There must be a special cloud in heaven for friends like Sandy.
How good are your good friends?
For example: have they taken your kids to Disneyland for four days? No? Well sorry to be BFF competitive but my friend Sandy took my four kids to Disneyland for four days.
She and her husband Kevin (with Mike of Kenny'n'Mike) drove all of them down to Disneyland and did rides with them from 6am to near 11pm every day. Meanwhile my husband and I frolicked (well, were slugs) at St Regis, San Francisco. Sandy returned with my kids intact, happy and exhausted, every parents dream.
Then whaddayaknow... five days later she threw me a large 48th birthday party at her house.
But this time it was all about honoring The Sandy.
Sandy's 50th birthday was to be held at a Chu a contemporary Chinese restaurant on College in Oakland. This restaurant has a simple elegance: charcoal slate, a grand glass and steel staircase. It is ultra modern but the calligraphy and creamy linen lights gives it a certain softness.
Sandy is a woman who embodies that American word "sassy". And that other American phrase: "She's a long tall drink of water". You'll be somewhere quite posh and respectable and with one little aside whispered from her finely lipsticked mouth (covered with her impeccable red nails) she'll have you snorting with laughter into your white napkin. "I'm so bad", she''ll sigh, whispering a follow-up and have you guffawing even more.
Milly dress, me in my brown stretch satin Karen Millen with Stella and Dot necklace. Neither of us knew the week before whether we would fit into them, but that's how we roll. Living on the edge.
So what is the mark of a good party? Besides shoes on the table in the morning. An open bar is a good start. And in the interests of good journalism I tasted most of the cocktails offered from the Lychee Martini to the Ginger Drop. And they were aaall good. Tough job but someone has to do it.
The food was a colour and taste fantasy. A whole glistening pig (I love the crackling on the top) Tao rolls, spoonfuls of marinated meats and sugar cookies and cupcakes. Here I am at the end of the night with the hard-working cooks.
But back to my question - what is the mark of a good party? This timeless question was somewhat answered when we saw the photos later. For a few of the usual suspects, we had to rotate the album, in some cases vertiginous angles to figure out what they were actually doing. And we still didn't know.
Here is a example and we are offering a free subscription to this blog if you can figure which of these angles is correct!