Gathan Beaga

Te Tiniotehakuturi

We had wondered what sort of party B₂ might like for her seventh (which was actually the other week on a not-quite convenient day for a party). I consulted my fellow Wellingtonistas through our private hotline. There was some interesting and useful discussion, culminating in Jo’s tale of a wonderfully elaborate and memorable outdoor and themed birthday party she had once had as a preteen.

That was our inspiration for this, a fairy party in a woodland clearing:

Te Tiniotehakuturi

We decided to invite seven of B₂’s close friends to the party, to be held across the gully in the flax clearing at Otari-Wilton’s Bush. This turned out a lot better than we even hoped.

R₂ and I went on ahead to set up, making sure the others could find us by turning on our fairy music (Cinderella in this case). After their walk up the hill the girls were wide-eyed and ready for my politically suspect story of how and why the clearing came to be (basically some English faerie who had stowed away on the ship out with John Wilton had negotiated with the local faerie, a hapū of Te Tiniotehakuturi, the guardians of the forest, to prevent them from sending yet another earthquake to get rid of the Pākehā and their tree-chopping ways once and for all; thus Otari-Wilton’s bush came to be, and the clearing was where the two groups of faerie continue to meet; and so of course that we need to take care of the forest so as not to break the agreement and cause another earthquake etc etc).

B₂'s cake (2)After that came the usual avalanche of “sometimes” foods; a cake; a bout of present-openings; and party games. Then the girls were all mad keen to dance like fairies (as one does when one is a seven year old girl), so we turned the music up (by this time we were on to Sleeping Beauty) and they danced all round the sloping lawn, chasing and catching the bubbles we blew at the same time.

It wasn’t long before it was time to go. R. took all the girls on ahead, and I stayed to tidy up and pack all the gear (and rubbish) out. They were all a bit tired by the time they got back up to the carpark at the entrance; but everyone, especially the birthday girl, seemed to have had lots of fun (with one exclaiming that it was the best birthday party she’d ever been to, no small compliment given the sorts of parties held these days).

And of course the nice thing from my and R.’s perspective is that we came home to a house unbombed by party carnage, and we could have a relaxing afternoon in recovery without having to clean anything up. Ahhhhhhh.