Monday, 31 January 2011

VE Day becomes VA Day

This week I am joining in with Donna over at Brynwood Needlework for her first ever Memory Lane Monday. I am also hoping to link with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for her Tablescape Thursday this week.

I hope Donna will forgive me for stretching the rules a little bit as this post is not about one of my memories but a celebration of my dad's.

My dad was 80 yesterday and we had a family lunch in celebration.

This is a photo of the real VE Day celebrations in his street. My dad can be found at the end of the arrow!

Dad has often said the war years were the happiest of his life. He went from living in a flat in Tottenham to being evacuated to Norfolk, living with an elderly couple who taught him the ways of the countryside and fed him with home-caught, home-grown food. He learned to catch rabbits, make music with a blade of grass and to hang around the nearby American airbase in the hope of some gum!

Keeping this in mind, I decided (at the last minute unfortunately) to have a VE Day type celebration for his 80th birthday. As his initials are V.A. I decided to change it from VE Day to VA Day:

The idea only came to me on Saturday afternoon, so it turned out to be a real wartime 'make do and mend' decorated theme. Red and blue napkins were found and arranged on top of white table mats and tablecloth.

Would you believe I had red and blue fabric left over from making my son a quilt about ten years ago? I used it (and an old white bedsheet) to make bunting:

The Union Jacks were printed from the internet and stuck onto chopsticks. Here are a couple stuck in an old milk bottle we found in the attic:

I brought my Nan's old radio down from the attic as well. I think this is a 50's radio rather than a war-time one, but you can't have everything!

The food I kept to traditional English. Pea Soup, called 'London Particular', Roast Beef with all the trimmings followed by jam roly-poly and custard (Gary Rhodes has wonderful recipes for the pea soup and the roly-poly). Just the kind of nostalgic food my dad loves.

Here he is blowing the candles out on the roly-poly!

So Donna I hope you will forgive me for changing the rules slightly. I wanted to acknowledge my dad reaching the grand age of 80 and letting you all see the wonderful photo of the real VE Day.

H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y, D A D!


Andi xx


  1. Oh, Andi! This is a wonderful posting. Happy Birthday to your dear Dad. How wonderful that you celebrated a period in his life that he considered his best. My father was a WWII Veteran and recalled many of his memories for us... as well as writing two books and numberous articles for military magazines.
    Have a fabulous week! Think I'll check out Memory Lane Monday as that is absolutely so me!
    Ladybug Creek

  2. What a wonderful way to celebrate your Dad's eightieth! I imagine your Dad had a lovely time being evacuated to's a beautiful part of the country,we go there for a week's holiday every Easter.
    My Dad used to love all those sort of puddings too..his favourite was treacle suet..with lashings of custard of course!

  3. Happy Birthday, VA! Of course, I don't mind, Andi! Your dad is the source of many memories for you and your family. I'm happy to see how you celebrated his 80th.
    Thanks for joining the party! See you next month.

  4. Andi
    So happy Donna did this Memory Lane Monday because it connected me to you.
    Your story and celebration for your dad was truly awesome. I love that you took a favorite time of his and gave it to him for such a special day. Happy Birthday to your dad.
    Looking forward to getting to more about you on these Mondays

  5. Andi, what a fun post. You really put your heart into this celebration - I love it! Happy Birthday to your dear Dad!

  6. What a lovely birthday post - your Dad is so lucky to have someone imaginative like you to prepare such a fabulous celebration.

  7. what a beautiful and very special day to share with your Dad, you did a great job. Lovely to come across your blog, Catherine

  8. Andi that is a great celebration for your father. Happy 80th to him!! Love your decor and the old picture.
    Annette (Andy)

  9. This was an awesome celebration and will make a lovely memory :)

  10. Happy Birthday to your Dad. What a great party.
    Thanks for your concerns about my cousin. I thought about Legionaires disease as well. Something isn't right about this.
    No one except me is questioning environmental issues. Maybe because they are afriad of what that might mean. I will keep you posted. (((((HUGS)))))

  11. Very special indeed! Happy B-Day to your father and congratulations to you for making the occasion a memorable one XO

  12. how sweet. i love your entire table setting. how clever!!! tell your dad his stories would fill pages of a novel i think we would all learn something from...oh...and also that 80 is the new 50!!!!! lol.
    cheers to you and your family...birthday blessings from across the pond. hope your dad got lots of chewing gum for his birthday.

  13. Oh I know that your Dad was delighted with the thought you put into his special celebration.

  14. How sweet Andi! What a great birthday party for your dad...tell him HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

  15. What a wonderful, wonderful way to celebrate your dad's birthday. You have made me go all nostalgic for Jam Roly Poly...........

  16. This just seems like the perfect way to celebrate his 80th. Love the old picture with him in it of VE Day. I hope he enjoyed himself. Great trip down memory lane.


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