Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Celebrating my 60th [again] in South Africa

When I celebrated my 60th birthday here in Mwadui, I received e-mails, text messages and Facebook messages from my friends in SA saying they can't wait to celebrate with me when I come home on leave. Er-Um! That meant I should have a party at home too!

I sent a message to Amanda who quickly had beautiful invitations printed for me and handed them out to people I had listed for.  On the invitation I asked that guests wear something "vintage" : a scarf, hat, handbag or all three. 
  Amanda also made my birthday cake and the party was to be held at her Cup & Cake Coffee Shop in Marquard.

Generally speaking,  at birthday parties in our small town, the birthday girl lady greets all her guests, serves tea and cake and everyone sits around chatting.  However, whenever I meet people in town, they ask me about my life in Africa: where do I live/do I live in a conventional house/are there shopping malls, chemists, hospitals near my home/ what do I do in Africa / what type of social life do I have? So for my birthday, instead of sitting chatting,  I stood and told my friends about my life as an expat over the past thirteen years. 

 Yours truly wearing a pink vintage hat telling my guests about my life as an expat

 I also had my Ultrabook on a table near me with a slideshow of photos (I have tens of thousands of photos, LOL!) of life in the Guinea, Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania.  One of my guests and a dear friend, 85year-old Yvonne has a computer and Internet. She kept telling the others how she follows my life on Blogger. Apart from our doctor's wife, Ida, Yvonne is the only other person from Marquard who reads my blog! 
 Yvonne, left, my 85 year-old friend and follower of my blog. Next to her is Lzya, another 80-something friend of mine. Lzya and I live in the same street 

 Trudie, my regal queenlike friend with a pillbox and net, also lives in my street. With her is Jenny, who with her husband came to Marquard in the same month as us, 19 years ago. Don't you just love Trudie's snakeskin clutch and Jenny's vintage roses in her hair and on the old handbag? 

With Trudie and Jenny is my dear friend, Carina who is dressed and accessorized exactly as I used to go to church in the sixties! 

A circle of friends 

Little Joel (just visible at edge of photo, right) was so excited to have another "Happy Birthday Cake" and insisted on blowing out the candles. Here he holds covers his ear as my friends sing to me!

 From left rear: Anna ,my friend Carin's mom (Carin left before we took this photo!), Ida, my other Marquard blog-follower, me, Betty, another friend in my street, and Carina. Front: Yvonne; Trudie, Jenny and Karien

When I got dressed on the morning of my party, I tried out two seperate shoes. I always do this: I check in the full-length mirror to see which suits my outfit best and/or (and this one normally wins) which one is the most comfortable. 

While waiting in the coffee shop for the guest to arrive, Amanda told me she didn't have candles for my cake. I said I'd walk up to the end of the block to a nearby supermarket to buy a pack. As I walked out the door, she said: " Mom, do you know you're wearing two different shoes?" We both burst out laughing when I told her how this had happened. This was NOTHING compared to the hysterical laughter from Grant when I phoned him and asked him to bring the other shoe (I wanted to wear the pink ones to match  my hat!) down to the shop! 
 This is how I arrived at my birthday party!

I told this story to the ladies at my party while holding up the two disparate shoes. Of course, we all had another good laugh and the older women assured me that I'd have many such little glitches from now on! 
I'm linking my post to Our World Tuesday which you can access by clicking here.  


  1. Love all the hats! Funny on the shoes.

  2. That's celebrating in style. Neat to make a shaped number cake.

    I could completely see myself do the two different shoes things.

  3. Just visited your blog for the first time from Our World Tuesday. What a delight to meet you. We love to travel so much of my blog has turned into a way to share our adventures. Sounds like your party was so much fun! I turned 60 in Nov of last year but didn't have a party. Hope you can hop over for a visit. Blessings, Debbie

  4. What a fun, delightful birthday and a great way to celebrate with good friends!! You're such a youngster, Jo!! I'm old enough to be your mother!!! Enjoy your week!!!

  5. Two different shoes! Surely that counts as a senior moment, after all you are 60.

  6. Wow ! another birthday party ! I love the fancy hats, lol ! I admire those who handle a computer at over 80 !! The others don't know what they miss !
    I am not surprised at all about your different shoes ! It just happened to me with a beige and a black boot ! and I only realized that when I arrived in the center of Waterloo to do my shopping. I had no choice, I did my shopping with two different colored boots !

  7. What a fun gathering of friends!
    Funny shoe story Jo!Hahaa

  8. What a fun celebration!!! Love the shoe story! Interesting to be living as an ex pat!!!

  9. What fun!
    I had a good chuckle at the shoe situation, lol. The ladies all look great in their vintage hats.

  10. Happy Birthday, Jo! It is nice to celebrate with your friends. I love the hats, looks like a great time. Funny story about the shoes. Have a great week ahead!

  11. Happy Birthday... looks like a wonderful time was had by all!

  12. Wow---what a fun birthday party!!!! You have so many wonderful friends who love you!!!! That is so special...

    Love seeing all of the hats --and who was that crazy woman with two different shoes on????? ha ha ha


  13. Oh Jo, I can't stop laughing about your mismatched attire. I love this idea and wish I could have been there. Stealing this idea for my 60th next year.
    Happy Birthday!

  14. Your life is a wonderful story. You're friends sound wonderful and I'm sure they went home healed for as the Bible says, "Laughter doeth good like a medicine." It's obvious from the youthful looks of your picture that Grant is taking good care of you.

  15. Lol about the shoes. I've done that before, grabbing shoes from my darkened closet so as not to awaken Jerry! This looks like a fun second celebration of your 60th. Great theme idea--vintage dress, hat and'or purse.

  16. What a great birthday party Jo! Love all the vintage -great idea for a party:) Belated 60th to you!


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