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Days of Splendour

This has been larians National Birthday Month; his actual birthday was in March, and because it's the big 40, major celebrations were called for. My big plan was to ship him off to some scuba paradise, but the birthday boy wanted to find old friends on the green rather than new adventures on the sea, and that's fair enough; we have worlds and time. All we really needed was a reliable summer, not a thing you can bet on in Blighty. Outdoor parties in Britain always suffer from high drop out potential because the weather is so unpredictable, and this weekend was no exception. We arrived on the Friday having received various messages of the "Have you checked the forecast?" variety, as monsoons hit the country; inches of rain around Birmingham, grim in the north, wet in the south, flights from Gatwick delayed... all the makings of a total washout. I tried to keep my panic under control.

Some excellent chums were there early, under a sunset red enough to promise a good day. We sat around the firepit talking nonsense, occasionally spotting flashes on the horizon. By this point we had convinced ourselves that it was light from a nearby railway, until it appeared in a 180 degree arc behind the trees, accompanied by an unambiguous peal of thunder and sudden deluge. The result was a retreat to ephraim's tent with welcome beers and sweets. The showers petered out, we braved the firepit again and stayed there until morning, talking rubbish under a drunken lemony moon.

Mighty was my fretting that night. I was woken by the rain pattering on our tent at 5 am; it wasn't fast determined racing rain, oh no, it was fat percussion rain taking its time,and I feared it would last all day. I was wrong. The sun burned the clouds away early, and the day turned into that most cherished phenomenon of the British summer; a glorious blue-sky baking day where all one can do is drink Pimms and champagne, eat cake and strawberries and ice-creams, and enjoy doing nothing in great company.

It wasn't all idleness. There was archery and a lot of basic scampering around. On a day too hot even for cricket, one friend provided us with the ancient game of Kubb, basically a kind of team based lawn chess based on throwing sticks - or, as claimed by Viking legends of its origin, throwing skulls and femurs. I had this game explained to me three times no less, and I still don't get it. My obtuseness was singular: Kubb kept much of the camp engrossed for hours. Later there was a mighty game of killing zombies which ended up with all the Dads being turned en masse into lumbering monsters, defeated by their children who then resurrected them in order to destroy them again. Bit unsporting on the poor old undead, I thought, but then hey, that's what comes of eating brains.

Then the night came, and many more were round the firepit talking and drinking, toasting marshmallows and failing to make popcorn. There was a lot of laughter, a lot of music, and by god, a lot of booze. The nearest we had to drama turned up the next morning, when a distinctive orange tabby/bengal cat turned up with a nasty wound on his leg. He had been around before but in daytime his markings, his hunger and his wound were very clear. A couple of chums took him to the nearby Queen Mother Hospital for Small Animals where he was identified by his chip, his wound was cleaned and stitched, and his owners were contacted, so happy endings all round.

Driving back to London, straight into rain and thunder. It was as though we had spent about 48 hours in a bubble of sunlight, while tempest raged all around somewhere outside of our world.A perfect weekend? I won't invoke hubris. Suffice it to say the birthday boy was extremely happy, and everyone had an excellent time. To me, that's perfick.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
cat_that_walks
Jul. 21st, 2014 04:39 pm (UTC)
Good.
smokingboot
Jul. 21st, 2014 04:41 pm (UTC)
The way it should be. You were missed :-)
cat_that_walks
Jul. 22nd, 2014 06:11 pm (UTC)
*g* get your sights fixed :P
nyarbaggytep
Jul. 21st, 2014 09:11 pm (UTC)
Was very sorry not to be able to come, glad to hear it went well.
smokingboot
Jul. 22nd, 2014 12:34 am (UTC)
It would have been lovely to see you but there will be other times! Hope all is going well with you XX

Edited at 2014-07-22 12:35 am (UTC)
nyarbaggytep
Jul. 22nd, 2014 07:14 pm (UTC)
Yus. Things are good. :)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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