We're returning from Julie's house after an afternoon of craft and more cake than I've ever set my eyes on!
I left the knitters knitting a variety of shawls and blankets mid afternoon and took myself back north of the river to Philippa's house, where my goddaughter, Silver, was celebrating her first birthday party.
I basically replaced one cake party for another, and helped to decorate two enormous birthday cakes with strawberries, jam and a stomach-churning amount of cream.
We watched the most curious viral video on YouTube, which seemed to involve a Norwegian man dressed as a fox, jumping up and down whilst making a series of bizarre noises. It's apparently all the rage with 4 1/2 year olds, and would appear to have millions of hits. It's plainly an indication of where I'm going wrong with my career. Note to self: must write more surreal children's songs with lamentably low production standards!
Alex and Moira were there and we discovered, much to our great amusement, that Alex had helped to choreograph one of the routines we'd seen in Huntingdon last night. The entertainment world is so so small.
Uncle Bill, Rupert and Jago drifted into the party just after we'd realised that they were, by chance, just around the corner. It was lovely to see them all. Deia had two friends in tow, who sat at the conservatory table creating little pictures out of special brightly-coloured beads which you iron to turn into three-dimensional works of art. Every time I see Deia, I bring her a few more beads. You can buy them in bags of about 500.
Philippa stores them in a big glass bowl and we played a fun game today where everyone present tried to guess how many beads were in the bowl. Guesses ranged from 101 (two of the children) and 10,000. We weighed the beads to find the true number; 9,120. I was quite chuffed with my guess of 7.5k.
I drove back to Julie's for the evening and we watched the X Factor, which seems, if such a thing is possible, even more phoney than the other nine series. At one point a group of contestants were all being interviewed "back stage" in a "hair and makeup area" where scores of warm props were spraying cans of hairspray into the air and pointlessly preening the show's other acts in the most tragic display of "X Factor is so cool, even the backstage area is a filmic hive of activity."
All the acts were, of course, mediocre. How could they be anything else whilst singing to prerecorded tracks? It's glorified karaoke! Get some live musicians in there and watch the performers coming alive (well, those of them with a modicum of talent, which rather limits the list.)
As always with the X Factor, we end up judging it by its own standards. When the judges call an act "world class", which they do with frightening alacrity, we agree because they're world class by X Factor standards, which is substantially less classy than nearly all the West End singers I know. Every single member of the Rebel Chorus would do a better job. I find this a comforting yet curiously unsettling thought!