So, I've blogged about Rob's Grandad before. You may remember him from posts like this, about all he did for us in World War 2. He is truely an amazing man and I love him like he was my own grandfather. I'm not the only one that thinks he's great, he's respected and loved by everyone that knows him, especially his family.
So, when we knew he had a big birthday coming up, we all got our heads together and started plotting! He deserved something to show him how grateful we all are for everything he does and to show how much we appreciate him. So, we decided on a surprise party.
Originally, it was going to be a 'get him out of the house and then leap out from behind the sofa shouting "Surprise!"' affair, but, as Grandad was hitting the wonderful age of 90, we thought he may appreciate something that wasn't such a shock to the system! So, we decided on a series of mini surprises whilst still doing the party.
Now, Grandad lives 200 miles from us, and the rest of the family are dotted all over the country, so a bit of a plan was called for. It went like this:
Rob's mum Clare went down a few days before as she normally does in the Easter holidays, as a regular visit to see her Dad. Then, Rob's Uncle Neil and sister Zoe phone up and say 'seeing as it's your birthday, could we pop over for lunch on Saturday?' (they're only about 50 miles away each so that was perfectly feasible). So, off they all trot and are sat having a nice cup of tea and planning where to go for lunch.
Enter the noisy stage of the plan! Meanwhile, we'd been travelling down the motorway. We pull up outside Grandad's and send the kids to the door. Oh the look on his face! 2 little munchkins stood on his doorstep shouting 'Happy Birthday Grandad!'. I do have it on video but can't get it up here for now, will work on that! 'Hello Grandad' says Rob, 'just thought we'd pop in to say Happy Birthday'. Hmmm, says the look on Grandad's face, but you live 200 miles away!
So, in we go to a very shocked Grandad and then it all starts happening. In the kitchen there's a hive of activity: we've all been cooking, baking, booze buying and stocking up on glasses. By now Grandad's starting to think he ain't getting to the pub for a sandwich and half a bitter! Then, in come his other grandchildren plus his new great-grandaughter who he's not seen in the flesh yet, and the penny well and truely drops!
So, we all get some food and a drink and I think Grandad thinks that's it, a nice family gathering. Oh no, we've gone further than that! Clare and Zoe have been canvassing the neighbours, writing to long lost relatives and all of a sudden the doorbell rings and Grandad gets more and more surprises.
So, we have everyone there, we have the food, the drink, the guests and a very happy if not shocked Grandad! Yay, I love it when a plan comes together!
Next up is the cake/toasts. Emily did the honours with the cake (which was a brave decision as the girl can trip up over air):
But it got to him in one piece and we had a few words from Zoe and raised a glass to him:
And then lots of fun, chatting, drinking and some family photos out in the garden (on a rare occassion we're all together!). They haven't all surfaced yet but here's one to be going on with: