My Favourite Window

March 16, 2014

Birthday Treat

It's been a while. I've spent no time at all in the blogosphere over the past five weeks. Something to do with uncertainty: the replacement of NZ's Widow's Benefit with the Job-Seekers Benefit, meaning my plans to move towards financial independence have to be replaced with making a pittance ... NOW or else. A long-suffering tooth broke down this week and something noisy happened inside my ride-on-mower; so what with that and a dental bill, it's not only oil that's leaking uncontrollably, but my funds and my sanity. After a recent Earthquake Recovery Authority inspection of the Skudder House, there is still no indication of when I might be able to use it profitably - or not. 
So a party in the Secret Garden offered light relief as well as a reminder of how much it is loved and valued by my children and their friends.

Preparations during the afternoon were done with a wary eye on the weather - a Cyclonic drift had been forecast to trail across Canterbury since Friday. 

Saturday was mild and overcast - surely, surely the rain would stay away. The decorations went up, the food was prepared and carried out...

There were a few brief moments of will it, won't it? light drizzle

before everyone, in one beautifully orchestrated operation, stripped fairies, masks, draperies and lights from the trees and trooped like a story book parade of footmen - with platters and occasional tables -across the grass, up the steps and into the house...

to reset the Masquerade scene.

Early in the evening I noticed that there was no background music playing but there was intense animation amongst the costumed guests. Later, I remembered: these kids make their own music when they are ready! And since Bryony had invited a layer of friends - from the North Canterbury Musical Society Chicago cast as well as her Black Peach Theatre Company friends there was a new energy to the singing, with a five piece, male voice choir gathering around the piano for powerful - and competitive - delivery of favourites from Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar, Leonard Cohen and... well, with everyone joining in, it was everything they've ever done together; with all the parts, harmonies, solos, dance moves as well as crazy, cross-genre canons. There were at least two pianists at play, both of them overcoming our tuneless old piano's faults with ease.

And now after a night of heavy rain the stream is up. 
Before the overnight guests departed two daring souls have braved the weather for a splash! 

Bryony, by the way, turned twenty on Thursday.


Cro Magnon said...

Looks like 'a good time was had by all'. And may I say how much I like your wallpaper behind the piano!

Steve said...

I'm loving the gramophone!

To party in the face of hardship is the only sane response.

libby said...

Everything looks delightful..a good birthday was had I suspect.

Joanne Noragon said...

Why is there a silver ball in the apple tree, I asked, as I began the tale. Of course there's a silver ball in the apple tree; and masked ladies and gentlemen, fairies and nymphs behind the trees. I wonder where they hid in the house.

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Cro Magnon: Glad you like the wallpaper Cro - I sort of chose it as a backdrop to exactly this kind of carry on.

Steve: I love the gramophone too. It does play scratchily - and occasionally casts its trumpet on unsuspecting pianists, but it didn't get a hearing on this occasion.

libby: Such a good birthday that it will be hard to trump it for 21 next year!

Joanne Noragon: The silver ball also serves as a metaphor for the Future. See what I had to say about it in May last year.

The Sagittarian said...

What a fabulous time by the looks of it!

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

The Sagittarian: The stuff that memories are made of :-)