We marked the end of our first year of meetings with a birthday party, complete with balloons, silly games, presents, party food and of course a birthday cake.
The evening began with a game of wink murder, which saw the first ‘murderer’ almost wipe out the entire room before we had really begun. Luckily, everyone was back on their feet in time for the chocolate game. It involved sitting in a circle, while everyone took turns to roll a die. When someone rolled a six, they were allowed into the centre to eat some chocolate which had been placed on a tray – but before they could do that, they had to put on a hat, scarf and gloves, and they had to use a knife and fork to cut the chocolate up and feed themselves.
Once all the chocolate had been eaten (or had been on the floor!), we played another game led by Catherine. In groups of six, we had to turn our bodies into whatever shape she shouted out. We began with simple tasks – the number 10, the letter S – and moved onto more complex things, like a depiction of one of the sessions we had enjoyed during the year, and a scene from a haunted house.
With our energy spent, it was time for food.
Everyone who came was asked to bring a plate of something and the result was a table heaving with delicious food, including cheese platters, home-made sausage rolls, pizza slices, some beautiful cupcakes and even a tub of jelly.
There was plenty of time to socialise while we ate, before the birthday cake – an impressive creation by committee member Tessa – was brought out and we sang happy birthday. Bex even played Jerusalem in the background while she thanked everyone for their support during the year and the group presented her with a card to show our appreciation for all her hard work.
There was just time for one final game – musical newspapers, where everyone has to dance around to the music, then stand on a piece of newspaper when the music stops. Our games-master, Catherine, stole a few pieces of paper between each round, and whoever was left without a sheet to stand on was out. In the end we had four winners and no fights – a good outcome all round!
At the end of the night, everyone who had brought a gift for the bran tub was allowed to take something home with them. There were some great gifts, although a few ladies were very restrained and took theirs away to open at home. Everyone was given a slice of birthday cake to take away.
It has been a brilliant year: we’ve all learned a few things and made a few new friends. Thanks for your support, ladies – and we look forward to many more birthday celebrations!