This is going to be short. We're all completely rooted, in the non-sexual Australian sense. I'll let a few pictures do most of the talking, because my parents did a fantastic job of making Bumblebee feel really special for his birthday (which isn't really until tomorrow).
The original plan was that instead of a birthday party, B could take a friend down to his grandparent's farm for the weekend. Then Colonel and Lady Duck decided to invite some of the local kids over for a bash, and then it sort of grew into a full-blown birthday party, complete with pinata, limbo competition, treasure hunt, bonfire and marshmallows, sparklers and glowsticks, with a vague Dr Who theme. Combine that with lashings of food, a cool cake and plenty of alcohol for the parents, and a damn good time was had by all, out in the cleaned-up cow paddock:
The Dalek cake! Layers of spongecake and plum jelly, with an icing and blueberry outer, and a few kitkats and a decorated marshmallow. One of Lady Duck's classic birthday cakes. We always had good ones. The plate of gingerbread men in the foreground are all 'Doctors', with jelly snake scarves around their necks!
Colonel Duck's Tardis pinata! A thing of beauty, with a plywood top and base, and papier mache surrounds. There is even a little flashing light on top, powered by a 9-volt battery! The inside was, of course, stuffed with lollies, a true act of grandparent-hood (stuff them with sugar and give them back).
The pinata in situ, with prince-for-a-day Bumblebee and his posse waiting patiently for something to bash it with. (Colonel Duck's wonderful schoolteacher neighbour is a consumate op-shopper, and it's a tradition that she finds a wonderful hat for Bumblebee. This is this year's effort, and he adores it. He's wearing it in bed as I type.) Colonel Duck is a very smart planner (not for nothing was he a logistics manager in the army) and he gave the kids a soft foam bat for the first wave of bashing, so that everyone got a go. On the second round he replaced the bat with a piece of dowling, and then finally he gave the biggest kid a wooden hurling stick* to finish it off. Finally there was just a swarm of kids crawling over the ground picking up lollies!
*Not a vomiting stick, but a Hurling bat we picked up in Ireland a long tim ago. Very handy thing.
Every kid loves sparklers, and quite a few adults too...
Colonel Duck gave out a lot of glowsticks; I'm not fond of these because they're VERY bad for the environment once they've finished glowing. But I promised Colonel Duck I'd sit back and shut up while the kids enjoyed themselves, so I did. I love this photo. It makes me think of an ABC television promotional ad. Laaa daaa daaaaaa....
I'm very grateful to my parents. They put a lot of work into the weekend, and it was such fun. If I'm this wiped out now, I can't imagine how buggered they are. Barnaby's invited friend was a girl who always seems a bit starved of affection as her parents battle their way through a nasty breakup, and she seemed to really enjoy hanging out with us, and enjoyed calling my parents 'nanny and granddad', taking every opportunity to do so and to be hugged.
I'll leave you with a lovely image of the Colonel wandering through his orchard to put up some balloons, and Lucky the wonderdog torn between following him, his adored master or coming back to me, his original Mummy:
I just told Bumblebee to go to sleep 9 and wake up 10. Probably a mistake, because he'll lie awake all excited. Heh. No, I just checked. He's out like a light. As I will be in about half an hour. Goodnight.