My Dad was 60 last weekend. D and I went across to visit for his birthday weekend, as did my sisters and their respective partners.
Friday we stayed in (although A and her boyfriend went out to celebrate another friend's birthday). My dad opened his presents and was thrilled. My parents were both pleased to see us all. Just after midnight we realised that we hadn't sung happy birthday; mum grabbed a cake and stuck some candles in and we sang. Dad blew out the candles, along with some others that were on a nearby table. We relit them. He blew them out again. We relit them. D blew them out. We relit them. I blew them out. Then we stopped and ate the cake.
Saturday D and I went shopping with S (D had decided at the last minute he needed new trousers for that evening). Later N and I went over to see my grandparents, who I don't get to see as often as I'd like to. I spent more time with my sisters (and their boyfriends). I made blutack heffalumps with S. I looked through old family photos and decided with my mum which ones should go on display.
And Saturday night there was a party for dad. It was supposed to be a surprise, but the cat had slipped out of the bag weeks before. I don't think he expected over thirty people squashed into the house, though. We saw relatives I've not seen in... months? years? Some people who used to work with dad turned up; he was excited to see them. Even though he only retired a few weeks ago. His birthday cake was gingerbread, with a model golf course on top. And there was lots of food. There always is.
The last people to go left just after 1am. Mum tried to wash up, but C wouldn't let her. One by one the nine of us sleeping at my parents' house went to bed. D and C and I were last up; we sat up chatting until well after 2am.
A few people called round on Sunday morning before they left to collect cars and have cups of tea. I studied an old map of Leeds from Saturday's Guardian with one of my cousins and vowed to myself to stay in closer touch with my relatives.
I drove over 300 miles through fog and cold and ice. (D wasn't feeling very well and didn't fancy driving.) I didn't do a stroke of work all weekend. I broke a glass and a glass bowl in the space of about 30 minutes on Sunday morning while clearing up.
It was a busy weekend, full of things to do and people to see. I didn't want to come home - even though by the time we left everyone else had already gone and we needed to leave so we could be back to work on Monday.
I had a fantastic time.
When we got home I put up our Christmas tree. I'm glad, finally, that it's nearly Christmas. That it's not long til I can see everyone again.