It was meant to be a surprise night out at a cinema under the stars.
Me and a friend had come up with the scheme when we decided it was high time to watch the Downton Abbey movie.
Since there is no cinema in town, we borrowed a projector, hooked up some speakers, and got the movie.
It was also another friend’s birthday, we decided to splash out with some nibbles, decor (fairy lights anyone? 😍), and bubbles.
By the time we had finished, our little home-made cinema was quite impressive, if I do say so myself.
The nibbles were laid out on heritage Blue Willow China, the bubbles were chilling in a silver ice bucket, the projector was set up and the white wall that would feature as our screen was edged with red curtains.
Fairy lights dangled above us and laterns, candles and sofas set the scene for a rather spectacular cinematic experience.
Birthday friend arrived, and was suitably delighted, so the movie experience began.
But, alas, about halfway through the movie my littlest love starting crying for a feed. So off I went to sort that out, while the others carried on watching.
When I got back outside, our little cinema was empty. Only Simba, our dog, was there, licking the last of the deviled eggs off the Blue Willow platters.
I looked around, baffled, when I heard voices drifting back from across the garden.
Friends meandered slowly over, as if nothing were amiss, but the movie definitely seemed quite forgotten.
Thanks to my ever-present weak character, I confess to feeling slightly annoyed that the deviled eggs had been abandoned to Simba, and asked what was up.
“There’s an elephant just over your wall,” came the reply.
As if on cue I heard the now-familiar sound of branches cracking and foliage being dragged into a large mouth.
My own mouth dropped open as I stared at the others, discovering that the movie, and even the deviled eggs, were now quite forgotten by my mind too.
“Go look,” said Claire, who could apparently see that I was torn between duty and the elephant.
The elephant won, and I scrambled over to our log viewing point to watch the gigantic black mass outside our wall rip branches off trees like they were twigs, and drag foliage slowly into that huge mouth.
Somehow, it never gets old.
We did eventually resume the movie and enjoy the rest of the evening. But in truth, the ele won in the surprise stakes.
And that is the story of how we ended up with an elephant at the cinema.