‘For the love of…Amazon’ – A tale of two birthdays’

Have you ever wondered how it could be possible for Jeff Bezos, the inimitable force behind Amazon, to be worth a whopping $137 billion – well in the lead up to my children joint birthday party I found out…It’s down to my husband and I.

I knew before the party that we had a verging on dangerous relationship with Amazon, relying on it for any and every last minute need. But as we got closer to the day in question the deliveries starting mounting at an unprecedented rate, everyday we were receiving several parcels and at this point I had not once but on several occasions been stopped whilst out walking the dog by the delivery driver, sometimes just to say Hi as I now saw him more than my own family and sometimes to say he had yet more parcels and should he just leave them in the front garden if I was going to be out for the day. We had gone beyond the awkward stage of when you open the door a couple of days in a row to the same delivery man and do that awkward chuckle and a bit of a ‘yup its me again smile/grimace’ we had now grown to be acquaintances, maybe even friends.

This was our first full on, firing on all cylinders childrens party that we had thrown, Rex was turning three and is now at an age where we couldn’t get away with essentially having a party for ourselves with our friends whilst the children, mostly unable to move sit around dribbling, cooing, giggling and crying. Instead he told us in no uncertain terms that he wanted a super hero party with lots of cake (Stella, who was turning 1 sadly didn’t get much of a look in when it came to the theme) and Just like that, like any good bossed around parent we set about planning this double whammy monstrosity.

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Stella turns 1 and Rex turns 3 and just these two balloons cost about 5 times their combined age…

We booked the venue and then I set about finding an entertainer, now having absolutely no idea what I was looking for I went solely on reviews, and found a lovely company called JoJo Fun Kids and after much toing and froing about whether they could in fact provide the correct super hero, Spiderman was booked. Spiderman, also known as Dom, called me to introduce himself, I knew almost has soon as he’d said ‘Hello Sophie, this is Dom’ that a springy, camp and almost certainly a musical theatre practitioner was on the other end of the phone and naturally was thrilled, we clicked immediately. It was only post party that my darling friend who has his own events company gently raised his eyebrows when I said how much we were paying dearest Dom…note to self, must.do.more.research.

Then it was down to the nitty gritty and this is really where things pick up pace, because I don’t know about you, but once the big things are in place (venue, entertainment) its down to the fun part, the details and this is where Mr Bezos starts ringing up his enormous bill.

Party Bags – straight to Amazon obv – literally everything related to super hero – ADD TO CART.

Fancy Dress Outfits

Me: ‘OMG look at this amazing Hulk outfit’ ADD TO CARD

My Husband: ‘oooooh and these huge Hulk Gloves ‘ADD TO CART’

Me: ‘oh and look a mask’ ADD TO CART

MY Husband: ‘and face paints, we could paint him green too (event though he’s wearing a suit) ADD TO THE DAMN CART

Then onto Stellas outfit..oh and ours…

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Outfits on point thought, so totally worth it

 

Cake – I actually home made both of the cakes but hell would freeze over if we didn’t quickly add in some edible paper super heroes to pop on top of them  – Amazon here we come!

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Just showing me cakes off 

 

Balloons – I left the shop (yes an actual physical shop) with 10 huge balloons plus a bunch of normal ones thinking how nice and seemingly extremely lucrative it would be to own a balloon shop – I would be rich without hardly needing to do anything.

More Balloons – Hmmmm not sure if we have enough balloons, ill just nip onto Amazon and buy some more, sure why not.

Now I am actually all for small brands and I do my best to buy from them, but when it comes to dealing with this kind of situation, Amazon is your one stop shop, it’s also our one stop shop for every random thought that we have and think we therefore need to buy: Horrendous Polyester Fancy dress outfits, boxes of 10 roles of wrapping paper, 3 million straws etc etc i’m just V jealous I didn’t think of this before Jeff

The party was in fact a huge success (thank god) and Dom was everything I had hoped for and more, he arrived bang on time though possibly looking ever so like he had come straight in from the night before, I imagined him slipping out the doors of G.A.Y dressed to party and straight through the doors of our local church hall  dressed head to toe in his finest polyester spiderman outfit, which really left very little to the imagination. That said, he had the children, all 30 of them, singing to the beat of his drum, screaming with laughter (as were the parents as he dropped innuendo filled comments, leaving some of the fathers blushing for their lives) and when his part was over they followed him quietly and in a perfect line through for tea…whilst I stood thinking how many years of ageing he had saved me.

I mean look at Hulk (AKA Rex) rushing over to meet Spider-Man (AKA Dom).

 

Once tea was finished, E numbers had reached peak highs and sugar crashes were just around the corner we packed up the enormous amount of mess that children have a wonderful talent for making and made our way home, children straight to bed, us straight towards anything with a cork…and relax.

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The site of 30 children chowing down without a care in the world, surrounded by a tonne of manic parents

 

So party done, Bezos et al significantly richer and us significantly poorer party season is over for this year. It is to my absolute relief that the childrens birthdays are both in January as they will be having joint birthday parties until they are old enough to come to us with a bullet proof argument as to why this is no longer possible.

 

 

12 Months of Music

New Year new me? Not likely, I gave up making wildly outrageous resolutions like giving up chocolate & sweets for a month a long time ago and never ever have I attempted the dreaded dry January. Instead I have made compromises with myself such as giving up sweets/chocolate but just on weekdays – we’ll see how that goes this year shall we? What it will actually mean is that come Friday (cause Friday is essentially the weekend) I will begin a 3 day sugar worship. In fact on the 1st of January 2019 Brute said to me ‘New Years really only starts on the 2nd because everyone is hungover today, so we don’t need to give up chocolate until tomorrow’ I loved him more in that moment.

What I do actually genuinely want to ‘take up’ or resolve to do, is to give some time to me, ‘Me Time’ as it’s seemingly known, something that slowly over time has become less and less of a thing. It’s easy to unknowingly slightly lose the things that make you you over time and one thing that I could never lose but feel like I haven’t spent enough time nurturing is my great passion for music . Having studied and played my whole life I have found in recent years, particularly after having had children, that I listen to music less and less, probably compared to a lot of people I still listen to it a lot but I used to sit for hours and hours making playlists, listening to records, reading about musicians, going to concerts (small and big) and I miss it. Yesterday though I was in the kitchen and looking at this picture which is on the wall in our kitchen:

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Each of these pictures was a table name at our wedding, afterwards we collected them up and made a collage of them. They are some of my absolute favourite artists and yesterday on the 1st day of the new year I was looking at it and decide to ask the ever (un)helpful Amazon Echo AKA Alexa to play me some Miles Davis on shuffle and after we had gotten past her not understanding, playing it in the wrong room and asking for the name again that lyrical trumpet came flowing through the speaker and It made me happy. I decided then that that was what I needed to start doing again, more things that make me happy. I also remembered that I wrote my dissertation on Miles Davis at Arts & Music School and got 97% which is pretty major, I’m allowed to brag because I was not a very scholarly or well behaved person at uni and was politely asked to leave shortly afterwards – Be good in school kids!

And so it is that “12 Months of Music” is born! It’s nothing really, just me telling myself that in each month of 2019 I’m going to take the time to listen to those great artists that I love and that make me feel happy and hopefully teach my children a thing or too.

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My newest band members – I’m on piano in front of them 🙂

Right It’s time for me to get on, I have a double whammy super hero birthday bash to organise for next weekend, and currently the entertainer has gone AWOL and I have no back up – perhaps I shouldn’t have hassled them so much already…Ill look into that as something to work on for 2020…