On the weekend away I went to a little party up in the hills behind Apollo Bay. A sixtieth birthday, (oh God I'm getting invites to sixtieths now) the birthday girls, as they were twins, were friends of my mate Bob's, and the party was at the home of one of the two, a Herb Garden and Nursery she and her husband had built up over the past thirty years.
The property had that patina only years of hard work and love can bring, rich with perfume, and the smell of burning sausages.
Contrary to expectations, the guests ranged from nought to well past sixty, this being such a community gathering it drove home the difference between a precious, don't bring the kids, let's not make a mess sensibility of the same party in the inner city, and the inclusive delight that this little soiree had in spades. Between my feet were little ones, wandering amongst the tables were early teens trying to score a sip from the odd errant glass, a dad stood with his newborn, with hovering admirers wanting a hold, a rekindling of that delicious feeling of a life so new and tiny in your arms.
If only they didn't cry and poo so much.
I mixed, me being the blow-in and Bobby introducing me. Once or twice my name was recognized, as, it being Apollo Bay, I have the pleasure of showing Musica Surfica at their Music Festival in late March. My fifteen minutes of fame gets to be extended, just a bit as my name is on the program and clearly some people have a good memory.
So the evening progresses, I've had a couple of nice chats and am well into my second glass of red when the call comes to sing Happy Birthday.
Making my way into the rambling, art filled house, the crowd opens a little to allow me a passage to a spot right in front of the cake, just behind a gaggle of four year olds, awestruck by the candles, and the Birthday Girls, one resplendent in a pink tutu just so you could tell them apart. The song was sung, candles out and then the band lit up for a few songs.
Joining them was the non tutu wearing twin, the lady of the house, who happily whipped out her flute from who knows where, and off they went, with a little set of songs that had the tiny ones in front up and prancing.
They went unnoticed at first, but then I looked down and realised that the show going on at just under three feet was the Best Show in Town. Five very little girls were in the groove, fairy arms with delicate fingers tracing cloud shapes and circles as they tippy toed about in the tiny space that they owned.
Above them we all stood smiling, cameras were out trying to capture the moment, we laughed, we watched and the songs kept coming. A couple of the photographing mums abandoned the snapping and had to get tapping, so soon the little ones had company, the floor got crowded and the moment happily dissolved as they all joined in.
I'd left my camera in the car, so no pics to accompany this little yarn, but I began the winding drive down a star roofed Wild Dog Road with a smile a mile wide.
The pic is a drawing I did of Tommy when he was about the same age, yet to evolve into the Devil Incarnate, and probably just before he fell off the fence and broke both his arms. The little wretch couldn't keep out of trouble, even then.