Posted: 07/11/2005 in Me Me Me

The topic of kids birthday parties has been kicking around my head today, and it just brought back so many happy – middle class – childhood memories. My mum must have worked very hard, so I am giving her a cyber hug (she did all the catering, entertaining, decorating and cake baking whilst being a working mum to boot) I don’t ever remember my father being present at either mine or Jonty’s parties when our school chums were present (this was probably one of the reasons why everyone assumed that my parents were divorced).

I think I looked forward to the seemingly endless supply of cocktail sausages as much as the gifts or games. But, there was one game that everyone looked forward to and the tension it caused was equal to junior poker league, Tommy. It might have gone by another name in your house. A tray of sweeties was brought out, and each child took a turn to go outside whilst the others picked a jelly baby or allsort or smartie to be named “Tommy”. When the child returned they could pick up one sweet at a time until they picked Tommy. The we would all screamed “Tommy” at the top of our lungs. Such a simple premise, and who knew picking up penny chews could be so exciting! Even as a young thing my internal monologue was working overtime, deliberating over which was the more likely Tommy. Could it be something enticing like a lemon sherbet or a stealth like humbug that looked innocuous.

For my final birthday at primary school mum let me host a dinner party (though we might have still played pass the parcel and Tommy). We dressed up, and sat around the table to eat proper grown up food and sparkling fruit juice (red and white). If I remember rightly it was roast chicken with all the trimmings and my favourite cake, Black Forrest Gâteaux (nothing beats the combination of chocolate, cream and cherries). My mum is not a natural baker, but a perfectionist. So I remember coming down the morning of the party to find half a dozen or so rejected chocolate sponges on the counter tops. I know that there were probably many occasions when mum was up late because of me, but this one has stuck, so thank you.


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