Saturday, 19 January 2013

Rail replacement bus replacement

Today was all about my god daughter's 4th birthday party, which took place in a little community centre around the corner from Columbia Road in Bethnal Green.

The theme of the party was fairies, and one of Deia's Grandmothers, a hugely talented artist, created a grotto out of ivy branches, crepe paper and about 300 balloons. It's extraordinary how some people can so effortlessly take on a very plain-looking space... and win.

The party itself was a roaring success. An entertainer joined us for an hour and played silly games with the kids, who were dressed in a shimmering riot of lilac and pink. After the games had stopped, a flotilla of mothers rushed in with plates of party food, which the kids ate whilst sitting on the floor in a sort of indoor picnic. It was a triumph.

Birthday parties are a much bigger deal than they were in my day. Thirty children came to Deia’s party today. In my day I think we were only allowed to invite as many friends as could fit around the kitchen table. In fact, we once had a hallowe'en party, to which my Mum had said we could only invite, I think, 10 friends. I made a mistake and invited 11, and got in such a state as a result, that my poor mate John Blackie was uninvited on the day. A very spiteful friend of mine called Kathryn took great delight in telling him the bad news. The poor chap was even dressed as a skeleton. I felt terrible at the time and it feels even worse to recount the story. Funny how these childhood things can make you feel so bad in later life.

Today’s party was cleared away by conscientious mums, and was nothing but a glorious memory three hours after we'd begun the process of setting it up.

I'm now on a replacement bus service heading home from Camden. Some hideous Sloaney women, obviously not used to slumming it on busses, are laughing like horses on the back seat. I don't need to turn around to know what they look like. Long, vapid hair, designer coats, little dinky wellingtons because it’s snowing. We reached Archway and were tipped off the bus and told we’d need to get another replacement bus up to Highgate and beyond; a rail replacement bus replacement bus.

1 comment:

  1. Birthday parties are such a special time for families. I enjoy watching the different people riding the bus. There are so many contrasts and I make up stories about them to keep me entertained during the ride.