Family Fun When Felicia Turns 40

News that princess-in-waiting, Kate Middleton is staying in a hotel surrounded by her family and close friends before her Royal wedding, reminds me of my own family’s humble hotel experience.

Daughter No. 2, Felicia was throwing a 40th birthday in Melbourne at Mosq, a popular Moroccan restaurant close to our zany hotel, The Cullen.

She joked that it was her last chance to be a bridezilla, so her day was to have all the trappings of a bride, minus a bridegroom.

When Felicia (who lives in out of the way Williamstown) discovered that our hotel was within walking distance of Mosq, the adult children descended upon us late afternoon and soon a make-up artist knocked on our door.

Unwisely, I had hiked around Melbourne in the morning, forgetting that it was only 10 days since I had a gall-bladder operation, so when they arrived,  I had collapsed on the bed exhausted and party-preparations unfolded around me.  However, there was a power in observation and I lay quietly and mused how beautiful my adult daughters were in adulthood.  Grand-daughter Josephine had her usually untidy golden hair shaped into wringlets and I wondered at her natural feminine charm.

How peacefully Serena handled her children. How Jon’s presence gave fatherly authority over the grandsons, Samuel and Angus.  The men came and went buying take-away coffee and newspapers. Husband Olivier read.

Felicia’s friend Narelle  spread her kitbag of makeup across the kitchen bench and used myriad pots, creams, lipstick and eye shadows to transform her into a mystical 1920s beauty to match her  wavy hairstyle. A last overall powder brush and it was  Serena’s turn.

The last time we Williams women were together comme sa, was Serena’s wedding day 10 years ago. Three divine grand-childre, who filled my hotel room with joy, are the fruit.

I arose from my bed to slip grand-daughter Josephine into her frilly pink chiffon dress and her sparkly party shoes, which I had bought for her in Adelaide. Grandsons, Samuel and Angas sat happily on the floor, watching fascinated asFelicia painted false nails a deep purple.

Husband snapped the whole beauty circus; Jon disappeared to acquire champagne to celebrate and I surveyed the happy chaos.  Girlie clothes were scattered everywhere. Towels, shoes, bags galore and bath robes in a jumble.  When I caught a glimpse of myself in those walls of mirrors, I shuddered. I looked a bedraggled bag lady against these beautiful daughters of mine… but I  had no time to restore myself – they needed to rush off to receive guests. So, that’s me in the yellow polka-dot shirt and black shorts, but my smile shows how happy I am to be the matriarch of such a colourful family.

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6 Comments to “Family Fun When Felicia Turns 40”

  1. By Felicia, 03/05/2011 @ 1:44 pm

    Hi mum
    We enjoyed the pre-party atmosphere also! But perhaps wishful thinking has edited history a little, as madamoiselle Josephine’s hair was straight. I especially loved watching her looking at herself admiringly in the mirror. She also shared in a little lipgloss and eye sheen for the big night.

  2. By Marie Jonsson-Harrison, 05/05/2011 @ 2:55 pm

    Lol, ringlets or not – it does sound like a lovely extended family all at ease and comfortable with each other. Not that I feel ready for the grandmother role – but one day, that too will be nice. Oh and Happy Birthday Felicia 🙂
    Love Marie xxx

    • By nadine williams, 05/05/2011 @ 3:58 pm

      Thankyou faithful friend and you’ll make a wonderful grandmother in, say 10 years’ time..

  3. By Serena, 10/05/2011 @ 10:20 pm

    Wasn’t it a great night? I love the photo of Jon reading the newspaper while all the action goes on around him. Great shots Olivier!
    And mum, FJ is right: Josephine had her hair in a bob with a lulu fringe for the night! She does often have natural ringlets though, although at the moment she won’t let me brush her hair as I’ve lost her soft brush.

    • By nadine williams, 10/05/2011 @ 10:44 pm

      Well, I was a bit out of it, w asn’t I? Everyone looked sensational and the joie de vivre was something, wasn’t it?

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