Duck Cake, Balloons, Hydrangeas & Camping with Babies… Glow-bugs 1st Birthday!

20 Jan

Happy 1st Birthday Glow-bug!

It has taken me an entire week to recover from the long marathon of 1st birthday celebrations. We were lucky enough to have two fabulous afternoons sandwiched between gale force winds and torrential rain.

For the cake, I was certain I was in good hands with this luscious looking banana and blueberry recipe. Ingredients mixed, batter licked … hmmm delicious! Place in oven … BING! 90minutes later I open the oven door … with immense disappointment.


Not only had I burnt the top of the cake, the inside was undercooked. All the bloody expensive organic blueberries had sunk to the bottom. For a moment I consider converting this into some sort of fancy trifle … vanilla bean custard can be kind to mistakes… I take another bite – yuk! All I taste is baking soda and gritty brown sugar. I vow to never again try and bake in an old oven that is missing its bottom element. Fool!

FUCK -this fucken cake! I race off to the supermarket to buy a sponge.

I can’t face another failure right now. I am tense and anxious. There is too much to think about. There is going to be a storm surrounding the entire North Island tomorrow. Should we just cancel the whole bloody thing? Will people even come all the way to the bloody Horowhenua? Will all the babies in tents end up with pneumonia? Aren’t first birthdays supposed to be a stress-free celebration for the parents?

With my tail dragging between my legs I sulk up to the Joker and BEG FORGIVENES, ‘pleaseeee make the cake.’ Batman will stick to making splendid Hawaiian club sandwiches.

Early Saturday morning we have a small sprinkling of showers. Overnight our marquee has tried to fly away. The chickens are over all the dramas and decide to hide. Oh stuff the windy weather, I don’t care … I still want balloons everywhere. Balloons in the house – balloons in the trees and balloons in Glow-bug’s bedroom. Last-minute bunting is created with a paper napkins and a stapler. Blue hydrangeas and citronella candles in old jars are the final touches. The sun comes out – I breathe and take a sip of pink sparkling wine – we are ready!

We greet our family and friends. Most of the day is spent lounging, drinking and eating under the shade of the trees, as the children wrestle over who will play with Ferdinand the bull. A swim is attempted, only to discover that for the first time in 15 years the beach is closed.

Cake time! The Joker has saved the day with a fabulous duck lake in a forest. The glow bug snatches a marshmallow tree with glee. Still there is something missing… DAISY. Where is she? We have no internet or mobile reception so if she called we wouldn’t know. An old brown European looking car pulls up… Miss Sally, Miss Lize and I look like we are about to cry. OMG OMG OMG we sound like we are all dim-witted fourteen year old school girls. IT’S DAISY!!!!!!

Tents are erected; I am so impressed with the loyalty and resilience of my friends. These young families are not put off by the possibility of evening showers: they all drove a long way to camp and they are going to camp, rain or shine!

Once upon a time we would have polished off all the wine and talked till dawn. But around 9.30pm the babies are all finally asleep, we finish our last cup of Rooisbos Tea and happily all go to bed. After a few downpours and large gusts, all babies did remarkably well. The morning was crammed with intense discussions, flowing pots of coffee and gourmet ham and blue cheese toasties. It started to rain heavily again. The babies were due for their morning naps. Tents were packed. Farewells were said, Miss Bee and Glow-bug waved goodbye to each other.

Silence fills the empty bach… but not for long… a few moments later the sun decides to burst through the clouds, just as more family members disembark ready to continue with the eating and drinking festivities. It couldn’t have been a more superb weekend.

Happy 1st Birthday Glow Bug!


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3 Responses to “Duck Cake, Balloons, Hydrangeas & Camping with Babies… Glow-bugs 1st Birthday!”


  1. One summer, one bach, one baby, one bedroom, two chickens, 15 weeks of madness! « daisyandzelda - February 24, 2012

    [...] arrived before Christmas.  We were spending so much time swimming at the beach and organising Glow-bugs birthday that our once manageable hand washing rapidly became a dank and daunting mountain off doom.  The [...]

  2. A Stormy Kiwi Christmas « daisyandzelda - January 3, 2013

    [...] It was a relief to have a break from internet. I am in denial about the thousands of emails that waiting for me. For now they will just have to wait till Monday. I have a two year old’s cake to plan – hopefully I improve on last years birthday cake disaster! [...]

  3. 2011-2012: An epic journey « daisyandzelda - January 14, 2013

    [...] returned to New Zealand to celebrate Zadie’s first birthday and reunite with family and friends. Zelda climbed another mountain. Our guesties talked honestly [...]

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