Very rarely is there a need for an update between Amélie’s and Éowyn’s birthday, it does happen but there does have to be a good reason. I think this qualifies.
Éowyn’s and Amélie’s birthday occur at a busy time for birthdays of children we know. This is in no small part to the fact that we were on an N.C.T. course and as a consequence friends that we met there had children around the same time. I suppose it is the nature of the beast and as regular readers of this website will recall we often arrange a joint birthday party for the N.C.T. kids. This update is not about that party, that happened two weekends ago and you can read about it here. No this update is very Bagnall-orientated.
When we asked Éowyn and Amélie what they would like for their birthdays, apart from the list that Nanny Fran was presented to purchase in America, the thing that they both wanted was a party. Since we had never really hosted a party for them, we decided that we would grant their wish.
We asked Éowyn and Amélie for a list of friends and we added a few of our own and the list came to more than 40! To arrange the food and drink for 40 three to six year olds and entertain them was something we did not relish. Therefore the decision was made to opt for a professional. A phonecall or two later and Jelly Kelly was booked for 12th October 2014.
We chose the 12th October because it is what is known at IMG as a ‘Dark Weekend’, a weekend without Premier League. Until this season that meant that I got the weekend off, however with the advent of a new contract, in the shape of the UEFA European Qualifiers even that glimmer of normality in the Bagnall household has gone. However, with the first kick offs not until 1700 it meant that Sunday morning was the window of opportunity.
Therefore the date was set, the time was set, the entertainer was booked all we needed now was the venue. This proved more difficult than even securing time off work! The majority of halls in the vicinity are fully booked on Sunday mornings, usually for after mass coffee mornings. How very heathen of us to want a children’s party on a Sunday morning rather than going to church. Nevertheless, after eliminating the closest halls we ended up 3.5 miles down the road at Charlton Village Hall which is managed by the Burge School of Dancing. It seemed that fate had smiled on us. The hall was perfect as a venue, a large space for the kids to run around in and a separate kitchen area for preparing all the food.
We had invited over forty kids but as with all these things not everybody replied and not all that replied in the affirmative turn up. Nevertheless there were 25-30 kids and around a dozen adults. Maddie, Megan and Finley also turned up to help, which was very good of them. Lauren would have come too, but she was on a Duke of Edinburgh course – she was actually very upset that she couldn’t come, there is no doubt she made the right decision.
Jelly Kelly was an enormous hit with the kids (and with some of the adults too). She was worth every penny and kept the kids entertained for the entire party, including during food. For those of you that are unaware of Jelly Kelly, she is dressed somewhat like a clown but performs magic for the kids. She starts the party with a few games that get the kids geed up and loosens any barriers that they may have either not knowing each other or general coyness. You may be forgiven for thinking that this boisterousness would make them all unruly. No fear. It was unbelievable how attentive the kids were, you can see from the photos below that they all sat on the floor listening intently and respectively putting their hands up to ask or answer questions.
I will not ruin Jelly Kelly’s act for those of you reading this, it is safe to say, however that it is a classic mix of pantomime and magic. There are lots of jokes for the kids and more for the the adults that sail way above the kids heads. There is fun and a little danger (so much so that for public liability insurance purposes there has to be a fire extinguisher to hand and the kids have to sit behind a line a set distance from the finale – that has intrigued you now, has it?). Regardless of all that the most important aspect of Jelly Kelly’s show was that above all frivolity the birthday girls were the star(s) of the show.
Éowyn revelled in the attention and soaked up the attention, Amélie not as much but perhaps she was a little overwhelmed by it all. To top it all, the girls had asked for a ‘Frozen’ (the film, not the type) cake. We had looked on line for a ‘Frozen’ cake big enough to satisfy that amount of children and the prices were more than the rest of the party, so Lucinda went ‘old-school’ and bought a plain cake (not enough time to bake one) and decorated it herself. As you can see it did not look too shabby and the way that it was demolished by the kids (and adults) it could not have been that bad!
A number of the kids thanked us for inviting us to the party (very polite – well brought up) and said it was the best day ever. Very nice but I think that they may have been exaggerating a little, but nice to know that they enjoyed themselves.
After cleaning up I had to head into work so I took the remaining party food (mainly sandwiches) for the gannets of MCR. We had made ham, cheese and jam sandwiches and then there were the eponymous sausage rolls, party sausages and crisps. Within an hour of getting into work most of the food had gone and the biggest draw was the jam sandwiches, something most of them had not had since they, themselves, were children.
We would like to say a few thank-yous. Firstly we have to say thank you to everyone for coming and making our girls very happy; we also have to thank you all for your incredible generosity we were overwhelmed with presents that you bought, we were very touched. We have to thank Jelly Kelly for entertaining everyone and last but not least to Nanny Fran, Auntie Liz (who drove down from West Bromwich for the party) and Maddie for helping prepare the party and tidying up afterwards.
I leave you with two questions from Amélie: What is the plural of daddy long legs? And where are the mummy long legs?
Love and Peace