I'd only just returned from Paris and turned eighteen. My friend, whom I shall refer to as V (because I've always wanted to refer to my friends with their initials) had told me she wanted to take me to see some kind of a show or performance on Friday night, and it was to be a Grand Surprise. So I traipsed into town wondering what it could be, like the gullible little girl I am.
V called me and told me she'd got the time wrong - the performance would start an hour later than she'd thought. She told me to come over to S, a mutual friend of ours who lived nearby. Along I went, only to find twenty of my friends singing me Happy Birthday.
And as much as I go on about hating surprises, this is one I can't not love.
My friend J turned eighteen on the same day as me, so we were given a bottle of wine each to kick off the evening. (Incidentally, I think this picture nicely demonstrates the difference between our respective personalities.)
It was a brilliant evening, made of friends and food and drink and music and the irreplaceable feeling of being fully and purely happy. V had not only planned a party, she'd also asked Antti Autio to come and play a gig for us. (He's one of my favourite artists and his live shows are incredible. My friends are still reminiscing how my face looked when Antti walked in.) V also performed one of my favourite songs for me. (Summer in the City by Regina Spektor, in case you're wondering.)
We ended the night by dancing to the Beatles on the kitchen table, and never have I ever felt as cared for.
PS. Guess where I'm posting this from? From the lazy aftermath of a surprise birthday party to my friend K. We really are lucky, aren't we.