I close my eyes and see myself stepping out into the back garden. The patio roof is strewn with hundreds of fairy lights, in cool white, not the yellowy kind. It creates a magical glow even down to the sandstone tiles. There’s an eclectic mix of chairs scattered about in clumps and the huge table to my left is laden with food, gifts, candles…. There are candles everywhere – the boys have scattered them throughout the garden – pretty tealights blinking and lighting the way. Oh and the cake – the cake! A huge tower of profiteroles sits amongst the gifts, tiny flowers in between each little pastry and the whole thing covered in dripping sweet toffee strands. There’s a story about the cake, the melting cake, and the lifesaving (cake saving?) friends who put the whole thing back together again…
My friends and family are gathering in groups, everyone is happy, smiling, hugging. The music is playing through a tiny speaker on a hot pink plant stand, covered in yellow and white pots and more winking candles. The music, like the chairs, is an eclectic mix – 80s, 90s, now, ballads, cheesy pop, generational anthems – and there’s always someone singing along. Later, much later, there will be very loud singing and dancing around the free-standing heater.
Around the corner to my right is the BBQ area – the fellas are out there, manning the BBQ and the frypans, cooking up platefuls of sizzling delights and it smells amazing. Is that chicken satays? Do I smell spring rolls?! Mums and aunts and friends are carrying around trays of food for everyone and the conversation becomes scattered with “yum” and “can I have the recipe?”.
Two huge pink puffballs hang from either end of the patio with a pink bunting sign strung between them – the sign reads “40?! Eek I need a cocktail!” And directly opposite me, down the path and past the blinking tealights, sits the big red table, covered with glasses, goblets, bottles, limes, lemons, cocktail umbrellas. Behind the table, arms behind his back, is a lovely young man (half my age I suspect) – he’s a Mixologist, no less, who is ready, willing and able to mix up delicious conccoctions of scrumptious celebratory goodness.
This was my birthday party last August. I’ve chosen this as my one place in time I’d love to re-visit. It was such a wonderful evening with the perfect mix of people and I think it was the night that made me realise the type of person I want to be. I had been through some emotional roller coasters in the few months previous to this night, and consequently I lost some “baggage” in my life, people who just no longer fit. It was a turbulent and emotional ride but this party was the perfect elixir for all of that. It cemented who and what is important to me and how great life can really be when you are truly happy. I’ve become a much more open and positive person, more lively and excited about life. Ultimately, it was my friends and family who did this – they are the most important “things” in my life and they have helped me get to where I am today. I am forever grateful to my family, my friends, my kindred spirits and my soulmates – I think we get a limited number of these people in our lives and when we find them, we need to cherish them.
For today’s Writing101 Prompt, we were tasked with writing about a place to which we’d like to be transported. I thought about this all day – imagine the places! I’ve never seen most of Europe, I haven’t been to remote Australia, what about Alaska?! All amazing places for sure.
As a frequent flyer who travels for work, the idea of “zipping through space at the speed of light” is exceptionally appealing to me! It would mean I could come home at night and sleep in my own bed and spend more time with missG and with friends and family. We waste so much time travelling from place to place, I would love to shrink that time to almost nothing.
In all seriousness, I chose to go back to my birthday party because of the people in my life. The place isn’t really important – actually it’s just 10 metres from where I’m sitting on my couch right now 🙂 For me, people make a place special. That doesn’t meant that there aren’t places that I’d love to visit, but if I had my choice, hanging out in a funky little bar having drinks with friends, or chilling in the back garden at my parents’ house, talking about our days – those are the “places” I want to visit.
How about you? Where would you go?