Tag Archives: party

Gi’ ‘n’ tonc dahling


It’s all a bit of a whirlwind lately. Here I am just about to tell you all about Boofuls’ birthday on 4th July and it’s nearly August! 

They weren’t fibbing when they told us July and August were busy, busy months, our feet haven’t touched the floor for weeks!

Anyway, without further ado…

The birthday bash.

Since it was Boofuls’ birthday it seemed a good idea to invite some of the local hoteliers around  for a few drinkies and to make a few new friends. Invitations were sent out and every single person accepted. In our wisdom we thought that we’d make it an afternoon ‘do’ as it was a hoteliers school night and we all had to be up early the next morning.

What on earth was I thinking? This lot can party like there’s no tomorrow.

The sun shone, the patio was decorated with tubs of flowers and umbrella’d tables. It all looked lovely. One by one the guests turned up – heavily laden with bottles of champagne, prosecco, wine, beer and cider. Why oh why did we buy so much booze? They all brought enough to sink a battleship. 

Or so I thought.

As the afternoon wore on I realised that everyone except me had drunk their own weight in alcohol. I’d decided several days earlier that I’d be staying on the wagon for this one. One of us needed a clear head in the morning. I was glad I stood by my decision. Fair to say that Boofuls had a great time.

There was much ribaldry, banter and laughter, the wine flowed like water.

One woman had to be carried home and half an hour later so did her husband.  they run a five star establishment round the corner.  I’m absolutely sure they managed to get a decent breakfast out to their guests as they are consummate professionals but I’m also pretty sure they would have gone straight back to bed after.

The afternoon turned into evening, the music played,  the conversation flowed as easily as the wine and a great time was had by all.  As the evening came to a close, Boofuls and I were sitting in the bar with a couple of German guests having a conversation via Google translate – which was hysterically funny.

Just after the clock struck 11.00 pm  two other guests walked into the bar. Two middle aged, knocking on the door of elderly, ladies who had been competing in a bridge tournament. I’m going to call them Strident and Curly.

Strident burst through the bar door; “Where’s the party? We know there’s a party, we saw it from our bedroom window. Where is it? HAVE WE MISSED IT? Oh Blahddy hell! Never mind. Get me drink!”

Clearly three sheets to the wind, I think it’s fair to say they’d also been partying.

The Germans looked at me unnerved by the somewhat wild and dishevelled looking woman shouting at me and staggering across the room.

Curly, waddled unsteadily behind her on her chubby, inebriated legs, collapsed on the sofa, and in a manner amazingly like Patsy Stone from Ab Fab, leaned off the chair arm, almost sliding to the floor and said wearily, “Gi’ ‘n’ tonc,  Dahling’.

“I’m sorry ladies. It’s gone eleven, I can’t serve you.”

Strident  answered, “Don’t be ridiculous. It’s only us, no one will know.  Just get us a drink!”

“Sorry ladies, can’t do it, we are only licensed till eleven.”

“Well don’t sell it to me, then  just GIVE me the blahddy drink” announced Strident stridently.

Once again I refused to serve them, at which point they took great umbrage, got unsteadily to their feet and declared;  “Oh, we might as well just go to Blahddy bed then, THEY’VE  (the Germans) have got a drink! So unfair!” They staggered angrily out of the bar. 

The Germans, who’d managed to get the gist of what was happening, and we ignored the complaining as it faded into the distance and carried on with our chat.

Before too long we trotted off to bed ready for a bright and early start the next morning to prepare breakfast for all of our lovely guests. Funnily enough, two of them didn’t make it down for breakfast. I wonder why?

 

 

 

It’s 3a.m. In the big brother house


This post actually started on Wednesday night and has been done in disjointed sections. It’s a bit like my brain at the mo – disjointed sections.

Part one.

It’s ok. It’s not the big brother house but it is 3 a.m. So.

Where am I at such an ungodly hour? Answers on a postcard please. The best answer will win a snort of approval from me.

Where am I really?

I’m at the emergency vets with Douggie the doggie. Here he is drugged and dripped.

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It’s been a funny, and by funny I mean strange, week. After all these weeks we have a viewer for our house … What? Tell you about Douggie? I will. All in good time, dear reader.

Obviously this viewer could only come in the most inconvenient time possible. Friday. Exactly when I am cooking for 50 people who are turning up from all corners if the British Isles to help us celebrate Boofuls’ 60th birthday. It’s a good job dawn cracks about 3.30 at this time year because that’s when I’ll need to get up to get everything done.

Just to throw a couple more spanners in the works. The tiler didn’t turn up till today and only did half the job and the builder didn’t show up at all. Git.

The outside privy isn’t working and we have one loo to service 50 people. No pressure. I fuckin’ love life.

Back to Douggie:

First thing this morning Douggie threw up. In an attempt to stop the vom hitting the carpet I caught it in my nightie. Ew. Douggie continued to throw up all day becoming worse as the day wore on.

We took him to the vet who drugged him with some hefty drugs, to no avail. He continued to deteriorate.

At the point when he couldn’t lie down because of the pain and he was becoming confused due to dehydration I decided at 1a.m. to phone the emergency vets – and here I am. This is one poorly doggie.

Part two:

Fast forward to today.

Douggie is almost back to normal after being on a drip for two days and having massive  amounts of drugs. The exact cause of his illness wasn’t established despite many blood tests and x rays and £1000+.

Best guesses are pancreatitis, gastroenteritis and poisoning.

We picked him up from the vet’s on Friday.

Remember I mentioned Friday?

Ah yes, Friday.

The day of Boofuls’ birthday. The day of Boofuls’ party. The day we had viewers for the house and the day I had to cater for many people and prepare for a massive party. The day that some of the guests turned up mighty early.  The day my brother decided to drop by.The day the weather that had been glorious for weeks decide to change and deliver  many weeks worth of howling wind and rain all at once.

The day I was tearing my hair out.

The only possible course of action was to get my head down and keep paddling.

The poor dog could really have down without a massive party, I’m sure his attitude to it was the same as mine, that he really wished it wasn’t happening – but it was, so get on with it.

You know what?

It was alright.

It was better than alright, it was brilliant. Guests were told not to feed the dog. We had decorated the barn with fairy lights and chinese lanterns and it looked lovely. The plus side of that was that the house was kept relatively quite. We put up a canopy outside so there was shelter for the smokers and it was all really nice.

I’d very cleverly prepared food that didn’t require too much attention. Two potato  and meat pies, one butter pie, a chilli, a chicken curry, a cheese platter, a large joint of beef cooked beautifully rare and some other bits and pieces.  Lashes, Gembolina, Len’s mum and Big Marge all brought stuff as well and The Rev made a fantastic birthday cake. Winklepop made a point of looking after Douggie for me.

All in all it was a successful night and we didn’t get to bed till 3.00a.m. Just before we set off to bed Boofuls decided to have his final fag. Now stop it you Americans!! Fag means cigarette in Blighty.

I was tidying the kitchen when suddenly I heard a howl from outside. “Oh no!!!” The canopy had finally given up the ghost and collapsed, depositing all the rain collected on top of it – straight onto Boofuls.  Oh! How I laughed. Especially since I’d had my own soaking earlier in the evening.

Why did I get a soaking?

Well, dear reader, let me tell you.

About a week ago one of my friends was nominated for ‘the water challenge’. It’s just a bit of summer silliness and it just means that you allow yourself to get a soaking and post a video of it on Facebook. She in turn nominated me.

Just about exactly at that rime I got an email from Cancer Research suggesting that we hold a BBQ in aid of their ‘Burger off Cancer’ campaign. Hhhmmm, I could probably incorporate this into the party and do a bit of fund-raising at the same time, I thought.

Lashes had the brilliant idea of auctioning of jugs of water to the guests so they could throw it over me. I was gutted how many people were willing to pay money to throw water over me.

 

 

So tell me again, why did I think that was a good idea?


In an attempt to raise my business profile in our little town I  decided it would be a good idea to hold a fun weekend at the studio to drag in a few punters. Lashes came up with the idea of making it a charity weekend on the basis that we could kill two birds with one stone. Raise our profile and do a bit of good. Win win.

That was months ago when it seemed like a good idea.

I had a banner made, leaflets printed, balloons printed, all in good time so no trauma’s there. I started begging for raffle prizes and tombola prizes. Funny thing that. People you would expect to support you don’t and other, totally unexpected people are extraordinarily generous.

Just at the right time a magician I’d done a shoot for a couple of years ago turned up wanting me to do another shoot for a new act he’s promoting. What’s it going to cost, love?

Well. Funny thing that. Fair exchange being no robbery and all that. We decided to do a trade off. I’d do his shoot (s) if he’d do my fundraiser. Again; win win.

Since then the time has galloped past and before we knew it, it was here.

Oh my Gawd!

The last two weeks have been nervous breakdown fodder. What if no-one comes? What if too many people come? What if the weather’s awful? What if? What if? What if?

Bags and bags and bags of donated tombola prizes and raffle have been turning up at home and at work for days, storage for it all was becoming problematic. Not complainin’, just sayin’

A bunch of local kids turned up to ask if they could perform their song and dance routine. Yes. Why not? It’s all good community building stuff. I watched their dress rehearsal.

I shall await my invitation to the Oscar awards for best actress.

As I watched their eye wateringly awful display I smiled, nodded and tapped my feet in time to the music. “Bit more rehearsal required for next week but it’s all good” I lied through my teeth.

What I’m not lying about though is the fact that I’m really glad I agreed to let them do it. They had worked so hard and were so obviously enjoying their moment in the limelight. When it came to watching the actual show my feet were genuinely tapping and the smile came from my heart. Of course their Mum’s came to watch them and watching them watch their kids perform was lovely. It’s all good  stuff.

Friday I spent putting numbers on the tombola prizes. Have you ever done that? It’s a long, boring and laborious task. The studio and the kitchen were transformed with all the furniture being moved around to accommodate the cake stall, the tom bola, raffle, guess the name f the teddy bear and all the other stuff that makes up your common or garden fundraiser. Gembolina, Lashes and me went shopping at our local cash and carry for items to make multiple cups of tea and coffee. With hindsight, maybe we didn’t need to buy a kilo of coffee. Not only did it keep us going for the weekend, it’ll keep us going for the next six months.

So. The big day arrived. The whole family and quite a few friends all trapped up to help. We waited for the people to arrive. We waited a bit more. I had a nervous breakdown.

Finally, the people arrived. Oh happy day!

It even felt a bit carnivalesque at one point what with the music and the magic and all.

On Sunday we repeated the whole exercise. This time though, mother nature decided to have a hissy fit and sent driving rain and howling gales to join in the fun. What a cow!

Once again we waited for the people but this time as we watched the rain sweep down we weren’t quite so hopeful of people actually turning up. The bunting dripped miserably before the wind got hold of it and gave it a good shake as if to say ‘Buck up, it’s a party!’

We tried to jolly each other along and keep our mood up but it was getting increasingly difficult as the day wore on. But then……

People arrived. Then more people arrived. Then yet more people arrived.

It’s a success! Not only did we reach our break even point, we actually managed to raise some money for a good cause.

Suggestions have been made that we make it an annual event.

I made a suggestion to the suggester. He’s walking a little oddly now.

 

Being a part of a little bit of history


Do you remember the ’60’s?

Do you remember where you were when Princess Diana died?

Iconic moments in history.

This weekend has been one of those iconic historical moments in the making.

It’s history happening right now. Living history, history that is shaping our lives and attitudes while we watch it happen. History that we have actually been a part of.

I find that quite mind boggling.

The thing about history happening now is that it can be documented in detail that has ever been possible in the past. Social documentary to saturation point. How marvelous. . Every gesture, grimace, glance caught on some kind of media or another to be transmitted instantly around the world and more importantly, documented. A fantastic resource for the historians of the future

I’m sure that you’ve noticed that the Queen has been having  a bit of a bash this weekend.

Sixty years as a reigning monarch. Job well done if I may say so, Ma-am.

Up and down the country and even in the far flung corners of the Commonwealth, communities have joined together to honour the momentous occasion.

Here is our little contribution to the festivities:

The plan had been that all the guests would bring some food for the barbecue and  some dessert so there would be plenty to go round. Oh my Lord! Everyone brought everything! I’ve never seen so much food in one place except in a supermarket.  The sun decided to play, we all had a lovely time. It was a fabulous day

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An homage to Kevin ‘Bloody’ Wilson


So bezzie mate and her husband came to visit for our Christmas morning practice run of champagne and croissants. I mean, you need to know that it’s all going to run perfectly on the day,  and as they say, practice makes perfect.

Dear oh dear.

I think it’s important to point out her that  bezzie mate and I have been friends since we were 12 and that’s * starts counting on fingers, runs out of fingers and starts counting on toes as well* since…er…. a lot of years, since 1972 in fact. She’s the one  of the very few people with whom I  don’t need to be ‘professional’, ‘grown up’ or anything else. She knows me as well, if not better than, many of my own family and she’s a baaaaad influence. in fact I blame all the following shenanigans on her aided and abetted by Boofuls and Stuball. Me? I’m completely innocent in all this, led like a lamb to the slaughter (yeah, right).

After our third bottle of champagne we decided to film a Christmas greeting, a song by Kevin ‘Bloody’ Wilson.

Before I show you our ‘Christmas 1022 video’ I’d like to welcome  my new readers. Thank you for considering my little blog worthy of reading.

I’d also like to apologise to all my readers and bid goodbye to the readers who thought that I was going to be providing you with cool, sophisticated and thought provoking posts. it was nice meeting you  and I don’t blame you if you leave. The video you are about to watch is in fact the real me, the rest is a facade.

Before you watch this there is a health and well being warning to take into consideration.

WARNING!! There was alcohol involved and there may be a small smattering of Anglo Saxon. Actually, quite a large smattering. Ok. It’s filth from start to finish with LOTS of vile language, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Watch at your own risk:

Too busy partying to blog


You know that saying about not worrying about being careful in life and ending up in heaven all pristine, instead you should roll up in a sports car, skid in sideways and say “Wow! What a ride that was?

No?

This one:

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, ‘Wow! What a ride!’”

Yes, ok, it says it so much better than I did.

To be honest I’m too knackered to think straight. It’s been a FAB few days. Just like the saying goes, we have been ‘burning the candle at both ends’, ‘ larging it up, Baby’, and ‘ carpe diem -ing.’

Thursday (happy birthday to meeeeee) was brilliant, apart from the fact that I woke up stupidly early at ten past six. It must have been because I was excited at being 50 again (I’m counting backwards now, remember?).

Boofuls had, as normal, excelled himself in the pressie department with tickets to go and see Ghost at  Manchester Opera House in April.

A cracking dance lesson followed. Not a lot of dancing went on but there was a lot of laughing.  We are going over a particularly tricky bit in the waltz and it’s causing more brain strain than is acceptable.  The brain understands exactly what is supposed to happen. If only I could get it to tell the feet!

Posh coffee with Lashes and Munki, a nice brisk walk with Mrs Woofy and  then I popped into work and Peewee Winklepop surprised me with a bottle of my favourite wine, Chateauneuf du Pape.

Not only was it a lovely surprise it was made all the sweeter because she doesn’t drink wine and knows little about it other than it comes in three colours. She’d put a lot of effort into finding out what I’d really like. As if she hasn’t enough other things to think about, thanks Peewee.  Big bunch of vitrual roses for you.

An evening of hilarity with Boofuls and my sister rounded the day off nicely.

All in all not a bad day.

Friday was even better.

Apart from the photoshoot I had booked in for 4pm, that is. The shoot went well  enough and I’m chuffed with the photos but I had far more important things to be getting on with:

Our Caribbean themed party!

The chicken was jerked, the lamb was stewed, the rice was pea-ed (by The Rev) the sausages were honeyed, the beef was roasted and the stupidly strong rum punch was mixed by yours truly. Lashes made a brilliant cake:

 

Caribbean Cake

 

All the times I’ve tried to put on interesting and varied food when I’ve done a buffet. Tsk, well haven’t I learnt a valuable lesson?   What a waste of time that all was. All I really needed to do is give the buggers meat – and lots of it.

Not a lot got wasted ( though a few people did –  teehee).

The family, the inlaws –  and  couple of outlaws turned up for food, drink and karaoke. Even the dog got in the spirit of it all:

 

Party Dog

 

It was off the silly scale, the whole evening was one of those  that wouldn’t possibly have worked unless everyone knew each other well. Oh how we laughed. Do you want to see a video of our ‘choir’?

It’s not for the faint hearted so don’t watch it of you’re of a nervous disposition.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

It could have been worse, we could have been singing “Chocolate Salty Balls’

Birthday Girl


As it’s Lashes’ birthday this weekend and baby Bunting was away for the night last night we decided that it was high time we had a  family get together.

The request from the birthday girl was for baked camembert and tapas followed by banoffee pie.  That’s easy, I thought.  Not much cooking going on there.

How wrong can you be?

Most of the afternoon was spent boiling condensed milk to make the toffee for the  banoffee pie. Why didn’t I just buy it in ready made?

I  made baba ganoush – shouldn’t have bothered, it looks and tastes horrid.

I made pesto – forgot to put the pine nuts in till just before I served it,  Ha! I thought it was very ‘basily’.

I made houmous, birthday cake,  cranberry sauce,  huge platters of meat and fish and vegetables, umpteen kinds of bread – ok, I didn’t make the bread I bought it but still.

Big N made a tiramisu, very nice indeed.

Not much got wasted, greedy sods that we are.

Surprise failure of the night was the camembert, it was way too rich and filling for a starter and they are huuuuuuuge, Boofuls and me had one between us and it was still too much.

I don’t think it did much for the sparkling wine I was drinking either, it made it taste like onions, to me anyway, everyone else thought it was ok.  Onion wine – hhhmm not sure it will catch on.

There was much hilarity and totally inappropriate conversation going on. One of those evenings where everyone just relaxed and had fun.

Everyone left relatively early as Lashes and the clingons needed to be up and ready for their dance exams today. The latest news is that the clingons did fine, haven’t heard from Lashes yet.

So now, all the debris from last night has been cleaned up, the sun is shining and me and Boofuls are off out – don’t really know where yet but it’s a shame to waste a nice day like this. Hope it’s nice where you are.

Good Party


Boofuls and me went to a party at our friends house last night.  We weren’t expecting much, a few nibbles and polite conversation.

How wrong can you be?

It was a hoot!  The funniest part of the evening had to be watching our host’s daughter squirming with embarrassment at the highly inappropriate conversation that was going on between her Dad and a guest.  “Yoo -hoo, Dad! I can hear this, you know.”

The ‘nibbles’ were amazing (wipes drool off face even at the thought of the food).   Our host loves to entertain and cooking is his latest passion. I can feel he’s hankering after putting his skills to the test on Come Dine With Me or Masterchef. He’d probably do ok as well (let’s not talk about the charred garlic bread).

Lashes has been having a spot of trouble with her car for the last week or two, it’s finally back on the road after having a few refinements fitted to bring it up to scratch:

http://www.davesdaily.com/


Our friend Kev, put this link on Facebook. Superb blast from the past, I thought you might enjoy it.  Lay back, close your eyes and enjoy the music.

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse


OK, it’s not the night before Christmas. I fact it’s 9 45 in the morning but the house is eerily quiet.

It’s been a busy weekend one way and another. Friday night was the dinner party for friends and family. After wandering the aisles of Sainsbury’s for hours looking for inspiration for the menu I eventually came up with this:

Tomato and basil soup with home made pesto and ciabatta

Chicken stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in parma ham, served on a bed of spinach.

Apple charlotte and cream – although I got ganged up on and all the guests had a vote in my absence and decided they wanted custard instead. I have nothing against custard. Me and custard have been mates for years but sometimes you need to make new friends and cream was it, my new best mate for the briefest period of time before being cruelly pushed out by the rest of the gang. Left to loiter lonely and cold in the fridge with the leftovers.

The wine and conversation flowed all evening. getting a word in edgeways was the hard bit as Machinegun learned. Incidentally, Machinegun is such a long winded name. From now on Machinegun will be referred to as Len. It could have been worse. He could have been given a symbol for a name, something like : § then we could refer to him as ‘the person formerly known as Machinegun’ Well, it works for, ‘the artist formerly known as Prince.’

I think we’ll stick with Len.

Practically the whole of the UK has been snowed on.

Where’s my snow? That’s what I want to know.

Looking at the weather map it snowed snow all round us, above, below and next to us with just one little green area left on the map – us. Pppssssht!

Just look – and this is downgraded from yesterday’s map when Wales was all covered as well.

weather map from metoffice.gov.uk

I WANT MY SNOW!

Well. The sister came with the new boyfriend this weekend.  No need for Twister or sherry as it turned out. The ‘feed ’em and get ’em drunk’ approach worked a treat. If I’m honest I think I peaked in the food department on Friday. Saturday’s mediocre offerings were an embarrassment. MORE WINE NEEDED HERE!!!!

We had a brilliant evening (apart from the food) and a good time was had by all – till two in the morning if you please! That’s waaaay past my bedtime.

Now of course we are all paying  for it. I’m sure someone will make a move soon and get the day started. Let’s hope they don’t have plans for anything too energetic. I could do with a pj day.

More later when I’m fully recovered.