Saturday 23 February 2008

Do We Know How to Party, or What?

Everyone who ‘chased the glowing hours with flying feet’ at last night’s wonderful birthday celebrations for Zainab, Naz, Zareena and myself already knows the answer to this one.

Getting everyone to the same place at the same time can be an almost impossible task in London, as we all know. That’s why I’d like to pass on to everyone my love, affection and unbound delight that so many old friends and comrades made it to Camden from different parts of the country. You all helped to turn the eve of my 40th year (I still have three more days as a thirty-something) into such a special evening.

And the best present of all was hearing so many say how much fun they had. I agree wholeheartedly. Throughout the night it felt, to me at least, much more like ‘a gathering of the clan’ than just a party. That wasn’t about the great venue, or the food, or the outrageously strong cocktails (green tea mojitos have a real kick, don't they?). No, it was down to the people who attended, who managed to recreate an energy and spirit that reminded me of the Monega Road and early Shack parties. For me, it was a perfect example of that state of well-being that has no word in English but in German is called gemütlichkeit, which I tried to describe back in early January. So congratulations everyone – even without the considerable talent for party-hosting of our great friend and brother Gilly, you made a night I reckon the Big Fella would have loved.

Of course, this doesn’t mean there wasn’t planning involved – all credit for this is down to Zainab, not me, and I know she had a brilliant celebration of her 30th birthday too. There are a few others that deserve special thanks: Naz for the music, Estelle for the amazing birthday cake, everyone from Brighton and Leamington who made the journey to London. I can’t thank you all enough.

Loads of friends said yesterday that we should do this more often - so let's not hope but decide to gather the clan whenever we can. On Saturday 15th March, there'll be a party at the Shack to mark the first anniversary of Gilly's passing in the only way that could possibly be appropriate - no sleep to morn, and let's chase once more the glowing hours with flying feet...

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