I’ve become a bit casual over the years. At one time I used to worry about what I was going to serve at the party, plans weeks in advance and find that the whole thing grew and grew. Last year we actually had two parties, one for the group and one for a variety of volunteers. Two meals, two days, twenty people a day…
This year we opted for one party and a much shorter guest list. It wasn’t that we weren’t grateful to the people who help – just that we are finding ourselves very short of time.
Instead of spending hours on planning and preparation I rolled up outside out local Sainbury’s at 7.55 am (five minutes before it opened) and was out again 40 minutes later with the party food in two bags.
As an aside here, am I the only one who finds shop “opening” hours a little annoying? If they advertise that they are open at 8am shouldn’t you be able to get to all the shelves instead of dodging round various staff and trollies involved in re-stocking? Just a small gripe, but a major annoyance when you’re trying for a quick charge round the shop. I have some sympathy with the shops that open on Monday morning and close at midnight on Saturday – they don’t have much choice. But if you open from 8 until 8 you have 12 hours to restock, so why are your staff in my way?
It took just over two hours to make salads and sandwiches and nobody complained that most of the food was bought in. It’s obviously the way to go as I felt much more relaxed them normal and had plenty of energy for the game of Indoor Beach Volleyball. We had a giant balloon for a ball, a table for a net and various “local rules” regarding tables of food, slipping on coleslaw and taking telephone orders for turkeys in the middle of a set.
Safeguarding officers, Health and Safety Officials and the governing body of Official Beach Volleyball would all have had a fit if they could have seen us.
I ended up with two yellow cards and a sprained finger, though I still say that asking the referee “What kind of idiot are you, sir?” is merely soliciting an opinion from the match official, not offering abuse.
We also did the more traditional stuff too – carols, karaoke, bad jokes, pass the parcel and board games.
Tomorrow I’ve been invited to a fuddle. That’s a meal where you all take something to eat, like a potluck supper. It’s not a word I’m familiar with and in my family it’s a Jacob’s Join. We talk about the British and the Americans being separated by a common language, but sometimes the English are just as bad.
On Friday it’s Men in Sheds.
Saturday I’ve been landed with command of the kitchen.
Monday we have Party Part II for the people who don’t come on Wednesdays.
Then, with my stomach crying out for plan food and Christmas only days away, I will start to plan the Christmas Dinner.