I cannot say that spring has sprung anymore, because spring is well under way and today the temperature was in the low to mid twenties, which is almost ten degrees above norm for this time of the year. It was a glorious day and I went for a walk before all the action started. Chigwell looked picture perfect in the sunshine. The cherry blossoms are in full bloom. I’m not sure if they are all cherry blossoms, but the white, pink and red flowers covering the trees lining the streets brought back the much needed colour that we were all waiting for. The daffodils have come and gone and only the withered stalks remain, but the trees which looked almost dead till a week ago are starting to look green and lush again. Children were out in the playgrounds and having a fun time. Today was not a day to stay cooped up indoors.
By the time I got home, I only had time for a quick shower and change before Huw came to pick us up. Lakshmi was fast asleep in her car seat. We got in without making any noise. Huw now plays Malayalam songs for Lakshmi whenever she is in the car. His choice of songs leaves a lot to be desired for though. Hindu devotional songs. I must have a word with him later.
On the way we hit some static traffic and that was enough to wake the little one up. She didn’t seem her usual bright self. I tried playing some of her favourite songs to brighten her up, but she wasn’t ready to play the game.
We got to the birthday venue on time. Huw took Lakshmi home to get changed into her birthday clothes and we decided to stay there to welcome the guests. Anitha and family and one of Kavitha’s friends were already there. Saisaki is a Japanese restaurant which is not open fully yet. We were their first guests and they are only opening officially next weekend. So we practically had the whole restaurant to ourselves and Anitha and family were given free cocktails as they were their very first guests.
Soon the star of the show arrived with her parents. It was only a small event with close family and friends. Slowly Lakshmi perked up and was playing with her uncles who came dressed like biker boys. They refused to remove their leather jackets despite the fact that it was a very warm day.
The party started off with cocktails. I had a sake based one. The sushi and main meal was absolutely delicious. The birthday cake was designed based on the TV programme ‘Night Garden’ with her favourite character the ‘Upsy Daisy’ doll. The restaurant owner brought us two bottles of champagne on the house.
The staff were pleasant and attentive. The new upcoming Mayor of Epping dropped in with his wife for a quiet late lunch. Thomas and Lakshmi did not waste the opportunity to curry favour and Thomas was soon posing for photos with him.
It was past five by the time we left the restaurant. We watched Lakshmi unwrap or rather her parents unwrap the rest of her presents at their place before heading home. The evening was still too good to waste and we went for another walk around the block when we got home. And thus ended a gorgeous day spent celebrating the little one’s first birthday.