He said it was the best Birthday Party ever - hubby that is.
There were eight adults and eight children, ranging in ages from 2 months to 13 years of age. Adults at the table, little ones with plates on their laps, except for eight year old Ethan who had a special little table all for himself with the adults, because he likes to share the conversation.
I can only claim responsibility for the preparations. Got up early and made huge cauldron of soup and marinated eight steaks and eight fillets of salmon, ready to pop the 'surf and turf' in the oven as soon as guests arrived. Never sure if families can manage to actually arrive close to time set, and didn't want the worry of deciding when to start the cooking. Put plates in the trolley for heating.
Daughter and partner did the rest of the honours and supplied huge Malteser Cheese-cake for dessert. Put night-light candles all around it and Granddad dutifully blew them out. Gs & T all round while we waited, and a couple of bottles of Wolf Blass while we eat, finishing up with Irish Coffees. Son number four and wife called while we were setting up and left their 12 year old son to join his cousins (company for the 11 year old lad who was getting a bit swamped with little girls). Two friends of son number three (local lad, girl from Aix in Provence) joined us while we sat round the table recovering from the elegant repast.
All but one had left by 9.30 - he stayed another half hour debating the state of the nation before moving on to another party. I was whacked by then and only fit for bed, but the Birthday Boy manfully put in the couple of mandatory hours in front of the TV before succumbing to the arms of Morpheus.
Best gift this year (bought for me by me) was Jennifer Johnston's 'Foolish Mortals', Unusual story, delightfully told, read it in two days then nearly wept because it was over. Reminder to me: Don't be a greedy reader! Take your time and make the joy last longer. I've been promising to do that for more years than I care to remember........