This week has been absolutely mad! A real rollercoaster ride of organisational activity, secret keeping and masses of mirth...with the added bonus of driving around in a brand, spanking new VW Touran and filming clips of everything we did!! But the week of madness came to an incredible finale on October 2nd with the hosting of the Ultimate Family Surprise Party for my 8 year old daughter Kizzy...complete with camera crew, soundmen and PR people.
The day began at 8am. This was not easy to achieve...Freddy decided to sleep-in for the first time ever, and had to be pulled out from under his Toy Story duvet at 7.50am, which was something that did not impress him at all! So my stress levels were quite high before the day even began. Marinella, my PR contact throughout the competition process, was on the phone at eight o'clock on the dot. We finally got to my sister's house (the party venue) some 10 minutes late but no one seemed to mind. I finally relaxed and allowed myself to be enveloped by the whole creative process!
I was expecting quite a low key film crew set up...instead we got the proper treatment with cameramen, sound crew, director, PR people and some other people who organised the equipment and whatnot. They came in a VW van that bore a passing resemblance to the A Team vehicle! The madness began forthwith with a staged shot of us all outside by the car...on the count of 3 we had to turn and walk into the house. From there we had breakfast in the kitchen. Me and Maisie were sniffing milk to see if they were cheesy smelling...I turned to realise there was a camera looking right at us. Not the greatest bit of film!!! This intrusive camera work continued...but we soon got used to acting "naturally" and proceeded with party food prep, balloon blowing and decorating!
As the nominator of Superpops and Nana, I was taken aside several times to carry out specific jobs to advance the plot! I found myself giving fake instructions to Ian and delegating jobs to people and taking phone calls etc. All while trying to act "natural"! My big job came when I was given a secret task to collect a secret package from a PC shop in town. I was wired up and had the full crew following my every move. I had to take Superpops and Nana with me....thankfully Ella came too for moral support. This was the first time I drove this car on the open road. When it first arrived I tried to drive around the estate and failed epically! I stalled 4 times and didn't get above 20 miles per hour. I was determined to do better, but did whine and panic a bit before setting off :( After adjusting the seat though and actually being able to reach the pedals, I found the driving a lot easier (didn't think to do that on my first attempt...too excited to think straight most probably!!) So my mission was to drive into town, park up (thank God there was a huge space right outside the shop!!) and go to the shop and ask for my secret package! All the while I was filmed by the crew. People were coming out of shops to watch. I felt very celebrity-esque!! The girl in the PC Shop seemed delighted to be in on the action and was all smiles when she gave me the secret package that turned out to be a huge picture of Kizzy, photoshopped as a princess! It was brilliant and my reaction of joyous wow-ing was 100% genuine! I knew Kizzy would love it!! She had been the best, most giving, little girl on the planet, agreeing to forgo her birthday for Nana and Grandad. She believed the party was for them and was totally happy about it. We had secretly plotted to make a big reveal during the party where the emphasis would turn from Superpops and Nana to Kizzy. This picture was another perfect prop to use in that moment! I stashed the huge picture into the boot of the car and drove home. I had to reverse into the drive which terrified me...I had hit Paula's gate trying to back in before....but I did it!!!
Eventually, the party started with Her Bandana Dreams playing a set. Nan, Grandad and Kizzy had returned to my house with the camera crew to get changed (OMG I didn't even tidy up before we left in the morning...there was a bowl of Shreddies on the sofa!!). During this time we personalised everything so it bacame Kizzy's party and awaited their arrival. They entered the house to be greeted by everyone applauding! Everything went perfectly. After playing Life is a Movie and Draw me a picture, the band played the Grandparent Song that Ella wrote. The floodgates opened and the tissues were distributed as me, Paula, Nana, Kizzy, Maisie and apparently the soundman let our emotions out in tear form!! Grandad did the tight faced/keeping it in thing but was clearly moved, evident in the way he leapt out of his chair to give Ella an emotionally charged hug at the end of the song! Then came the twist...the band played their Happy Birthday Song. Kizzy realised that the day was all about her...she shed joyful tears that turned into joyous exuberance as a brand new pink BMX was wheeled in along with a pink handbag shaped birthday cake and the giant Kizzy picture!! The reveal could not have been better if scripted! We had pulled off the surprise after all the conspiring of the last week....a real triumph and an unforgettable birthday for Kizzy!!
I hope the crew filmed some golden moments and I can't wait to see the final cut of our entry into the final competition. Whether the public vote for us or not....we have had an amazing adventure!!