I was out with an old colleague recently – she lives abroad and ‘comes home’ once a year to catch up with family stuff. It makes a great holiday for her and me as we scoot around meeting up with all our former colleagues and old acquaintances. We have a wonderful time shopping for clothing and floral gifts for hosts. She also has need of several things that she can only get over here and in preparation for her stay, she does a huge amount of research online prior to her arrival. Something she always organises at this time of year is her own birthday party, to be held in summer where she lives . . . A different theme every year, and everything from party favours, paper plates, table covers and all the other small gestures that make a luncheon party really go well. All these gestures however require much research to be obtained in time. Gifts for her guests, special clothing to suit the theme, it’s incredible how much work she puts in to ensure her guests all have the most wonderful time!