Girls And Boys (Blur, 1994)
Last weekend we had the pleasure of attending a "baby reveal" party. This baby reveal party concept was new territory for me. When I was pregnant, 8 years ago, I didn't find out my son’s sex before he arrived. Indeed, he ended up arriving three weeks ahead of schedule on the very day of my planned baby shower. Therefore, I would call myself a relative novice at the whole baby reveal scenario. A whole world of discovery awaited in the preparation for this event. The invitation read “sit down garden lunch, oh la la, frightfully British”. It required the guests to wear either pink or blue to indicate whether they thought the baby to be revealed was going to be a boy or a girl.
The host and hostess are people of impeccable taste and so real thought needed to go into the key decisions: What do I wear? And, do we take a gift? As for the first question, I decided to play it relatively safe: legs out; boobs in. It was a beautiful spring late-afternoon in Dubai so I wanted something bright for the season. A colourful a-line high front mini-dress, with Gucci wedges. All finished with a YSL classic baby sac de jour bag in lipstick fuchsia, indicating my clear view that this baby was going to be a girl.
On the gift front we also played it safe and a unisex option was the only way to go, obvio. We went with some very cute Stella McCartney bibs, which were well received.
The party which was already well underway when we arrived. The chap at the barbecue slaved away for three solid hours, cooking more than enough food for the assembled masses. True to the invitation, we enjoyed lunch and drinks sitting at long tables in the garden of our friends' villa. Good food, great company – it was fantastic. At one point it even started to rain. How terribly British indeed. That said, you could count and individually name the few raindrops, which were all gone as quickly as they came.
Then, just before sunset, the hosts, our good friends Sarah-Jane and David along with their son Zach gathered to make the much awaited announcement. With a release of balloons up into the blue and orange of the Dubai dusk sky the party broke out into cheers of delight with the surprising news. It was excellent. And the celebrations went on late into the night.
So, with my experience from last weekend in hand and having given it some thought, here are some tips for your baby reveal/baby shower:
- Have someone do the cooking if at all possible. To attentively host you cannot be sweating slavishly over the hobs. You need to get someone else to cook. If you absolutely can’t do that, choose a few simple things that can be prepared well in advance and just lay them out before the guests arrive.
- GSI (get someone in). If you are reading this in the Emirates, this is easy and you know what I mean. If you are not, ask friends to help. And whoever you do get in, be specific about what you want them to do and not do. Everyone needs their swim-lane.
- Have good music. Our hosts last weekend had a DJ. A friend of theirs, he played some seriously good sounds. Obviously not everyone has a professional house-DJ fresh from a 4 year stint at some the biggest clubs in Paris just passing through for the party. The rest of us normal people will need to make do with an iPod, pre-loaded with a good playlist. Pay. Stop. Pause, and all that. But do put thought into this in advance as music will really help build atmosphere, especially for an outdoor party.
- Have activities for the children. Our hosts last weekend had set up bubble-blowing, painting, books and the usual diet of x-boxy type things to keep the many children of all ages well occupied. That in turn meant that the grown-ups had the space to actually enjoy themselves.
- If having an outdoor party consider weaving into your plans an indoor option. Where possible indoor/outdoor flow is a great thing. It saves the day if the weather doesn’t cooperate and also means that those on working duties such as cooking are not exiled from the rest of the group.
These tips can be equally applied to any summer family-affair type party. Let me know if you think they are useful.
So, what about this weekend? Well, this weekend has been one of balance between hard work and much needed relaxation for us. The final finishes of the move to our new home have kept us very busy: cushions moved around endlessly; dressing tables making their way from one room to the next in search of that just right final destination. So after a busy week of moving yesterday we took a day out and went to the Yas Beach Club for some relaxation. A beach cabana; cocktails and a very good DJ took us through a hot afternoon until sunset. Just what the doctor ordered.