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Birthday cake in the rain

It was the first day of Wimbledon today, so we should have expected it. The rain lashed down. Parts of Birmingham and Gloucestershire were under water. In London, the forecasted showers were more like a monsoon, with the added excitement of wind to move the rain from vertical to horizontal. And today was the day we’d organised a thank you party for our volunteers on a pontoon on the side of the Thames at Sugar Quay.

Luckily, we were in a marquee. And actually it was a terrific event. About 120 of the 180 people who’d accepted invitations turned up to brave the weather. The students from Tower Hamlets had prepared cakes, tea (very strong), coffee (not quite strong enough), elderflower cordial (sometimes strong, sometimes not) and served everything superbly. The Queens Park school big band played brilliantly. We cut and handed round pieces from an enormous birthday cake. Everyone had a great time, occasionally peering out through the storms to look at HMS Belfast moored opposite and Tower Bridge just upstream.

And, of course, just as the party finished, the sun came out. Luckily Cliff Richard had not been available to sing.

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