From about lunchtime onwards, friends and family started to arrive. Those that were camping out were directed down to the “campsite’ so they could pitch their tents. Then it was time to find somewhere shady to chill for the afternoon.
We transformed the stables into a “bait shop” and an old iron bath we found in the fields was filled with ice and “moonshine.”
Sweets and crisps for the children were served as bait and Granny made a fabulous blue jelly with fishy sweets swimming in it. I found a fabulous cake maker in Colchester who did an amazing job on a “Gone Fishin’ / Gnome warming” cake for Maddie’s birthday. It was almost too good to eat, but was delicious when we did eventually cut into it.
Stu did an awesome job on the bbq down in the “bait shop”, and even fired it up again on sunday morning to provide all the happy campers with bacon and eggs for breakfast.
The children’s entertainer arrived at 4pm for Maddie’s birthday party part of the proceedings and kept the children thoroughly enthralled for two hours with his magic, games and puppets. This was a great opportunity for Maddie to invite some of her new friends from school over, as well as catching up with friends from her old school. They all got along beautifully, and spent many hours after the party, out in the fields with the fishing net party bags trying to catch butterflies.
It was fabulous to see so many of our friends and family, and also great to be able to invite the new neighbours over and get to know them a little better.
As the sun set over Fishponds, people began to drift home. A few of the more hardcore stayed till the early hours of the morning.
It was a fantastic day. The thing that made it most special to me was that it finally felt like we’d officially arrived at Fishponds Cottage. Auntie Tanya, who moved to the Middle East shortly before we moved here, was able to visit for the first time. Our awesome neighbours from the old house came and partied hard. And every friend and member of the family who came commented on how quickly they were able to drive here. This has filled me with the hope that we’ll have many more visits from our friends and family over the coming years.