Turning 60 makes me sound really old and I cannot believe I am this age. Last week I reached this milestone and celebrated turning 60. How I celebrated was very different to how I had planned.
After I retired from nursing and we moved into this house we inherited a fabulous large garden. It has a big lawn space and a large patio space, perfect for entertaining. My initial plan was to hold an afternoon garden party for my immediate family, my husbands and few close friends. The guest list would have been around 35 and would fit comfortably in the area with room for the little ones to run around and play. However these plans were obviously curtailed by the Governments Guidelines to help control and contain the spread of Covid19.
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My plans for celebrating then meant I could just have my immediate family around in the garden. This then posed it’s own problem as the weather in Manchester has been dreadful for most of the month – grey skies and so much rain, in fact leading up to my birthday it rained every day.
Mr Fitz and myself usually have a holiday or trip away to celebrate a BIG birthday. I have wanted to visit Oxford for ages and we had booked a stay in a Hotel for this month much earlier in the year. However we had cancelled this due to the uncertainty and because we planned to travel by Rail and this was not something we were ready to do yet.
Therefore we decided to have a mini break much closer to home and Mr Fitz treated us to a night’s stay at Hotel Gotham Manchester and a meal in the hotel’s Honey Restaurant. I’ll write a full review of this in my next post. All I will say here is that we had a wonderful time and is something we are considering doing again for our 35th Wedding Anniversary at the end of September.
As you may know I live in Manchester UK and I love living here. However this summer we seem to be getting more rainy days then other area’s. Despite me posting that it’s a myth about it always raining in Manchester, conditions are making me doubt this! I see social media photographs from friends and fellow bloggers around the country and they look to be enjoying being outside in sunshine. I have been looking forward to turning 60 and enjoying muted celebrations but have been so anxious that the rain would stay away.
The weather was dry when we travelled to Manchester and I didn’t take a coat but the minute we had checked in Hotel Gotham then ventured outside for a bit of shopping it started raining. My freshly styled hair started to flop. My fine menopausal hair does not tolerate any moisture well at all.
For my garden celebration I had my poor family on standby as to whether my little gathering would go ahead. I had to hold it outside for Social Distancing reasons and for enjoyment. I have 5 boisterous great nieces and nephews who love to run around and play. More so at the moment as they have been apart during lockdown. Anyway thankfully the forecast was dry and I decided to proceed.
We had a gazebo on standby and is probably an essential for any UK garden
I bought a selection of inexpensive garden games to lay out on the lawn for the little ones to play with and keep them entertained
Snakes and Ladders
A Twister style game
We also had a few other games that we all enjoyed
Rory’s Story Cubes by Asmodee Games
Dobble Card Game
And no get together would be complete without a Pinata – as adults we love watching them squeal with delight trying to release the sweeties
The rain stayed away and we had a lovely afternoon, a much needed get together as we had suffered the loss of my brother only about 6 weeks before lockdown and we had been apart since then.
Even though it was to celebrate me turning 60 I made the emphasis for my great niece and nephews as we are all happy to watch them play and be happy.
I put on a simple spread to meet everyone’s needs, my Sister in Law follows a Gluten Free diet and some of the little ones can be a bit picky but also love nothing more than cucumber and tomatoes! So there was finger food and hot food selection of chilli or chicken curry, in case it was a bit chilly and something warm was required.
I made an activity out of serving ice cream – I made an ice cream station and everyone got to have a vanilla ice cream in a dish or a cone and could decorate it themselves. I provided an assortment of sprinkles and toppings including fabulous sauce, including unicorn shimmer and bubblegum flavour and other fantastic flavours from the Skinny Sauce Company. This was a big it with the little ones and the adults!
So here I am at 60 , and all my working life I expected on turning 60 to collect my Pension and bus pass at this age, but sadly due to changes in legislation and local authority guidelines that was bot to be. I can however receive free prescriptions, which thankfully I don’t need regularly and I look forward to a Bowel Cancer screening kit in the post! Happy Days!
Have you had a celebration or milestone occasion during lockdown, what did you do to celebrate? Did you still manage to have a great time?
Anyway thanks for popping by today and come back to see my full review of our night in Hotel Gotham Manchester.