Yesterday I walked into Ashford. On the way I called into the reptile shop up the road. Some lovely snakes and lizards, but I wasn’t tempted (much). I went up to Snappy Snaps. On Thursday I mentioned that I’d designed a pump clip for the four gallons of ale that had been delivered. I then thought it might be a laugh to actually have some pump clips made up. So I tried all the usual photographic places in town. All of which could make the things for me, and would have them ready in two weeks time. I eventually phoned Snappy Snaps at 5.45 pm last night who said if I emailed them the picture they would have them ready for early afternoon the next day.
So yesterday afternoon I went up to the nice lady behind the counter and explained I’d emailed them. And sure enough the clips were ready. Helpful friendly service – for anything photographic, I can’t recommend the place highly enough. All I needed was to scare up some blu-tack to put one of the things onto the beer box …
This morning was spent getting downstairs organised. For some time we’d been planning a late Xmas meal, very late bearing in mind it’s nearly February, but one of our number had been “unavoidably delayed” until late January. My plan was to invite a lot more people than we actually did, but anyone who has seen my living room will realise it’s not that huge, and bearing in mind the evening’s “guest of honour”, we reluctantly felt we had to restrict attendance to those who’s kept up correspondence with and had been to the chokey to visit “Norman Stanley”. Which was perhaps not strict enough, as there were still twenty-one of us for dinner.
(To those of my loyal readers who weren’t on the list, I can only say that I hope you’ll understand….)
We started shifting furniture about at 10am, and fortunately Martin arrived with a delivery of stuff. I put him to use with the heavy lifting, and after several permutations of tables we eventually came up with a way of (potentially) seating everyone. Then we raided Brian’s chairs, made table cloths from old rip-stop nylon and before we knew it, the morning had gone. Martin set off to the town centre, and I went to Tesco’s to get all the stuff I’d forgotten yesterday. As well as cream cakes for lunch. When we started getting ready I wondered if we’d started too early. In the end, the day rushed past, and all too soon we had a houseful.
In the past we’ve gone mob-handed to pubs and restaurants. You have to sit with “The Great Unwashed”, and it costs a fortune. Doing dinner for ourselves is better in so many ways. But the food – oh we had so much. Prawns and soups for starters. Roast dinners and curries. Carbonarras and jacket spuds. Stews and lasagnes. Trifles and cherry cakes, Xmas puds and cheesecakes.
Andy did a stand-up routine (he should do more of those), we had pass the parcel, it was great fun. Must do it more often…