Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Twice my life

Not done a blog in a little while, have meant to, but not gotten around to it. Busy I guess. Have a few things to talk about (mainly a couple of updates on Magic decks), and hopefully will find the time to do it soon. 

In the mean time, a fairly big event recently was my Dad's birthday party last weekend. He turned 50, which meant that, with me turning 25, I am now roughly half his age (or his age when I was born). Something to think about as I will become a Dad around my 25th birthday. 

Before leaving Luton to get to Watford for the party, Dad told me that someone who had booked a hotel room had subsequently decided not to come (they were fearful of not being able to travel after as there was snow predicted [1]), so we could have that as it wouldn't be used otherwise. While we had planned to just stay at my Mum's house, the hotel was a little bit closer, and it would be nice and a bit different. 

We got to Watford in our usual way (train to St Albans, walk across St Albans and take the train from the Abbey station to Watford). I don't think there is that much difference in time than the 321 bus from Luton to Watford, but I like the walk in between train journeys (plus we have a chance to pop into shops in St Albans if we like). 

We had a wander around Watford for a bit - I got myself a really nice backpack [2] and then we got some banners for the party, and some wine as a present [3]. 

We met up with my Mum and Chris after Chris finished work and set up the party room (we put up the banners I got, and Mum had brought some balloons). When we got there, it had started to snow slightly - there was a thin layer on the ground, so it was settling. We then checked in at the hotel. I had the great idea at the hotel to turn up the heating as it was very cold outside. We took some time to get ready for the party and eventually went along towards the start of it. Getting there this time there was some more snow on the ground, but we were going inside so it wasn't an issue at the moment. 

The party was fun, got to see some of Dad's friends who I hadn't seen in a while (probably back when I was a kid). I started snacking on the buffet a little early by sneaking away a couple of bread sticks. Chris and Mum had got together some posters with photos of Dad which was nice, and a booklet of photos which we passed around the hall for people to look at and write messages in. Chris was initially sorting this out, but got distracted/drunk so I monitored the booklet to ensure it got around most people by the end of the night [5]. 

I had a delightful moment with Liz during one of the last songs where "New York, New York" was playing and, at the bit where people are usually kicking in a circle, the baby started kicking along too :-)

Me and Chris wrote in the booklet at the end and gave it to Dad while the party was finishing and people were starting to leave. We started to wander to Dads house. At this point, the snow had gotten somewhat deep. I was happy to be wearing trainers not flat shoes so I could grip, Liz was alright even thought she was in open toe sandals (people kept asking if she was OK, her response was "I'm Northern, I'm fine"). Jennii didn't like it that much as it was quite cold. 

At Dad's house, there was random talking around the house (even in the kitchen where the light wasn't working). Mum managed to get us a taxi back to the hotel (not a far walk, but would have struggled in the snow in party wear), and we got back to the hotel fine [6]. Back in our room, I noticed that the heating had reset itself from being nice and hot to warm enough (so I turned it up again). 

The next morning, we managed to get up and round Dad's house where he was preparing a massive fry up (lots of people had come over for breakfast, luckily he had planned ahead and had a lot to go around). 

In all, it was a fun evening, and I am glad that Dad had a good time and liked the photo/note booklet that we got for him. One of the things that struck me when I was looking through the photos in it was how young he looked, even when I was born. It reminded me that I will be going through a similar process myself soon, and hope that I have a memorable and enjoyable time as my childhood was. 

[1] Nice prediction; there was loads
[2] I won't go into detail about it here as Liz reads this blog and she is already fed up of hearing about it...
[3] Dad had said he didn't want anything getting for him, but we picked out some wine just based on their names [4] more than anything
[4] I particularly liked the names with a base of "dino" - it went well with the "Jelly-atric" sweets we also got him to poke some fun at his age
[5] I was impressed by Tony's ability to write a nice message in as he seemed quite drunk by the time I got to him, but to his credit he did spend a lot of time concentrating to do it
[6] Somewhat lucky that we did as, upon arriving, someone at the hotel appeared to be stranded and was asking the taxi driver if they would take them next - they might not have found a taxi rank driving otherwise as Gemma had tried to get one back but couldn't