too much.

Mingling around the chocolate fountain

And then Daya got hold of the Iron Man mask.  He even did the moves.  I simply have no words...

JC and Albert having a moment - this laughing pic is so awesome!

Attempting to get the muso's together for a pic

Hamming it up

May I present to you - My Bra, My Bra en My Pa

Daya's beard is rather impressive

Daya with a little mo looked rather funny!

Hey!!!  Grant's got hair!!!

Having fun!

What an amazing talented family - three awesome musicians, all related


Daya framed us!

The end!


  1. What a jol! Could be nothing less with such perfect ingredients! So very very sorry to miss it!

  2. Ok. Have gone through them all - where is the one where I look ten years younger and 20 kg's younger? Did the airbrush not work???

  3. Hey! Had such an awesome time that night! Thanks for posting lots of photos, you are a legend!
    I rate you should have another 40th next year, same place, same time, same people!

  4. Hi-Not sure if this post will reach you ,but for so long i have been looking for Thea Day and i saw her in your pics-we were collage friends and i cant find her on fb-can you please be so kind to give Thea my e mail