Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Bradninch Birthday

Sunday just gone was a Very Important Anniversary; one year previously, to the day, Mrs The Millbrooker and I were hosting Film Club as is our wont. Dong and Shazzerooneypoos arrived just as Mrs The Millbrooker finished a phone call that told us of Reuben's arrival. A toast was duly slurped by a quartet of seasoned slurpers, and use was made of the automatic timer on the camera:A year whistled past at the speed of a scalded cat and the same quartet, now with slightly different hairdos but with a remarkably similar attitude to toasting, travelled the long miles to Bradninch in order to attend the celebrations which marked young Intoeverythingsworth's premier birthday.

First things first, though. Mrs The Millbrooker spent the couple of hours before departure wrapping some icing onto a hastily baked coconut sponge for the small person in question to demolish later:At more or less the appointed hour our chauffeur arrived, cunningly disguised as Dong complete with Shazzerooneypoos riding shotgun and we set off for the wild Midlands north of Exeter. We didn't get far, though, before there was trouble in the ranks; Shazzerooneypoos had reported a lack of heating in the vehicle which turned out to be a result of not putting any water into the completely dry radiator. Dong was impressive in his array of exasperated and disappointed looks as we pulled into Devonport Dave's petrol station to put things right. Sadly the bonnet obscured the view of the domestic proceedings as Dong poured water onto troubled oil.After a (planned) detour into Exeter to collect The Wizzers of Soz (freshly off the iron horse to start her Easter break) was straight to Bradninch where Dozybean and YarMatt (ably assisted by Cannonball Pam and Lester) had laid on a buffet spread for the ravening hordes, complete with instruction notelets.Within minutes of our arrival, Intoeverythingsworth made his entrance and decided that Nana needed feeding up with some slices of yellow pepper. Nana was quite happy with this arrangement provided the pepper wasn't too pre-chewed into mushiness. In the shot below we see Shazzerooneypoos chatting with Lester who is hiding manfully behind Mrs The Millbrooker as she's force-fed by the birthday boy.After much munching and a cuppa, Intoeverythingsworth decided it was time to read his cards.And only minutes after that the last of the day's guests to arrive pulled up outside - Milly and Trickers had driven from the northern wastelands of Bath to share in the celebrations. Here's Milly meeting Cannonball Pam as YarMatt and Dozybean look on:'Ere long, Dong began to hear the call of The Castle Hotel; the sun was shining and a beer in the garden sounded like a damnably fine idea. We all agreed with the past-master-of-sneaking-off-for-a-beer and followed on in smart order, finding him and Little Lush Lewis basking in the spring sunshine.After the first round, we were joined by The Depitty who'd been missing for the morning on the grounds of having an appointment to jump out of an aeroplane at 14000ft (postponed due to poor weather and general unavailability of those involved since last August!). The Depitty is on the far right in the shot below, with Dong just about to raid the bar for another Beck's on the left; Milly and Trickers making up the remainder of the scenery.Whilst most of us had worked out that drinks only stay in their containers when the container is upright, young Intoeverythingsworth still has much to learn on this score; he and his Nana Pam suffered a water related error as he attempted the experimental move of turning a beaker the wrong way up. Cannonball Nana Pam was considerably less upset by this incident than the sopping wet infant.Smiles and peace were soon restored by a kind Mummy Dozybean who shared her jumper as YarMatt raced homeward to fetch a new birthday outfit.After a jolly pleasant couple of hours at The Castle and lots of playing in the Wendy House or on the slide... was time for cake and champers. Intoeverythingsworth thoroughly enjoyed shovelling fists full of crumbly coconut cake into his mouth and shedding a fair proportion of it onto his Dragon Lord's lap area.There is a video of singing happy birthday in which Dong remains surprisingly in key, but I haven't had time to upload it yet. It will happen eventually, honest.

As the time came to say cheerio, a certain Dragon Lord staged yet another photo opportunity, this time using an oversized yellow moped as a prop (thanks to The Depitty for the use of). The birthday boy seemed most at home with nappy pressed to saddle, a sure sign of a good biker in the making, I feel.And that was it...we clambered back into Dong's now fully functional and well watered car and made our way to feast at Russell and Mark's ever abundant table in the D&C to round off an excellent day's celebrating.Thanks to everyone who worked hard to make it a great day and I'm sure everyone will join me in wishing Intoeverythingsworth a (slightly belated on the blog) "Very Happy Birthday".

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