"And I don't want anyone mentioning my age!" warned my mother.
My mother's birthday was fast approaching, her 70th to be precise.
She didn't want a fuss, just a relaxing day spent with her loved ones.
So we all decided her day should be minimal preparation on her part, and maximum effort on ours. Each guest was requested to bring food for her dining room table.
Ham, pork pie, sausage rolls, trifle, just a few of the goodies which arrived with flowers and family. It was a feast of splendid things. Food made with love, for a woman fit to be our queen.
My mother's best friend arrived with partner and very tall grandson. Literally squeals of delight and lots of hugs when they, and other attendees, were greeted.
It all went to plan.
I had great fun beforehand, decorating the dining room with pretty paper plates, napkins and cups (decreased clearing up time for recyclable rubbish), with floral bunting and flowers in a teapot.
We even all sang Happy Birthday and toasted the celebration with a glass of champagne.
It was lovely to see everyone; God mother and auntie Wendy, with Jean and Brandon, auntie Helen with her famous chocolate cake, uncle John and uncle Jim, my cousin Sarah and her three kids, my cousin Sam with his new fiancee and beautiful baby, cousin Jack and his dance partner and girlfriend Jessica, and last but definitely not least, auntie Leslie.
And no-one mentioned her age.
How about that for a successful birthday tea party.
(Oh apart from the lover's tiff Mark and I experienced on the way home as we thought we'd lost the iPad, we hadn't, it was under the car seat. But we won't mention that.)
Happy Birthday mum. You're the best.
The most wonderful mum that I could have ever wished for.
Preparing the table.
Flowers in a teapot, how quaint.
Bunting up, and there's Mark on the beer. He regretted that later.
Cake time. I bought two finely decorated ones and made cupcakes with Tommy. It was fair to say, with Auntie Helen's baking as well, there was plenty of cake. As it should be.