A String Of Pearls


A week ago we had celebrated Shelly’s birthday at a party in her garden sheltering under a marquee from the sun. Today it was the turn of Ron’s 70th.

Raindrops on marquee with upside down bunting

This time raindrops dripped from that same tent. The 70 bunting, blown by the wind, stuck, upside down, to the awning.

Guests under marquee 1Guests under marquee 2

Of the guests, numbering some forty people, only the hardened drinkers availed themselves of the somewhat soggy outside protection.

Umbrella and shoes

It was definitely a day for umbrellas.

Guest 1Guest 2Guest 3Guest 5Guest 4

Most of the guests gathered inside.

Guests greeting

Some, who knew each other, were pleasantly surprised at each other’s presence.

Helen and Billy

Last week’s event had been mostly for family members. This one was largely attended by friends, but grandparents, like Helen putting on Billy’s shoes

Helen and Max

or simply revelling in Max, were welcome.

Shelly and guest

Great aunts, Shelly

Jackie and Max 1Max 1

and Jackie also made much of Max,

Max and pearls 1Max and pearls 2Max and pearls 3

who maintained a firm grip on Jackie’s pearls;


while his brother Billy wheeled his cars across the table.

Stephanie and Max

Stephanie did manage to have a go with her younger son when the older generation allowed it.

Bill doing quiz

Ron had thoughtfully provided a quiz spanning the seventy years of his life ‘in case no-one turned up’. He needn’t have worried about that. Bill

Guest doing quiz

and other guests got stuck into this with bemused enthusiasm.


Donna was perhaps exempt from this game because her partner, Neil, was involved in the marking.

None was more surprised than Jackie and me when we won the competition, possibly because Becky and Ian had arrived after the judging had begun. Our daughter had completed the test on her own and in a hurry, yet scored only one point less than us.

Guest eating jalfrezi 1Guest eating jalfrezi 2

Jackie’s chicken jalfrezi with sag or peas ponir and savoury rice was a great success. All was eaten in a very short space of time except for one helping saved by a guest who wished to wait until he had room for it.

LordBeariofBow’s comment below provides this most appropriate addition:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jg2vtWezWbw   Thanks, Brian.

Shelly’s fish pie and lasagne were also excellent, as were trifle and cakes produced by Jackie’s two sisters. Red and white wine and various beers were imbibed.


  1. The post is radiant with the glow of the participants conveyed to your readers with the concurrent warmth. I am glad the shutterbug captured the trophy of the Quiz too.

  2. I think your family is starting to become quite familiar. I do believe I can recognize some of them before reading the caption. Great family, great friends, you have a very good life, Derrick!!

  3. What a wonderful family gathering of celebrations Derrick and no rain could dampen any Spirits in that tent.. Wonderful family photo’s my friend.. Have a wonderful week.. 🙂

  4. I tended to be most attracted by the “babies” Max and Billy, as well with the many pleased faces. People are happy to have their photo taken by you, Derrick! ??

  5. By the way, my parents often had Glenn Miller Band playing on their stereo. Great song, recognized “String of Pearls” (1940’s song) right away, Derrick.
    When I go to a restaurant called Saffron, I have ordered chicken alfrezi. I get accompaniments, but not sure if they include the peas but like savory rice with almost any meal. Yay for Jackie! ? and so glad everyone enjoyed her meal. I would enjoy it, much better homemade than “store bought.”

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