It seemed a bit odd really, planning an Oktoberfest party when the temperature was in the mid 20’s and everyone was dying of the heat. Still, never one to let minor details spoil a good family party we got on with it.
Since the builder went AWOL last week Boofuls and me spent a fair proportion of Friday night trying to tidy the place up by moving some of the building debris. Of course we’ve thought the job would have been finished weeks ago so we’ve been putting the gardening and general maintenance on hold till it was done. That was a mistake. That just meant having made the decision to have a soiree the tidy/clean up operation took us far longer than it would normally have done.
Boofuls, as normal, headed straight for the power tools. Out came the strimmer. Oh, the strimmer. bane of my life, that strimmer.
After much cursing he managed to get it to start and he zipped around the garden with it till it was too dark to see. At one point he came searching for me, looking more than a bit sheepish.
“I’ve got a bit of bad news.”
” I’ve strimmed that plant that was growing really well up the pergola.”
” Are you feckin’ kidding me? You’ve destroyed my beautiful honeysuckle?” Fair to say I was not impressed. Mr Fecking Strimmer and his deadly strimming machine are guilty of murdering many a prized plant through careless slips of the wire. I’m certain he wants to live in a world devoid of any kind of plant life.
Can I have a proper gardener, please? One who doesn’t see anything green thing that is stupid enough to pop it’s head up above ground level as fair game for anihilating?
I ferried barrow loads of topsoil, it’s amazing how much strength you have when you’re fuming, down to fill up the crater next to the pergola, bunting-ed it up ( the pergola, not the topsoil), heaved huge stones to the bottom of the garden where they can live happily out of sight and out of mind, and generally titivated things up. Here is the gussied up pergola with the lights on. I had to wait till it was dark to take it because they’re solar lights and don’t come on till dusk. Still, it makes it atmospheric, doncha think?
Saturday morning saw us carrying on with the clean up operation. The outside loo was spring cleaned, a sunshade was attached to the top of the pergola. What a bloody farce that was! Boofuls bashed his head as he climbed up the ladder and I leaned on a carelessly placed drawing pin and punctured my hand.
Fair to say that at that very point the idea of hosting a party was not looming high on my list of things I really wanted to do.
Bludgeon someone to death with a blunt instrument; now that was looking mighty attractive.
Boofuls and me stood glowering at each other hot, sweaty, tired and stressed, both wanting to blame the other for our respective injuries even though intellectually we knew that it wasn’t their fault. Eventually we started to laugh at the ridiculousness of it all and got on with the rest of the job without too much difficulty.
Cheesy German oompah music was downoaded onto my ipod to be played stupidly loud as the family arrived. I made a huge, ‘Welcome to Oktoberfest’ banner in red, gold and black. After struggling to attach it to something we finally managed to staple it between the stable and the outdoor kazi. Shame that the wind. (wind from the weather, not wind emanating from the kazi) destroyed it in no time but it was nice as people arrived.
It all looked and sounded a bit incrongruous in blazing hot sunshine but never mind, improvisation is the key.
The family arrived.
The Rev and Gem arrived nursing monster hangovers from the previous evening. Len and Lashes arrived with Lashes tired, emotional and still not feeling well from her bout of illness from last week. The dog arrived and was not a happy dog at having to be tethered because of the horses in the next field. Boofuls and me were knackered from a few busy and stressful weeks and all the preparation work we’d had to do to make the place fit to receive visitors. The clingons arrived, picking up on the mood and lack of energy of the adults, sat quietly and announced they wouldn’t be taking part in any yodelling contests, thank you. All in all as Okteberfests go it would probably win the prize for being the most subdued one ever. The beer and the conversation struggled to flow all afternoon and evening.
We did manage to summon up some energy, after a lot of chivvying on my part, for the beer bucket relay race which was a team game that involved filling a tankard with ‘beer’ from a bucket , racing up the hill while trying not to spill said beer and emptying it into another bucket before running back down the hill and passing the tankard to the next team member. Points were lost for spillage and harrassment of other players. First team to transfer all of the contents of the bucket wins. That was the highlight of the day .
What a shame I managed to pull a calf muscle when it was my turn. I spent the rest of the day hobbling round like an old lady. Maybe I’m getting a bit too old for uphill relay races?
Still, the small mountain of sausages, crusty bread, sauerkraut and bbq warmed camembert got a welcome reception. That little lot disappeared in no time, as did the strudel that followed it all.
So. That was Oktoberfest. My failed attempt to cheer up a miserable couple of weeks. This photo of Dangerous sums the whole day up beautifully:
Maybe I just shouldn’t have bothered. Or maybe, just maybe, the universe is telling me I should just lie low for a while.