the celebrations loomed, the extended Blakey clan started
to gather. Or perhaps it would be more appropriate to
call it the clan formerly known as Blakey as no-one
still of that name was actually present!
clan starts to gather
and Alan had kindly volunteered to make lunch, Wirral
Asparagus- a real Spargl Fest. These spargls
were much tastier than the Bavarian variety, it must
be said. Perhaps it was because they were green and
not blanched white. They did have the unfortunate side
and I set off early for the Hawkshead Brewery in Staveley.
The balloons had arrived. It is trickier
than you might think to sort out 60 helium filled balloons
into sets of three colours without too many escaping
to the ceiling.
first panic of the day then collided with the second
panic of the day. A minibus had been ordered to
bring the clan to the Brewery and I had tried several
times through the day to contact the driver to give
him last minute instructions. A final attempt
from the Brewery was thwarted by the fact that there
is no O2 signal there! I need not have worried.
I couldn’t have contacted him even if there had
been a signal. It turned out that the Blue Star
minibus driver had quite forgotten about the booking
and had gone off to London to the Chelsea Flower Show.
Fortunately, an hour before the due time he remembered
and contacted another firm that was able to fulfil the
evening was warm and sunny but there was a very strong
easterly wind blowing. Not the sort of breeze
in which the ladies would be happy to stand around. However the configuration of the Brewery meant
that it was surprisingly sheltered around the entrance,
which enabled us to have the welcome drinks outside.
whom we had wanted to come as a guest, had stepped into
the breach after a number of failures to book a caterer.
She and her staff did their usual superb job.
The food was so tasty that folk kept going back
for seconds thereby putting the rather delicate time
schedule under extreme pressure. Panic number
the cake presentation and Margaret’s thank yous, the
band started and quickly got almost everyone onto the
floor for the ceilidh. I hesitate to use the word
“dance”. To my mind, a ceilidh is not exactly
It is more like people doing silly things to music. Great
is rumoured that one lady, who shall remain
nameless, enjoyed it so much she literally
wet herself laughing!
fear of flying took on a new meaning. One
of the dances involved two couples in a
group hug rotating so quickly that the ladies
had noticed Diane horizontal in mid air
and sadly declined to do likewise!
S had a typically humorous interpretation
of events, terming the dance the Knicker
on the cartoon and more will be revealed!
Knicker Removal Centrifuge
Edge, was superb. The musicians
fully lived up to their reputation as the
Storming Northern Roots Band. They
pitched the mix of music right for the audience
and the excellent calling made it possible
for everyone to join in. Moreover,
they retrieved the slipped schedule by playing
for two and a half hours non-stop, without
came all too quickly and time to depart.
The brewery had proved an excellent
venue for this type of party and the staff
had been very helpful. It had been a great
had thoroughly enjoyed having so many friends and relations
to her party and was more or less danced out!
programme for the Monday was for a Cousins Walk. These
are held infrequently at various locations and on the
two previous occasions we have had it in Kendal, it
poured down. We had half expected a similar outcome
this time but the forecast cheered up and it was actually
a nice if somewhat windy day.
for the off
core route was a trip around Helm but several took advantage
of the various options to shorten the distance. Then
it was back home to a late lunch, which was an Alanfest- of the eight male adults present, five were called
Alan- what are the chances of that? Shades of Many
the afternoon drew on, the numbers remaining dwindled,
eventually leaving the two oldies home alone.
my card to her, I had wished Margaret that she enjoy
her special birthday as much as I had enjoyed mine.
I believe she did.
27th May 2008
Our thanks to Alans C and S for their photographs and
apologies to those whose presence was not recorded