Despite the heat and melting buttercream I got the cake made and decorated on Friday, and delivered it in one piece ready for the party on Saturday afternoon. I have known Ivan for almost as long as I have lived in my village but first got to know him well when he was playing the fairy in a village pantomime. This was long before I ever trod the boards but in those days I used to paint scenery or make costumes. We were doing a variation of Jack and the Beanstalk..... called "Jock and the Beanstalk". As you might guess, the principle boy, Jock was a Scot but in our version each of the characters was a different nationality. Dame von Strapp (Jock's mother... I let you work that one out) was German, King Cornetto was Italian and Fairy Nuff was French... played by our resident Frenchman.
This was my sketch of his costume... and the results!
I guess all villages have their "characters" and Ivan is definitely one of ours. When he married Marie Therese (who is another wonderful "character") 12 years ago I was privilged to be asked to make the waistcoat for his wedding outfit... embroidered and appliqued in silk to a very specific design!
What a fabulous couple they are! They have recently moved away from the village and will be greatly missed by so many people.
And so yesterday it was wonderful that they returned for a surprise party for Ivan's 80th birthday. The sun shone and we had a fabulous afternoon catching up with good friends.
And here is the birthday boy getting ready to blow out the candles on his cake... while we all stood around and thought there must be some mistake... this man could never be 80 years old. He is a wonderful example of how to live life to the full and enjoy every minute!
Oh... and I suppose you want to see the cake...
Bon Anniversaire Ivan!