Frank at 50

Well not sure where to start. What a 50th that was. My official birthday was on the 7th and I actually worked in the morning, doing a family shoot over in Watford at The Grove. I got back home around 2pm, then it was all of the Millar’s and other half’s off to the Six Bells for a few. Wondering back up the town, we just had to pop in to the The Cross Keys for one. If you don’t know The Cross Keys, it’s an old style pub, no music no dartboard, just proper good old beer from kegs. Well, as we had been drinking for a while we were a little noisy and Peter, the LandLord who was upstairs, thought he had a hen party come in, as yes I laugh loud like a girl. After that visit there was only one place to end up, The Star & Garter for a curry. As always very nice, then it was off home for a few nightcaps of Bacardi’s. A great day on its own.

Now fast forward six days and we arrive at Saturday 13th April 2013. This was the real party day that I had been talking about for a year. We were going to have it at The James Figgs out the back, but when I asked them about it, the bar would only stay open until 1am, then you just know the music would of had to stop and that would have been the end of it. So we made the decision to have it at home, then it could finish when the last man or woman was standing !

First job, glasses from Waitrose, then back home to start moving everything to its new position ready for the party. We had always planned at 3pm to head off to Prezzo, so we could all have something to eat. Chris & Nakita were also invited for the meal. Anyway we were nearly all ready just after 2pm with everything sorted apart from the punch, which we were going to make on our return. Carl popped out of the lounge and I thought nothing of it, until he came back in and behind him was my cousins daughter from Canada, Christine. I was in total shock, just could not believe they all kept it a secret. She has been living in Ireland for a while with her boyfriend, Sean. What a nice guy he is and after just a few minutes, it was like we had known him for ages.

Off to Prezzo’s for the meal was next, again all very nice and due to the time of day and the number of us, we sat upstairs all on our own, so had a great chat and laugh, without anyone else around to upset or worry about.

Back home, punch made, final bits sorted, fires lit outside … Then wait for the people to arrive. When I was planning this party I sort of had this vision of it being a lovely day. With sunshine and blue skies, then turning into a loverly spring evening, so based the number of invitations on this. I could not have got that more wrong. Rain showers and wind was the order of the day. We had some gazebos up so at least some could go outside if they wanted to, not that any did !

So the guests start arriving and the amount of drink coming in was obscene, they were bringing what they wanted to drink as well as a bottle for me of either Champaign or Bacardi. Right then I knew it was going to be a great party. Back to the number of people, when we counted up with just two days to go we were at 84 …. Yes 84 ! Now we have a nice four bedroom home, but it’s not THAT big. So with two neighbours also popping in and Christine & Sean, we hit 88. There was still one more surprise for the night, Jan had emailed Anton, my old school mate, who we had kept in touch with until about 10 years ago. He told Jan don’t worry I will be there. So at about 9pm I looked up to this person coming into the dinning room and there he is. Well I was absolutely blown away for the second time today, big bear hugs (all very manly) then chat, chat, chat. Of course he had to drag me outside to see his new baby, an Aston Martin DB9, not bad for a guy who was not the most academic in school !

So now as we peaked in numbers we hit 90 ….. Oh wow that was a lot of people, but everyone was having a great time and all mixing and making new friends. A good friend of mine, Paul brought his camera and it’s thanks to him for these’s great shots.

Music was pumping, drink was flowing, dancing was happening. It really was the best party ever, which finished at around 4:30am.

Thanks to all the people who came, all the presents, to many to mention, but the cake with my picture on it, a personalised Newitt’s pie, a bottle of Bollinger, three great pictures, some personalises glasses, vouchers and more bottles of Bacardi and Champaign than the local off licence !


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