It has been so very hot today, the kind of heat that finds its way deep into your lungs when you breathe, but now the thunder is rumbling and the rain is pouring, soothing the heat and bathing us in a refreshing blanket of coolness.
While I am grateful that the heat has broken, as it has strayed past pleasant and had ranged into oppressive, I am so glad that it didn't happen until today, as yesterday we were at a 1930s themed garden party to celebrate a friend's 30th birthday.
I spent yesterday morning shopping for the finishing touches to our costumes. I looked in vain for a ginger moustache for Carl, but alas could not find one so he had to have black one. I went for the 1930s chap relaxing at home as the idea for his costume. He wore trousers and a shirt, open at the neck, but with a cravat-tied scarf underneath, a cardigan, a hat, a pipe (a plastic toy one as we are not smokers!) and of course the Clark Gable-style moustache. I wore a dark red and white spotted tea dress, and decided to set my hair with hotsticks. I don't know if it was the weather, but my hair went just huge, no matter how much I brushed it out. A hotstick set always has a lot volume to begin with, but as you brush it out, it usually calms down. On the spur of the moment, I decided to do something a little different with it, and rolled it and pinned it, so it looked like I had a 1930s chin length bob, instead of its usual length. I was really pleased with how it turned out.
Then I whipped up a batch of mini savoury muffins flavoured with red onion chutney and cheddar, a batch of white chocolate raspberries, and a batch of milk chocolate dipped strawberries to take.
We decided to get a taxi, as the party was being held in a village off of the public transport route, and Carl hasn't had a drink at a party for a long time because of the driving. When we got there, as I stepped into the garden, I could hear some beautiful music playing. I took another step and realised it was live music - a double bass player and a lady with a keyboard and the most amazing smokey sultry voice. It turns out that the birthday girl's boyfriend had hired them as a surprise. The party was at her parent's house, and they had literally just finished the garden being completely redesigned, and it was breathtaking. Everyone had made the effort to dress up, and it was just delightful to sip a glass of champagne, be in beautiful surroundings in lovely company, chatting with friends and exploring the beautiful garden.
There was plenty of seating and shade which was heavenly as it was so very hot, and scattered on the tables were games such as Shut The Box and Peg Solitaire. There was lots of friendly rivalry and it was a lovely way to pass some time.
A delicious barbecued buffet was served, and then the cake was cut. Candles were lit in the garden, and a watermelon which had been infused with vodka and cut into icy cold slices was passed around. People sat and talked and played and it was just so relaxed and such a pleasurable way to spend an evening.
It made me realise that despite having been 30 for 4 and a half months, I haven't organised my birthday afternoon tea yet. I must get round to doing that soon!
The thunder sounds as though it is getting louder now. I always feel a bit light headed during storms It almost feels too warm for tea, so I think it might be an iced coffee kind of afternoon instead.
Wherever you are, I hope that you are enjoying the sunshine and are staying in the shade!