Sunday 12 June 2011

Thank you Cleggy...

 The boys decided that a frozen spanish tiramisu cake wasn't special enough to mark the fact that Mum had (quietly tried to) become planned the most spectacular tea party. Since we had been away for Granny's birthday it made for a perfect double celebration.

Yesterday I was duly sent out at 10am to 'find something to do' until 3pm - well, that alone is worth having a birthday for! I found myself mooching around John Lewis - meeting the Granny, Nelly and Mabel for lunch and being on the receiving end of some serious camera buying advice (more of which another day).

On my return I was met at the back door by three excited boys and a transvestite mannequin....which, admittedly sounds more like something I would have written 20 years ago!! (those were the days...)

[NB for anyone who doesn't personally know the man known as Cleggy, alongside collecting farm animals, he is also partial to keeping the most bizarre items of nostalgia. Bertha the mannequin has been with us for almost 20 years. We acquired her when I worked at Monsoon, under the guise of being useful for school. She was indeed useful, but when Cleggy left teaching a couple of years ago she moved back in. She was brought down from the loft bedroom recently after a couple of sleepover incidents ('maybe you shouldn't mention to your Mum that you couldn't sleep because you were terrified of Bertha the transvestite mannequin?') Anyway, since then, the boys (who love her) have tried to justify keeping her by finding times when having such a mannequin is a family tea party. She was manning the drinks table...]

So, basically, Cleggy and the boys created a boudoir of delights at the bottom of the garden. It was truly magical, using all sorts of things from around the house and workshop!
 a table set up for tea:
 a sweetie cabinet:
 a french inspired present table:
a love seat:
 and a dressing table of treats! 

The girls were all completely overwhelmed by the spectacle - it was like a mini bazaar,
The (pasting!) table of food was a feast for the eyes and full of our favourite treats, including caramel wafers and corned beef sandwiches in memory of my lovely dad! Big thanks to G Kisby for helping make the wonderful food...
An ingenious drink cabinet:
amazing cakes:
I had insisted on immediate family only for any birthday celebrations (can't bare the thought of fuss!) so we were joined by Nelly, G Kisby and Mabel, and my brother Mark with his boys Sonny and Luca. We missed Auntie Janet v much....and hope she gets better soon x 

[Message to Janet: I really (really) hope Sonny wasn't tooooo giddy on his return...he did take rather a liking to the jam tarts, and it was really very funny (at the time)feeding him sherbet spaceships (sorry)]
[...and yep, that's your littlest boy in a giant teacup (another nostalgic keep), we couldn't resist! (sorry)]

Apart from the last mosaic of favourite pictures from the day I just need to say another
Thank you
to my lovely family for making my 'real' birthday so special, my friends for such beautiful presents (real life thanks to follow). I was overwhelmed by the beautifulness of my gifts (will share soon) and will spend the rest of the afternoon looking at them some more.
And to Cleggy and the boys for putting on the best tea party a girl could wish for, (almost) worth turning 40 for! I feel very cherished and appreciated - and hereby grant license to remind me of this next time I say I'm not! Fee x
(french vintage inspired gift cards from here and fairground photographs from here)


  1. Wowie, what a party! I just cannot believe your husband (and boys) did all that?! I think I'm going to let my husband read your post... ;-)
    And all that furniture in the yard, that is just hilarious! What a Grand, Grand Day!
    And your hair does look shorter right? Very cute... :-)

  2. O wowwwwww what a great great party !! looks so amazing !!!!....what a nice kids you have...and you looking good

  3. Just utterly stunning and gorgeous - I think your men could do that sort of thing for a living - I'd kill for a party like that :)

    Love the cute baby in the teacup pic too - one to save for his 18th!

  4. Wow.....I can't believe the men in your life set that all up! You really have an impressive bunch! Where did they come from?

    Does look like your were spoiled...rightly so!

    Hope the joy carries on all week long. xoxoxoxo

  5. I look like the incredible hulk. You know what I'm getting at!!! Just feeding the bairn, had to type....back later xxx

  6. Love it, love it! What a gorgeous party!! If the men in my life do something similar for my 40th (I'm not so far behind you) I will eat my favourite hat!!

    Your photos are so fabulous, I'm going to have to inspect them again in case I've missed something!

    Happy 'life begins' birthday!


  7. Wow, that looks like the perfect party of you ask me :)

  8. Wowsers! How utterly and totaly a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!! Jealous? Moi? Whatever gave you that idea!!! What is obvious more than anything else from this post is how much the men in your life so obviously love & adore you!!! I'm utterly gob smacked by the creative trouble they've so enjoyed and gone to for the special lady in their lives!!

    Now the only thing I have to try to figure out is how to get my husband to see this as it's my 40th this year!! I may have to be completely obvious, send him a link & tell him to take notes!!!!

    Just fabulous!!!

    Jo x x

  9. ....and yet again I can't help but think that Cleggy (he really is a diamond) should be having a word with my Mr.
    I'm also wondering if you fancy donating that coffee to a good cause a.k.a. lil ol me? hee hee.
    Seriously though, it looks like a great time was had by all.

  10. Happy birthday!!! What an amazing party (like everyone else, I can't believe your boys set that all up for you) and what a gorgeous post - your pics really are stunning.
    Emily x
    PS - Mr N's 40 tomorrow...must be something in the air!

  11. Happy birthday!,lush photos!A true day to remember.xxxx

  12. WOW! I am speechless! it looks amazing, what a lucky lady you are!!

  13. I did so enjoy being at your party.. in some small way and not a crumb passed my lips though what a feast and so hard to resist. Your boys have done you proud .. just wait till your 50! What then.. !?
    In the meantime Fee.. enjoy every moment of being 40... Life certainly does begin in so many ways.
    Michele x

  14. Hello! I've just stumbled across your blog and looks like great timing...Happy Birthday! What an amazing party you had, aren't you lucky!! x

  15. Oooh I've just found your pretty blog via Vintage Vicki and what a gorgeous post, you really are loved and appreciated by your lovely family and they know your tastes so well, happy 40th xox

  16. Yep it was too too gorgeous in real life! Still feeling slightly sick from too many cakes today - I do have a limit as it turns out,
    Nelly xxx

  17. My goodness dearest, YOU HAD QUITE THE PARTY! I am so loving these collages of photos that I am seeing around and yours is so beautifully bright and happy. Oh how I love my friends in Blogland! Your family is beautiful and loves you so. I LOVE THAT TEA CUP in the first photo! And dearest Fee, thank you for your kind comments on my post. It is always a delight to see you and I wish you a fabulous summer and I TOO look forward to YOUR POSTS for they remind me of the days when a dear friend of mine lived in England and she would tell me of the wonderful friendships and customs she acquired. Bless you! Anita

  18. Gorgeous party, so with you on the non fuss party idea.

  19. This is like a vacation at home...beautiful. What a lovely family you have to make such a fuss over you. Smiles...Renee

  20. What in the world?! What a fabulous party! it's all too much to handle! I need to send my man across the pond for a few lessons from the gents in your life! It all looked so girlie - it's hard to believe all that charm and whimsy came from the male mind! :) Happy Birthday Fee!! xo

  21. All these shots are pretty, Fee. Must scroll back up to enlarge some pictures. Looks like a wonderful happy fun party!
    Have a happy and fun start to the new week too o xx o xx o

  22. Oh I have goosebumps what a birthday treat. So glad you had a lovely time.

  23. I have had to comment again because the word verification made me LOL pubelick yes really!!!! What a funny start to my day (cleaning today and if time sewing and one hospital appointment for Nellie's alopecia and excema. (Spelling?) Tell Cleggy - please- I did supply in a F1/F2 setting last week with one male teacher and one male TA and it was fabulous. The first time I have worked with men in the EY setting and it was so refreshing. TTFN.

  24. Wowee what a fantastic celebration!

    Happiest of happy birthday wishes for you from me over the deep blue sea!

    xx Felicity

  25. Oh GOOD wonderful....can you send Cleggy and the boys my way please?!!!!!

    What a super Birthday Party. What a huge amount of thought and effort had gone in to that day! I would be lucky to get a table and chair with a cake plonked on it still in the box!!!!!

    Love the mannequin.....My Sis-in-law has a thing for mannequins and picking everything quite bizarre up in general. She used hers once as a prop to greet her sister when she came home from her honeymoon in her house. The sister wanted to hand it back straight away so shoved it in the car to take it back. She stopped on the way to go shopping in town with her hubby but was embarrassed to have this thing in her car so instructed her husband to cover it up. When they got back, there was a police notice on the car to say it had been broken into by them and the car checked after they had received reports of a dead body in it!!!!! She was the police had a giggle! My sister-in-law (the mannequin one) used to collect old ladies clothes and wigs etc, and always went to meet her friends and family at airports etc all dressed up as an old lady! She would rope her friends into doing it too!

    The pics are great, looks like you had the most awesome of days. Think I might just be sleeping through my big one when it comes!!!!!!

    Have a super day!

    Vanessa xxxx

  26. Wow! That surprise tea party/bazaar is the stuff of dreams! I shall be bookmarking this post and making sure my OH sees and takes note! He has three and a bit more years to pull something akin to this out of the bag!!!! x

  27. Oh oh oh!!! Your blog makes my heart beat a bit faster, it can't be good for me! What a diamond Mr Cleggy is. You have obvs taught him well. :-) Such pretty things... just love love love... I can't pick out anything specifically, it's all just too lush for words.

    Nicki xx

    (Your comment on my post about Withnail & I made me giggle... have been laughing all day remembering the film from last night... ha ha!)

  28. I LOVE that you have a transvestite mannequin!
    What a fab, fab party you lucky girl!!! x

  29. I'll be discreetly leaving this post on for my Mr to see. It's straight out of the pages of a magazine Fee, the stuff of girlie dreams, but never reality. Bet you couldn't believe your eyes. Happy belated 40th too.

    I taught a fabulous transvestite on a project last year. I really liked him and his complete devil may care. Our girls were really interested in him. They couldn't believe their luck when we popped into town tonight for new school shoes (how can feet grow just before the end of term?) and as we went down the escalator he went up the other one. I called hello and pow Little Bun's face lit up realising by the deep voice just who it was. Really discreetly and in that extra loud voice she asked is that the sex change man?


  30. Just read your comment on Cuckoo's post and couldn't help but laugh about what GB said about your moustache, my daughter said in a not so little voice in a restaurant 'mum you have long hair on your chin' I could have slid under the table. On inspection when I got home, it wasn't long at all grrrr.
    Happy belated birthday, you have a lovely family.
    x Sandi

  31. Spectacular, Spectacular....a wonderful Bazaar Tea Party!

    What an amazing feast for the eyes your party was (and for the tongue too, I'm sure)!

    Happy Birthday! I'm sure it was an event to remember!

    ~ Samya

  32. Wot a lucky bunny you are!! Such super treats.
    Your family are so very lovely and creative and special.
    Great mannequin. We used to have a model skeleton at my school that used to get up to all sorts of mischief once the kids had gone home. Wish I could have bought him home...

    Glad your holiday was good too.

  33. Hello! Your comment on my blog today made me laugh! Pleased to report that the husband claimed to have loved Withnail & I and I admit he did laugh fairly hard in a lot of places. However, he is now mis-quoting parts of the film to make me laugh and is driving me mad, I have to keep correcting him. Aw.

    Cleggy's reaction was funny - divorce could have been on the cards for sure!

    Nicki xx

  34. Oh my goodness this looks like the perfect way to spend a birthday! What a wonderful family you have!

    I think I might have enjoyed myself just as much as you with all these lovely pictures.

    Thank you!


  35. Hi, my name is Bonnie! I have recently come across your blog and I am smitten. I can't wait to have a look around. I am thoroughly impressed with the party thrown for you! How absolutely wonderful!

  36. Don't know how I missed this post but... OH MY GOSH, how absolutely amazing and wonderful was your party!!!!! I cannot believe your boys did that for you, it is all beautiful and so imaginative!! You have a super wonderful family and a genius husband - don't let him go!! haha, glad you enjoyed your party, it looks incredible! x


Thanks for stopping by.
I LOVE reading your comments!
fee x