Monday, July 02, 2007

Birthday celebrations & refuse collection

"Happy Birthday to you"

Well the birthday party finally happened! A big Happy 3rd Birthday to he who often decorates our house in purple paint. To celebrate the big day, we hosted a party at home, with eight children to entertain with games of musical statues, musical bumps and musical fish (that was 21st C Dad's contribution on the game front). I had lots of fun trying to inject some novelty value into the edible creations and thought I would show off my cheesy frogs, retro jelly pots & the 70's style hedgehog.

I am really proud of the lemon tartlets that I made today. Admittedly I had to rescue the pastries after I'd baked them blind (to shouts from 21st C Dad of "I think you should have used baking beans after all!"). What was really satisfying though was the homemade lemon curd, which I made up in just 10 minutes using the recipe that I'd read about on the Beansprouts blog. Melanie had reported on this very easy recipe which she'd seen on Hedgewizard's site and boasted how easy it was....and I now have proof that it really is. So thanks Melanie for sharing this ;-)

So after a day of party-prep and kiddy-entertainment, did I get a chance to put my feet up?....err no... I left 21st C Dad to clear up the mess and went off with my friend Nigella (who is a real domestic goddess) to a local consumer panel on Waste and Refuse Collection (i.e. how the council should deal with the waste that I'd just created and other things?).

T'was an interesting evening, with a panel of 10 people being asked their views on refuse collection. Honestly, it WAS interesting and we covered recycling, garden waste, food waste, smelly waste, landfills, incinerators and potential local government awareness initiatives.

The only element that did irk me was one fellow-panelist's "holier than thou" attitude. As regular readers know, I (like many others) am really trying to make my eco-friendly mark on the world in whatever way I can. What I don't need is to be hassled by an eco-warrior who manages to take the friendly out of eco-friendly and turns green issues into a battle-ground of never being good enough, unless you follow all the super-green commandments needed to reach the holy green grail.

The disadvantage of such a warrior attitude is that it creates barriers of understanding and commitment from the average population. Surely it is much more positive to highlight the simple things that people can change and illustrate ways in which they can feel good about themselves at the same time, in a friendly approachable manner. It is still possible to educate and raise awareness in this way, without actually being uber-defensive about environmental issues.

Well that's me stepping down off my soap-box...and yes coming back to the cheerier subject of the our lovely birthday party, the rubbish has been sorted into packaging in the blue bin, food waste in the black bin and compostable items in the compost bin.

Oh nearly forgot...remember my best intentions to make the party bunting?...I eventually cut out the triangles from dodgy material scraps but ran out of time to complete the job...consequently I relinquished my domestic goddess responsibilities and bowed down to my natural state...

... Yes the offer of 8 metres of ready-made bunting from our local toyshop for £8.99 was far too tempting...

And doesn't it look lovely?


Melanie Rimmer said...

Congratulations. The party food looks great and you're right, the bunting is lovely.

Nigella said...

Only a true domestic goddess could possibly consider tackling homemade lemon curd. My work with you is done, my apprentice! Well done, the bunting is funky, the food looks amazing - I trust you had very little wastage? ;) - and the games inspired. 21st Century Kid is very lucky!

21st Century Mummy said...

Thanks ladies, for your lovely comments.

Nigella - I'm afraid the lemon curd does not touch your efforts with the sausage rolls, so I will remain in training. Forgot to mention, at some point in yesterday's preceedings 21st C Dad asked whether I'd outsourced the catering to you. I think it might have been because of my over-relaxed and carefree state that presided during the morning. Of course I hadn't, but what a great idea for next time ;-)

Ruby in Bury said...

Wow, it looks lovely and I am hungry now, especially for a retro jelly pot.

Grrrr @ the grumpy eco-warrior. It seems her environmentally friendly policies may be limited - especially concerning people in her immediate enviromnent!!

Love the bunting, well done 21stCMummy.

Baba said...

Sounds like a great success ! I loved the frog sandwiches and I bet everyone had a lovely time! At least the boys now have an idea of your tastes / expectations for your birthday.....(hee hee!)

21st Century Mummy said...

Of course, I am happy to help host 50K celebrations, weddings, birthdays etc, as long as nobody is expecting anything more mature ;-)