The party began around 2pm, with beetles and grasshoppers stir fried with lime leaves (yes, we all tried them!), a whole roasted boar, pigs intestines cooked two ways (and, we tried these, tentatively...), chickens roasted two ways (red, yellow) all enhanced by homemade chilli sauce and washed down with Chang beer, Hong Thong whisky or Coca-Cola.
By 4pm some of the men were staggering.
Men on one table, women on another, a handful of guests like us in between. Dogs milling around, being chased and kicked by children for entertainment; Rosie and Helen distressed by this.
Party games for children. Tie a balloon behind your heel and run around trying to stamp on everyone else's balloon. Blow up a balloon until it pops. Find a coin in a plate of flour with your mouth, down two soft sweet pastries then gulp a bottle of truly orange cordial. Fastest wins. Rosie came second at balloon stomping Tom at the flour/pastries/cordial combo.
Painfully slow gift giving - everyone contributed presents valued around 100 baht ($3). Rosie opened seaweed sheets and strawberry spongecakes; Tom a plastic money box (happily exchanged for Helen's Angry Bird soft toy storage thingy); Shane a selection of cartoon key rings quickly swiped by Rosie.
And throughout without cease and even now the karaoke.
Shane, Helen, Rosie and Tom