Good evening! Another garden party, another post!
Following the first summerhouse-warming party, it was felt that another was required in order to build on the success – and to get rid of the remaining yummy snacks before they went out of date. (Whilst the Lifestyle Support Guru has the constitution of an ox – if not quite the build – I recognise that this is not the case with all my acquaintances, but I digress.)
Invitations were given to the lovely construction technician, Jez (i.e., him wot put the summerhouse up), his lovely part-Italian partner, Emma (not to be confused with the not-so-lovely part-Italian Gina Coladangelo who consorted with a certain Mr Hancock), and a third lovely friend known as Chris the Cat (to differentiate her from various other acquaintances of the LSG who are also called Chris). Jez said he would supply the barbecue if I would supply the drink (a good bargain, as it turned out, since two of the three were on a ‘school night’, so not drinking much, and the other one brought her own drink! These are my kind of guests!).
Upon arrival, the guests were given the obligatory tour of the lower level of the house, and it was pointed out that an ironing board had been added to the furnishings since the BFG and BSG had visited. This was greatly admired.
The summerhouse was also much admired, along with the not-quite-out-of-date yummy snacks, and then the LSG suggested that her guests try the zero gravity sun loungers. Well, that was it – the two female guests (am I allowed to say ‘female’ these days?) could not be moved from them for the rest of the evening (although they made half-hearted offers to give them up).
The food was delicious and plentiful and all the better for having been cooked by someone else (I did offer a Pot Noodle as an alternative, but it was thought the pots might melt on the barbecue – you’ll never know until you try, I say!). The conversation ranged far and wide, from bird-spotting (the guests identified a kestrel and a heron, while the LSG identified ‘some birds’) to health. The LSG was fascinated to learn that Chris the Cat has a talking watch which tells her when to move and even when to breathe! Amazing! Luckily, I have two brothers who do that for me (tell me when to move and breathe, I mean, not actually move and breathe for me, of course! I haven’t quite sunk to the level of being an inanimate object – yet!).
All in all, it was a successful evening, spoiled only slightly by the fact that it didn’t get quite dark enough for the guests to see the flashing fairy lights around the summerhouse before they had to leave – Jez on his electric bike, Emma walking alongside him (one of them got the rough end of the stick there, I think), Chris the Cat by taxi, still listening carefully to her watch.
I shall probably charge admission for future visits because next-sibling-down has returned from the wilds of Hertfordshire and has brought many items with him to adorn the front and back rooms, so guided tours will, inevitably, take longer. Prices upon application.
We all have our own ways of dealing with loss and I have suggested to Nigel that he should empty his wine cellar (aka ‘the cupboard under the stairs’ or ‘the lake’) of current stock to make plenty of room for replacements. The last I heard this evening, he was on his third bottle, so he has clearly listened to my advice. I have also heard that his wife is filing for divorce (that’ll give you more room when the handbag collection has gone). Win some, lose some, Nige…
Hello, Faithful Followers! Lifestyle Support Guru here after a long absence. Have you missed me? Such wonderful news – today, I went out on a ‘social occasion’ and met up with not one, but two – yes, TWO –acquaintances! However, please keep it to yourselves that we were a ‘ménage à trois’ (so to speak), since we are only supposed to meet one other person, and in a public space, but we were in a garden, so not technically a ‘public’ space, but it was in the open air, so we felt that we were staying within the rules – more or less.
And what was the reason for this ‘social occasion’? An exchange of alcoholic beverages and literary works – in other words, swapping bottles of wine and books. I swapped a bottle of Sardinian white wine and a book about ‘cork dorks’ (wine nerds) for a bottle of Provençal rosé and a book written by an anti-fascist about his exile in a remote region of southern Italy. I think this says a lot about our differing literary tastes and intellectual capacities – I leave it up you to decide who is the ‘lightweight’.
We had a jolly chinwag as Bazza, the Friendly Geordie, (BFG), who has appeared in my stories before, and the LSG sat at the garden table, wrapped up warmly, while her paramour, BSG (Bazza’s Shy Geordie), sat just inside the kitchen door, so should the riot police come charging into the garden, they would find no one breaking any rules. We are a law-abiding lot, even though we compared speeding offences during our conversation!
(It was lucky that it wasn’t a warm spring day, otherwise I would have had to remove my jacket and thus shown that the (new) jumper I was wearing was in sore need of ironing, having not long been taken out of its wrapper, but that is now a secret I can take to my grave.)
Having swapped our various items, including a bottle of out-of-date beer, which happened to be lying around in the LSG’s kitchen, BFG suddenly asked – apropos of nothing – if I liked hummus! ‘Yes,’ I replied with great enthusiasm. ‘Oh good. Would you like to take some home with you?’ ‘Yes, please.’ I said, thinking that perhaps they had purchased too much on a recent shopping trip and were trying to fob the LSG off with some out-of-date hummus in exchange for the out-of-date beer, knowing that the LSG has the constitution of an ox and would laugh at the idea of wasting something simply because of its ‘use by’ date – this is someone who, only a week ago, safely consumed a packet of microwave rice that was seven years past its ‘best before’ date! (Yes, YEARS!)
But I digress – this hummus was not out of date, but homemade! HOMEMADE! Who knew there was such a thing! I thought Sainsbury’s and M&S had cornered the market in hummus! HOMEMADE! And so a tub packed to its brim with hummus – HOMEMADE! – was duly put into the LSG’s bag along with the rosé and the anti-fascist book – oh, and a book about an Italian detective.
But this was not the end of the surprises at this very convivial social occasion – oh no! BSG then said that, when cutting BFG’s hair in the garden yesterday, he had missed a few bits, so he thought he might get at them while she was outdoors, at which point BFG asked if I would like to stay and watch! I was overcome! Such a personal invitation! And I was told that I could take photos if I wished! There is no end to this couple’s generosity! And to prove how enjoyable this event was, I have attached a small number of photos from the Sweeney Todd Barber Shop (Mickleover branch). I turned down the offer of having my own locks trimmed – I was anxious to get home and taste the hummus – HOMEMADE! – but I am expecting a delivery of meat pies next week