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Birthday Shenanigans

31 May 1950

2015-06-03 16.12.39020d3aac927ab41a2ec38d614effacf22e45b0194485a34eb63729455352505fSo, I’m 65 years old, and decorum is not my middle name. For my 1930’s  themed party I had spectacular nails, rosebud lips, false eyelashes and a pin-up wig. Eat your heart out!

And the fabulous cake which was decorated by my family. A true tribue to 1930’s design and decor.

I had two spectacular black and white table centres: ostrich feathers in a tall Eiffel vase draped with faux pearl and faux crystal beads.  I’d hired them and paid a goodly deposit but I love them so much, they’re not being returned. You might catch a glimpse of me at the top of the table just to the right of the centrepiece bases. I’m wearing the sea green outfit created by my sister. Wonderful woman.


GuestsLovely people turned up. I had very dear friends, Ruth and Cath who had made the trip from the UK with their partners. They combined it with a short holiday. It was a triple celebration because as well as my birthday it was twenty years since my friends and I had made our first aquaintance at John Moores Liverpool University; and twenty years since I was diagnosed and treated for cancer. Not a bad twenty years in all.

ManthaMy wonderful family was with me. They had dressed the room, made the nameplates, set up the buffet, laid out the drinks and so on. My niece, on the left in that magnificent turban, did her party piece. A bastardised version of Noel Coward’s ‘I went to a marvellous party.’ She substituted the names for my party guests. As you will see from the lyrics below.

You can listen to Coward’s version at

5f3d221a6a4047e41d33599a077bff1b057faa8d32108510d6e6eba30d2674b0All through the afternoon and evening, the mellow sounds of swing and jazz played in the background giving a truly authentic feel, almost as if we were in a speakeasy, secreted behind closed doors with a secret stash of booze waiting for Elliot Ness to break down the door.

When dinner was over and we’d all settled back with the murderer now in custody, Christophe entertained us with his mentalist/magic act. Way to go Christophe. Fantastic.

It was a great day for me. One I won’t forget in a hurry. I thank everyone for joining me.

I went to a Marvellous Party

(an altered rendition of Coward’s poem by Mantha)

You know, quite for no reason
I’m here for the season
And high as a kite—
Living in terra
With Maur at Clonsilla
(Which couldn’t be right)…
Everyone’s here, and frightfully gay;
Nobody cares what people say,
Though the Riviera
Seems really much queerer
Than Rome at its height!
8d9cea41d4c8965e108c99076b9a6474301486ffa80af83688eacad18823576eOn Sunday night
I went to a marvellous party
With Lynda, and Susan, and well—
It was in the fresh air,
And we went as we were,
And we stayed as we were,
(Which was hell)
David and Catherine started singing at midnight,
And they didn’t stop singing ’til four—
We knew the excitement was bound to begin
When Annie got blind on Dubonnet and gin
And scratched her veneer with a Cartier pin!
I couldn’t have liked it more!

3b90ccfb8aa78a5712e77a34716ca31358cdff84bf49384fe22ded0f40753576I’ve been to a marvellous party
We played a wonderful game:
Ruth disappeared
And came back in a beard,
And we all had to guess at her name…
Paidric arrived wearing armour,
Some sea shells and a black feather boa—
Poor Dorothy wore a surrealist comb
Made of bits of mosaic from

St. Peter’s in Rome,
But the weight was so great

that she had to go home!

And I couldn’t have liked it more!

MeI’ve been to a marvellous party
I must say the fun was intense;
We all had to do
What the people we knew
Might be doing a hundred years hence…
We talked about growing old gracefully,
And Ray—who is seventy-four—
Said, “A) it’s a
question of being sincere,
And B) If you’re supple you’ve got
nothing to fear”—
Then he swung upside-down from a chandelier!
And I couldn’t have liked it more!

6ddfd7eb6e1f970952731c30268ac23788294b274de02e3324cdb07c34234df4It was the most fabulous excitement
I’ve never seen such a carry-on!
Obviously, it couldn’t happen
Anywhere else but in Oldcastle…
It was most peculiar—
You know, people’s behaviour
Away from Belgravia
Would make you aghast!

So much variety,
Watching society
Scampering past…
You know, if you have any mind at all,
Read Gibbon’s divine,
“Decline And
Well, it sounds pretty flimsy
No more than a whimsy…
By way of contrast,
With Sunday last

19de3cde453c156b13bac03c0d9cb4eaf6b7510eb04ed097de6e94e722240e7fI’ve been to a marvellous party
Marlene made an entrance with Annie
you’d never have guessed
From her fisherman’s vest
That her bust had been whittled away…
Poor Mitzy got fried on Chianti
Ed spoke of esprit de corps;
Cath made a couple of passes at us,
And Christophe—who hates any kind of a fuss—
Did half the Big Apple and
twisted his truss—ha ha!

I couldn’t have liked it more!

And so say I. 

I went to a marvellous party 

and I couldn’t have liked it more.

Thank You

Published inCultural Life

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