But ... I had the BEST time and learned some lessons along the way:
1. NEVER be over ambitious with food. Tiny morsels of interesting canapes may look delicious and enticing but they take forever and should always be left to professional caterers. At one point I wanted to suffocate myself under a pile of mozzarella and basil. At four o'clock (when I hit meltdown) son was calmly making food and telling me, 'No tears, Mum - only dreams!' I wanted to kill him but he was invaluable so I refrained.
We made a few dozen different types of canapes served to
guests by my son and Goddaughter.
This is the tiniest selection of what was on offer.
A lot went in the bin!
2. Teens are in your house for a reason. They have very young legs, learn quickly and are great for doing all those jobs you don't have time to do or have lost the will to live for. I have to say MASSIVE thanks to my hard-working son and Goddaughter. We would never have coped without you.
Dancing with my Goddaughter.
No pics with my son as he was too busy being DJ!
My Bedouin tent - complete with chandelier!
Hubbie making his speech.
5. Turning 50 doesn't mean that you become old and boring. Dance? We never stopped and people left saying that it was one of the best parties they'd been to and how sore their feet were!
6. My mum is amazing! At 86 and still recovering from a broken pelvis she did me proud and I love her so much.
7. Twitter is the most surprising place. After two years of talking to @Aurora_Therapy either on Twitter, on the phone, by email or text I felt as if I'd known her all my life. Imagine how delighted I was when she said she was flying from Glasgow to London to be at my party! It was the first time we'd ever met face to face and it was an instant connection - even hubbie and son said they felt like it was just an old friend coming into the house. Our shared love of fancy dress, partying, Barry Manilow and drag queens brought us together and we hit it off instantly. Also huge thanks to Andy, another Twitter buddie who came along - we have to put that date in our diary!
8. When you're meeting a Twitter pal for the first time and you know they have a SERIOUS obsession with Noel Edmonds, you have to make sure 'he's' there. Maybe not in person but a mask will do! I won't blog her reaction but it was hilarious and would need to be bleeped. She was a little out of sorts for quite a while afterwards!
Look at the love on that face!
8. Clearing up takes FOREVER! My house is now clean but I'm sick of finding jars of olives in the cat food cupboard or serving dishes in the office. Next time I'm 50 (!) I'm just giving everyone cheese and crackers.
So, I did it! I partied in style. Thanks go to my mum, Robes, Ben, all my Ozzie family, Maddy, Linda, Elizabeth, Marylou, Lucinda, Mireille and Andy for all that you did to make it so special. Also to another Twitter friend @DropDeadChocs who I do believe may have sent me something yummy. Hubbie has either hidden it or had a secret chocolate party!
Being 50 rocks!