I turned 24 this week.
The change has had its ups and downs. Predominantly downs, as you can imagine; at 24 my mum was married, had me on the way and a flourishing new business in the pipeline. At the same age, that chap Spiegel who invented Snapchat was already worth something-billion dollars and turning down offers left, right and centre for his creation. Beyoncé decided, at this shining time in her life, to break away from Destiny’s Child and pave the way to a bright future and a solo career.
I, on the other hand, have been given my first proper handbag by my friends to stop me from carrying around my ‘embarrassing’ net shopping bag and am more often than not covered head to toe in dogs’ wee. This is the marking of my 24th year (25th year? Don’t – even worse.)
Still, the show must go on – a phrase which rather encapsulates the theme of the party I decided to throw to mark the occasion: the “Roaring Twenties.” My living room was transformed, with the help of a few old-timer gadgets including a record player and a collection of Hemingway’s books, into a swinging 20’s style lounge, complete with Anti-Prohibition posters lining the walls and some empty gin bottles scattered across shelves and bookcases. My girlfriends arrived early to help with preparation of Long Island Gin Lemonade, elderflower punch and snacks (including a jar of boiled sweets which no one touched but which looked divine.) I briefly had a plan to make little bowls of Eton Mess for all attendees, though during the preparation of the whipped cream I actually just created a F**king Mess which I swiftly scooped into the nearest bin.
Despite the Whipped Cream Fiasco (Rowan said it looked like scrambled egg and Lucy said she thought she might be sick) the night was an overall success. I am not a natural party hostess, it must be said. I’m no Nigella Lawson, neither when it comes to cooking nor blithely and elegantly entertaining people. My style is more erratic – a bottle of gin or Bourbon is always close at hand to top up people’s drinks (to the brim), and I’m also known for steering people into conversations because I think they might particularly enjoy them (“You like Lord of the Rings? Those people over there are just talking about it. Come with me.”). Still, it must be said that all concerned made a superb effort with outfits, fitting gifts, and even alter-egos. Albert Winkelbottom made an appearance, having just fully recovered from the war (aside from a slight limp). Lady Eleanora Collins was there, in all her glory, and even brought with her a delightful bottle of gin made on Rabbit Island. If you looked hard enough you could also catch the odd glimpse of Ronald Blake, when he wasn’t boating around fishing in a nearby lake.
The aftermath of the party, as is common, saw undue hangover shame and a splitting headache. Not so common was the confetti which covered the living room floor, the inflatable parrot tucked into a curtain rope, and the balloon letters which once spelled “party” across the wall rearranged to say “prat.” I am proud to say they are still there and shall remain so until completely flat.
Now I shall leave you enjoy the pictures, taken by my hugely talented friend Cian (“Charles”, on the night, mind you.) I hope you like them.
Until my next misadventure, ta-rahh.