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Wednesday, 24 June 2009


Hilary Lacroix writes...
Someone recently told me that she hadn't been to a party for about 5 years, which really struck me, as here at L'Arche Inverness, we have parties all the time! In fact it is hard to keep up with them all, as we celebrate everyone's birthday and the anniversary of them coming to L'Arche, as well as house anniversaries, the community anniversary, workshop anniversary, Christmas, New Year, Valentines, Pancake Day, Easter...you name it, we celebrate it!
I have the great blessing of sharing a birthday with Lilias, so most years we get together at some point on our birthday for a bit of cake and a discussion of our festivities. Some years we have celebrated together, and this year Saorsa, Grianan and my family got together to plan us a lovely party.

It goes without saying that food is probably the most important element, and between Thomas' BBQ and Rebecca with a whole host of others in the kitchen, a veritable feast emerged! At least three tables were put together in Saorsa's living room, for about 20 of us to sit down to a fantastic meal, with candles, wine and garden flowers. After birthday blessing songs and prayer, music and jokes flowed - a lot of cheeky ones about age, especially...

Then of course, the cake! Well, three at least! Brought in with due ceremony and song...we birthday girls felt quite spoilt!

During the cake and coffee, presents were given. L'Arche presents are always lovely. There is usually something big from your house, a special something you may have been dropping hints about all year...And then, a plethora of wee gifts from your friends, things which show how well they know you and your habits. Some people, like Mark, will really appreciate pens and notebooks, or a new tie. Angus will love to get cans of coke and crisps, Lilias, perfume and jewellry, Jackie loves flowers and socks. I'm sitting here drinking one of my gifts! Mmmm!
And then there are the cards! So often they are handmade, with original artwork or photos, which again reflect the love of friends. And of course we all like seeing the reaction of the recipient when cards have jokes or play silly tunes!

No party is complete, in good Highland ceilidh tradition, without a bit of music or a dance! And despite the many celebrations, we are all made to feel special on our birthday. Birthdays, after all, are our chance, as Derek puts it, "to say thank you, that you were born".

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