So the plan had been for a glorious picnic at the Helderberg Nature Reserve on a sun-filled day, the invites had been sent and the preparations made. Sadly for us though, just as the weekend was starting to roll in, word arrived of the imminent Black South Easter storm heading our way, basically a cut off low pressure system that brings particularly wet weather, which usually translates to flash floods – in fact, the exact same weather system was responsible the destructive 1981 Lainsburg Flood!

(Seriously, it took me over 2.5 hours on Friday evening to get home thanks to the Lourensford river that burst its banks and at times it was as if I was travelling in a boat – there were sections of the road where the water was lapping halfway up my car’s door!)

With heavy hearts we first tried the postponement route, but unfortunately the end of year crunch means most people have plans for pretty much every weekend up until New Year’s – meaning that door was closed. Scrambling into backup plan mode, we phoned up my mom and asked her if we could use her pad to host Jessica’s birthday party – and thankfully they agreed to allow an unknown number of toddlers to rampage about their house.


As it turned out, we lost a significant amount of adults and children on the day, some to illness, some to the change of plans, and some to dealing with this or that disaster brought on by the inclement weather, but nevertheless the party was a great success at mom’s place, with the kids all suitably entertained (I packed in all Jessica’s toys and coached her on sharing, while Chantelle had the kids all icing and decorating their own cupcakes), and the adults all chilled and well fed, thanks to a delicious spread put on by Chantelle and her mom. Even the table tennis table got a bit of a run!

Jessica seems to have thoroughly enjoyed her birthday party, she was in a fabulous and happy mood throughout, and needless to say, there was plenty of renditions of “Happy Birthday” going around!

Oh, and then of course there was all the excitement around the opening of the presents… :)