After a very late night watching the Olympic opening ceremony I woke up rather late, but got straight down to the business of putting finishing touches to the cupcakes before setting off to meet my parents at Kenwood House. The weather was perfect as we boarded the bus that would take us up Highgate Hill and along Hampstead Heath towards Kenwood, and despite arriving in good time, there were lots of people already waiting for us under the (copper beech?) tree where we had planned to meet - including one of my uncles and his family who had travelled from Devon to join us for the day, all of my Daddy's other brothers with their families, along with Mum's brother from Brighton, my two Great Aunts and some of their children (with some of their children!), Mummy's parents with their partners and my Godmother, my Mum's best friend from childhood, with her family.
Unfortunately there was a large puddle directly under the tree, but we worked around that, spreading various John Lewis picnic blankets around the drier bits and setting up the picnic area slightly further back again. I wasn't so lucky and spent most of the afternoon accidentally kneeling in various patches of wet grass...
My young cousins soon set up a games area on the other side of the tree, where they played frisbee, rounders and other various outside games until they were called over for food. There was a huge veggie feast - including olives, Greek bread, various types of humous, rice salad, sausage rolls, potato salad, falafel, vegetable tarts and lots of posh crisps.
After the delicious round of savoury food and plenty of treats, we spent hours just chatting and mingling, taking group photos in the sun, catching up with family we hadn't seen since Christmas or longer ago, and having a good giggle looking at old photo albums from Mum and Dad's wedding day all those years ago.
Anyone in the family under 25 obviously hadn't been born at the time of the wedding, so it was especially fun to go through the photos with them, seeing their reactions to pictures of Daddy and his brothers all with full heads of hair!
It was a lovely day of re-connecting with family members who for the last few years have only really come together to attend funerals - it was relaxing to finally be together to celebrate something at last, and you could see the happiness exuding from my parents as they were milling around their friends and family, taking the centre of attention with genuine ease.
Not too much of a mad tea party, as such - though I'm sure enough people who know us might call us a pretty mad family, but I think that's just part of the fun, and I love my family to bits, no matter how mad people might think we are!
Check out the Mad Tea Party blog party over >>>>>>>>here!