Thursday was my uncle Leon’s 60th birthday and my aunt and cousins had organised a surprise birthday party at Haxted Mill in Kent. We went with Jackie and arrived at about midday for his arrival at quarter past. There wasn’t an “everybody hide” moment but he was well and truly astounded when he walked around the corner and saw us all standing there. Surprise well done, I say.
The weather was perfect so we could sit outside and there was no fear of rain. The restaurant is in an idyllic setting with a weeping willow over a small river, a row boat by the pier and green, green grass. We had Pimm’s and a lovely three course meal, with homemade birthday macarons.
Plenty of people there to chat to and Donna and I met Karen, our mum’s cousin, who I last saw when I was seven.
We chatted to a woman who teaches English as a second-language (the students stay at her house for a week or two) and a couple stopped and talked to me about Canada (after finding out I’m now living in Toronto). They told me about the St Lawrence River where the minke whales frolic and you can also see beluga whales nearby. I’ll be checking that out for sure.
We also talked our cousins, Jo and Sophie, and aunty Alice, who I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to see (if we hadn’t hastily arranged to see each other the next day), as well as Sheila and Ian.
And then, all too quickly, five hours had passed and it was time to go home. It was such a wonderful day and I’m glad I got to be part of the surprise (especially as Leon had no idea I was in the UK).