It was The Last Queen of Kandy’s very special birthday party last Saturday and his Stone House Lodge – aptly named, for more reasons than one – was the venue. Friends from all around the globe, some of who had not been back since his last special birthday bash ten years ago, made the trip. Rooms at various hotels had been reserved for those who chose to stay at any one of them and those who chose to get back to Colombo and elsewhere in the wee hours of the next morning made sure that all arrangements were made to ensure a safe return.

Entering the drive to Stone House was like entry into Fairyland. The trees tastefully festooned with fairy lights and the other unusual decorative details within, transformed the Lodge into the perfect venue for the special event. Alex, whose brilliant paintings are on exhibit at Bareass Boulevard right now, and who was busy DJ-ing when I walked in (The Dancer had a cast party to attend and so sent her love instead), was one of those who had made the trip from the UK to be at the special occasion. And you probably won’t believe it, but the gigantic strands of light hanging from branches fifty feet above the grass at the far end of the gardens, danced to Alex’s music – keeping perfect time as they swung and swayed to the music in the gentle breeze.

All the usual suspects were present and many more to boot. The great thing about these parties that The Last Queen throws is that really dear old friends – some even from school days and many of who are now domiciled abroad, get to meet again. Reunions with folk who have been close through the years, even though contact may have ceased for ages, is usually pleasurable and reminiscing together often makes me flash on certain happenings that have long faded but that are brought back vividly into the present state of consciousness. Mr. Sands, the manic one, and Snake Man had organized the cake and, as with the last one, it was guaranteed to do the job. The cake wasn’t quite as visually descriptive as the last one he had ten years ago, but the message(s) got across as emphatically.

The weather held, fortunately, as most of the action was outdoors – including the very well-stocked bar. Other food for the sensibilities and consciousness-enhancing catalysts were also floating around and all the guests bar none, looked like they were having the time of their lives. Alex’s stamina as DJ was simply awesome, as I doubt he moved away at all from the console all night – and the music was outstanding. Cinimod took away with him images and other illusions that he captured in his inimitable style and the few that I got a deck at pretty much told the story of the instant without so much as a word.

So the night sped by, and before I knew it the first streaks of dawn were appearing over the tree-line of the spacious gardens. There were still quite a few folk ‘doin their thang’ when I made my way back to that relic of colonial splendour smack in the middle of downtown Kandy for a few hours of shut-eye before a late breakfast and the trip back to Flowerbook.

I guess it will be another ten years before The Last Queen does another – but, as usual, it will be well worth the wait.

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