Tuesday, 12 March 2013

My 40th Birthday Bash Volume 2

My 40th Birthday Bash Volume 2
12 March 2013

And so to continue…

I had about sixty guests at my party.  Sadly, many couldn’t make it, but such is life.  Especially if you arrange a party at such short notice.  And saddened though I was by their absence, I completely understood.  But those that were there, were golden.  Everyone single person meant something to me and I valued their presence at my party.

I was fortunate enough to have my incredible, amazing, wonderful family there – or lots of them in any rate.  Two sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles, even some cousins too.  My twisted sista’s, old friends, new friends - all special friends. 

Many people contributed to my awesome party – they brought food, helped decorate, provided entertainment, encouragement and support along the way.  I love team efforts.  They are so unifying.

Cloetenberg seems to lie in a little bowl and is normally quite sheltered from wind.  Even when Somerset West is pummelled by the heaviest of storms, and neighbours close by lose roofs, Cloetenberg, remains unharmed.  A beacon of tranquillity.  It was then rather disappointing that the wind seemed to howl when we were setting up for the party.  Table cloths were blowing around, and the little glass bottles on the table got knocked over numerous times, even though we filled them with water.  It even appeared noisy with all of the wind.  And then as if by some miracle, calm settled and we were blessed with the most perfect wind still night for the entire party.  It was unreal and just divine.  The weather played along beautifully!

Cloetenberg, shone like the jewel that she is.  The house looked magnificent and truly spectacular as always.  The garden, all lit up, was a feast for the eyes.  Many enjoyed exploring around the house and the garden, and as per usual, the Doll’s Houses were a huge attraction.

Words cannot describe the music.  How blessed to have the most talented musicians playing solely for our entertainment.  Guys who are masters at their craft and enjoy their profession.  Because they are not only professional musicians, they are passionate musicians, with a deep love for music.  They have all known one another for years and have played together often.  Not only on the stage and at concerts, but simply just for fun too.  When it’s just us family hanging out together.  And I felt so incredibly privileged and absolutely overjoyed to share this magic with my friends too.  I felt sorry for those that weren’t there – they missed out.  Because I simply knew, with every fibre of my being that magic would happen.  And it did.

Albert firstly played on his own.  There are no words.  He is a master and a maestro.  Then Robin enchanted us all, with his special blend.  Then Harpdog Frost, which is my brother, Albert Frost on guitar and my stepdad, Rob Nagel, on harmonica, together.  They are incredible.  They are both pro’s at puns and joking around and they are able to carry that chemistry and magic of the two of them together, over to the audience.  They share lots of laughter and have joy and fun when they play together.  Highly entertaining.  They are relaxed, loose, and casual.  They make it all seem effortless and easy.  And then, the ultimate combo – Albert, Robin and Daya together.  I once had the privilege of watching them do a show together at the Saronsberg Theatre in Tulbagh.  It is a gig that will always stand out in my memory.  It was perfection.  And at my party, they somehow were able to duplicate that exact vibe, intensity and mood.  The only word that comes to mind, is sublime.  And even then, I do them no justice.  People were spellbound, the entire night.  In awe of the awesome talent.  And then, just for a bonus spot of fun, two of my cousins, Jacques and Adam, joined on guitar too.  As well as my uncle Jac.  Amazing! 

Now, coming from a big family, I have done my fair share of family parties.  In fact, lots and lots and lots of them.  And it is kind of an unspoken rule, that at some or other point, the younger generation, will attempt to dip into the alcohol.  Especially when they get to a certain age.  The teenage age, usually.  They surreptitiously try and sneak off, have a few swigs, and with a bit of luck, they manage to pull it off.  If they’re out of luck, they end up hurling somewhere, but thankfully, this was not one of those occasions.  I have born witness to this many, many times over the years.  My brother did this.  My sister and her buds, snuck off some champers at my 21st and ended up getting toasted.  I have even seen the same with my younger cousins.  And so, one kind of expects this.  It is not encouraged, and one exercises control, but you simply can’t have eyes in the back of your head.  And perhaps on one level, at my 40th, I expected Luke to perhaps try and pull a fast one on me, but I watched him like a hawk.  The big surprise then, was the fact that the kid that got trashed, was my 8 year old.  Not my 15 year old.  I know.  It was hugely unanticipated.  I had not seen it coming. 

And to give Cole his due, it was all rather innocent.  You see, I made these cocktails and served them in Bashew bottles – so cute.  Lemon syrup, with a tot of tequila for good measure.  But not everyone indulges in alcohol, and thus I had a whole bunch of little Bashew bottles with virgin lemon syrup.  Uncontaminated by alcohol.  Cleverly, I made little tags, to separate the alcoholic from the non-alcoholic cocktails.  And here is where the error came in.  Some of them got switched.  Who can tell why.  And Cole took great delight, in offering people drinks and refills on their cocktails – he was like a little cocktail waiter.  And quite naturally, the kids were allowed to freely have of the non-alcoholic cocktails.  Jeez, it’s home-made lemon syrup after all.  Afterwards he claimed that he drank 8 little bottles, and we will never know exactly how many of those contained alcohol.  By all rights, if all of them did, he’d be dead.  I also never joined the dots.  Cole is a night owl and on a party night, I would have expected him to be jolling until late into the night.  But by 21h00, he was tugging on my clothes, had turned weepy and wanted to sleep.  He also complained of feeling floppy and that his legs weren’t working.  Still, I didn’t twig on.  I made him a little bed in the lounge and he fell asleep (passed out) nearly instantly.  He slept through all the loud music and the revelling until late into the night.  He woke up around midnight again, with the same woeful tale about his floppy legs that weren’t working, and he was still very weepy.  I assumed he was perhaps coming down with something, and made him comfortable once more.  And one more he fell asleep (passed out) nearly instantly.  It was only the following morning, that the penny dropped.  My 8 year old got trashed.  I felt rotten, but at least no harm was done, and he managed to sleep it off.  And if his pleasant demeanour the following morning, was anything to go by, he luckily managed to escape the horror of a hangover.  Phew!

All, in all, the glory and the glow of my party will last for a long time to come.  I felt so blessed.  So special.  So loved.  Thanx to one and all.

And given, all of that, I look forward to celebrating my fortieth next year again. 

Amber and Mikayla - they simply LOVED the photo booth

Pretty much all set up and getting ready

View from the back of the garden - I love the simplicity of just the white and the green

Through the leaves - magnificent

See, no better party venue in the whole world.  Where else can you get this?

My magnificent Mom - Maggie

2nd Daughter and 1st Daughter

They're adorable - too cute!

Katarina has joyful happy news.  Wonder what our Daya will say.

Wilma Flintstone - alive and well

Fear not - I've found Wally

JP and Trish - chatting on the stoep

Ian and Noots, Maryke and JC - chilling

Violette, Belinda, Carlo and Grant - chatting

Gavin and Jackie arrive

The scene of the crime - little Bashew bottle lemon-tequila cocktails at the ready

Perhaps my classification system was to blame.  There was "Alco-Hol" and "Alco-Not".

Guests relaxing, chilling, chatting, mingling

Morne - already laughing

Fabulous friends

Catching up

Ant and Jac

Aaahhh!!!  The tea cups were a gift from my Ouma Cathy.  They belonged to her mom.

Simply love the lanterns dotted around

Best friends since the age of three

Awesome vibe!

Jacques helping to set up

It's tradition - Morne and I always take a pic of the two of us together

Birthday girl

Albert playing already - guests enjoying the music

Many just watching the band

Waiter Cole at the ready - while he was still able to walk...


Moi!  Go figure - put contacts in for the night, and then posed for a whole bunch of photo's with Harry Potter style glasses on.

Awesome lighting!

Jolly table

Robin entertaining us as only he can

I have been the biggest fan, since forever

Doesn't it all just look so lovely?

Maryke and I trying to figure out how the Chinese lanterns work
Speeches - my Mom had us in stitches

Everyone listening intently

I wrote my speech on my cell phone a few hours before the party, while sitting in my car outside Fruit and Veg at the Mall

Allan and Tanya - Allan is seriously into cycling, so I'm thinking he's set his sights on the Iron Man competition next

Amber's other family - she is so at home with them.  And the same goes for Mikayla with us.  She even calls me 2nd Mommy.

This is a naughty bunch right here

As I was saying.  Gavin before he considered going for a Brazilian wax.  Penny's pulling a very sexy off the shoulder move and pouting for extra good effect.

They're a bunch of hooligans - I love it!

Linky, Mandy, Maggie - they are amazing good friends

They've been there for each other through thick and thin

Garth and Thea - love it!

JP and Rinette - they actually drove home, even though they live about 5 houses down the road.  They could've just reversed their car.  We had such a good laugh.  They claimed that their salad bowl was too heavy to carry.

Garth and T again - they are incredible friends

Aaah!  Such a sweet pic!

Gail and her Johnny - he just loved that hat!

Cousins joining the musical fray - Adam and Jacques

They are all so very, very talented

The muso's - a bunch of comedians - Albert at the forefront

We just couldn't pull this one off - more difficult than getting three kids to look at the camera and smile at the same time

I'm thinking of acquiring my Grantie a wig of his very own.  Though a blonde one would work better for me.

Aaaahhh!  My heart's delight.  My much beloved Oupa Willem and Ouma Helene.

The most loving and amazing grandparents in the whole world

Just the girls - this took quite a bit of coordinating

Who can tell exactly why V is in the tree?  Looks fabulous though.

I love all these chicks - they rock my world

Oi vey - and then for the boys

Violette and Belinda - simply gorgeous!

It didn't take very long for the assembled crowd of men, to start chanting songs to the assembled crowd of women taking photos and watching them.  A rather stirring little song, called, "Show us your tits".  What can I say?  They're savages.

They're a bunch of loonies together

Two big Robin fans - V and Belinda

Reminiscing around the chocolate fountain - what a party it was

Family men chatting

Finally sitting down and remembering it all - discussing our best bits and how awesome it was

Jac and Albert helping me to release Chinese Lanterns into the night sky - so very, very beautiful

Breath taking

Off, off and away she goes (I sent my wish to Katrine, all the way in England - wonder if it's reached her yet?)

The morning after the night before - recuperating in the dappled sunlight on the stoep

Getting everything ready to be cleared away

The stoep - pretty much cleaned up

View from the stoep, right through the front door

Cole swinging in the big tree

View from the front door, right through the house, to the garden at the back

My much loved, Monica - my saviour.  She simply never stopped washing dishes and cleaning up.  I would not have coped without her.

Restoring all to normality

Oupa and Ouma enjoying their morning papers - a tradition

Albert still indulging in the sillies - using photo booth props to read his magazine

Grant and Ouma taking a load off

I simply adore my brother.  And luckily for me, the feeling is entirely mutual.  How lucky are we.



  1. That looked like an awesome party! You're very lucky to have so many people that love and care for you! Happy birthday, indeed! xxx

  2. Wow Helene, amasing and delightful. Hoe geseend is ons familie. Xx Charmaine

  3. What a party! You have fantastic friends - and family too!!!! I agree with Charmaine!
    The photo booth was an awesome idea, and now you have all the pics - it seemed to inspire people one sometimes struggles to get into pics!
    The music was really special too - how lucky are we.