My sister-in-law recently, after months of paperwork, got granted her visa to live in the UK allowing her & my nephew to finally base themselves here (along with my brother, obviously!). Added to that her 30th birthday & my nephew's 3rd birthday both fell in July and so a party for all their family & friends was in order.
We drove down, arriving late on the Friday night and were quickly roped in to helping to decorate his dinosaur birthday cake. (Unknown to my S-I-L, I had also made her a surprise birthday cake - so I was all caked out by this point!)
I woke up on Saturday morning to the quiet countryside sounds outside my window and got straight onto food prep duties - a tomato salad & mushroom salad were quickly made and it was outside to decorate the garden.
People started arriving early in the afternoon and it was just lovely to catch up with old faces and snap away with my new camera. Children quickly made friends and seemed immune to the cold water of the swimming pool, jumping in and out constantly!
Of course there was a breeze when it came to cake time, so the surprise element was lost as we battled to keep candles lit for long enough, but that's always the way.
As the afternoon wore on, people started to drift home until it was just those of us staying at the house left. The children were inside curled up on the settee playing games, most of the washing up was done and we sat around our large picnic bench, enjoying a drink or two, watching the light fade.
An old Chinese lantern was found, shoes quickly slipped on and we headed out to the back field to light it. I only got one shot, before my memory card was full, forcing me to watch through my eyes rather than the camera lens.
Joining in with;