Ever tried organising a surprise party to be held in the house where the person who is being celebrated lives? It is far from easy! But that was the task facing my Dad, my Sister, Mhairi, and I on the run-up to our Mum’s birthday. Somehow, and I mean somehow, we managed to do it all without her knowing anything about it.

There were a large number of clandestine operations happening on the run up to the party. It all started with Mhairi “suggesting” that she, her husband and their 2 sons come up for dinner on the Saturday night to celebrate Mum and Dad’s birthdays (which are within 3 days of one another). That was fine and everything was set in motion. Next was to quietly invite everyone that we were going to invite. The list of people came to around 18 people which, for our house, was just about right.

On the day itself, I was “going to the pool room to get some practice.” Well, that’s what I had told Mum. In reality, I left the house with my cues in tow in time for the train at around 10:15am. When I arrived at the station, I met Aunt Moira who was there to take me to the Marks and Spencer food store and Asda at the shopping centre in Newton Mearns, Glasgow, so we could get the food supplies in for that night. The great thing about that shopping trip was that we had everything done in around an hour. The drawback was that we now had to sit tight and wait on a phone call or text message to tell us that Mum had left the house to go to Mhairi’s for the afternoon. Eventually – and I mean eventually! – the text arrived to tell us that it was safe to head for home. It was the longest hour-and-a-half that I’ve known for a while!

With us back and the food in, we now had to wait until Mum returned with Mhairi, Callum, Lewis and Cameron so we could break the news to her about the party. They arrived around 5:30pm and it was left to me to tell her “Mum, you’ve got 2 hours to get ready – you’ve got a few folk coming round tonight.” After the initial look of shock and her verbal reaction – “you bandits, you bunch of bandits” – we started to get things up and running for the party. Before we knew it, people were arriving to have fun, eat, drink and get very merry. It was great to see so many people take the time to come to the party and, most importantly, enjoy themselves! Even my cousin Janice had timed a visit from her home in Kent to visit her own Mum so she could come to the party. It was great to see her again after far too long and Janice and I spent the majority of the evening standing in the kitchen where all good parties tend to happen) catching up.

And yet, before we knew it, it was midnight and everyone had left to go home. Lewis and Cameron were upstairs in their beds, Mhairi and Callum and Mum and Dad went to theirs and I settled down on the living room floor, because Lewis was sound asleep in my bed (and I am not complaining!). It was great fun, but I wouldn’t want to go through it again for a long, long time!

Photos will be online in due course, but I still need to sort them all out!

The Cardman 🙂

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