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THE NIGHT WE CELEBRATED AT PETER’S 80TH BIRTHDAY BASH!



I don’t think I have ever been so deranged as I was the night before Pete’s party as I struggled manfully, or personfully to do the Table Plans for this event I had so carefully organised.


Derangement is such a great word. It so accurately describes how one feels in any given situation where one experiences something that seems to be an impossible task and ask of anyone. Such was my job, with the friends I had assembled who were utterly disparate and yet strangely connected by virtue of their relationship to Pete.


I guess one’s friends and colleagues are a perfect outward illustration of the various aspects of ourselves. And really, Pete’s interests and activities are nothing short of purely Gemininian (is that a proper word, even?). I’m a different beast, being an Aquarian. There has to be something of the ‘crazy’ in people I am drawn to. Too much rational / scientific / data-driven / in-the-box thinking drives me berserk.


I start to feel trapped, as though my spirit is suffocating! Luckily, I have the outlet of music to create a safe escape hatch via which I can propel myself back into the zero gravity atmosphere of the cosmos, donning my marigolds in preparation for spring cleaning my spaceship.


But I digress. Back to Pete. Is there anything this boy cannot do? And I use the word BOY with perfect precision. For he is nothing less than a complete BOY! His outlook on life has never changed. He lives for the excitement of what he has planned down the road, thus creating.a goal towards which he walks. And every step is preparation towards the completion of the goal accomplished with grace and style and perfection. My path is so haphazard, I can’t remember the goals..


I had meticulously planned the details of the party. It was supposed to begin with us arriving at 6pm to ‘meet and greet’ our friends, sharing drinks and chat with them until 7pm when we would sit down for our three course supper at darling Giuseppe’s Italian joint in East Molesey.


But did that happen? Did it hell ! I was desperately trying to get Lights for the performers at 6.15pm, and finishing the Table Plans by handwriting all the place cards. When I eventually did arrive (at nearly 7pm), I had to completely ignore all the amazing guests in order to race around the restaurant like Road Runner in order to put out the place cards on the tables. To me this vital service of deciding who was going to sit with whom, would be the axis upon which the whole event turned, thus contributing to its overwhelming success and the feedback I received.


So I’m racing around telling everyone to shut up / leave me alone / can’t you see what I’m doing / help me please / don’t help me I know what I’m doing / OMG where am I / who are you / and how did I end up in this nightmarish place of deranged event organisation ?? I am after all only a f***ing piano player !!


The whole event was incredible. The incredible amount of LOVE in the room was, frankly, incredible. And Brian’s beautiful wife (who we’ve never seen, and is therefore kept under lock and key for obvious reasons), came over to tell me that, ‘there is an incredible amount of Love in the room, Yasmine’. Really ?? Where? When? And most importantly, ‘And who are you?’ Such were the number of cells left functioning in my frazzled brain. The rest of the night was a blur - for both of us, I later discovered.


That I got that many people from that many walks of life on that night in that restaurant was something approaching a modern miracle, in a parting of the Red Sea sort of way. The table plans had a sort of Spice Girls beauty about them -


  1. Sporty Table

  2. Property Table

  3. TV Table

  4. Radio Table

  5. Musicians Table

  6. Artists Table

  7. Coffee Shop Table

  8. Chat Room Table

  9. International Visitors Table


Did I plan all this? Kind of. But then the Universe in its infinite wisdom, took my idea and ran amok with it. Would I do it all again? OF COURSE.


Just to hear my Pete say (in a quiet moment of a frankly exhausting 5 years),


“Thank you for what you did. It was right up there among the best experiences of my life - so far!”


Remember Rudi with the soup, Pete?

‘Alles für dich, Peter. Alles für dich...’.




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