Tag Archives: party

Writing 101: Dark Clouds on the (Virtual) Horizon

Still playing catch up.  Here’s Day 12’s challenge

Write a post inspired by a real-world conversation.

We don’t write in a bubble — we write in the world, and what we say is influenced by our experiences. Today, take a cue from something you’ve overheard and write a post inspired by a real-life conversation. Revisit a time when you wish you’d spoken up, reminisce about an important conversation that will always stick with you, or tune in to a conversation happening around you right now and write your reaction. Take time to listen — to what you hear around you, or what your memories stir up.

I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.

– Ernest Hemingway

Today’s twist: include an element of foreshadowing in the beginning of your post.”

So here goes.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday had all been perfect spring days.  Sunny and warm the house was opened to the outside and our visitors and workmen were passing in and out of the garden easily.  Several seating and eating areas had been set up and we used one of these eating areas for lunch.

Sunday was the day on which we were giving my partner’s father in law a party for his 99th birthday.

Rain on leavesSunday brought the gale force winds and heavy rain as promised by the forecasters.   I have always lived in a cloud of sunshine, expecting only the best so I really didn’t believe the forecasts.  But woe is me, we had 24 invited guests coming at mid-day and they were all now having to mingle, chat, laugh and eat lunch inside.

A few of the guests arrived early and several were working away in our kitchen helping.  One glazed the ham, another made a salad and another put out plates and cutlery for the lunch.  I directed the help particularly as this is a new house, new kitchen and I was the only one who knew where anything was.

All went well.  The very wet guests arrived as did the guest of honour looking very dapper in his suit, tie and hat to ward off the rain.  He has three carers, ladies who come in and make sure he is OK and they all arrived shortly after he did.  He was given a glass of wine and ushered to his seat where all and sundry came up to him to congratulate him.  He was loving being the centre of attention.

The conversation ranged around many subjects and the guests mingled among each other as any well behaved, well schooled guests will.

I came upon two elderly gentlemen speaking, one with a marked Scottish accent “Well, how many more of these will we be going to do you think Rob” asked one man while the Scotsman replied “I really like going out to Sunday lunch, Bill. It means that Meg doesn’t have to cook”. “Well it can’t go on much longer. We are all getting older” said the first. “What will you have from the buffet?” asked the Scotsman. “I think I might be the first to go. After all I am nearing 90 and not in great health” said the other.

These two continued conversing, neither hearing what the other said and continuing in a conversation that only he could hear asking questions nobody would answer. Is this where we are all heading, I wondered.

Then I looked up and saw the two elderly gents at the buffet table each in earnest conversation with another person. I wonder what they were talking about.

Note – I found this challenge particularly difficult and had several attempts at writing it.  I still don’t know if what I have written meets this challenge.

The Bonnets – Part 3.

The day of the party dawned….

The two girls were very excited.  They had all the right clothes, including hats, handbags and shoes, and were really looking forward to the party.

The day seemed to drag by.  They met for lunch and some desultory window shopping but all the time they were willing the hours to pass until party time.  It was agreed that Charlotte would come around to Daisie’s to get ready and then they would be driven to the party by Hudson, the chauffeur.  It was also agreed that they would call the house when they were ready to be picked up again, or if it was after midnight, they would get a taxi home.  Charlotte was to spend the night and so the girls would be together at all times.

And now it was time to get ready.  Much giggling and hilarity accompanied the getting dressed and Juliet, Daisie’s mother joined in.  Some of clothes that came from Maisie’s she remembered seeing all those years ago when her mother dressed to go out.  And she was a trifle wistful remembering when she too was excited about going to a party with her friends.

The car was brought around and Hudson was given strict instructions by Juliet not to leave the girls until he saw them safely into the house.  Juliet was a little concerned at the thought of the two girls in an unknown house in an unknown district.  But she consoled herself with the thought that while Daisie might appear to be flighty she was really a very sensible young woman.

When they arrived the party was in full swing. Loud music and very loud voices. So many people were there that it was difficult to hear oneself speak and as for finding anyone in the throng..well that was almost impossible.

Almost immediately, the two girls got separated and each was pulled into a group, given a glass of suspicious looking punch, offered cigarettes and some other dubious things and didn’t see each other again for some time.

There was dancing and somebody had produced a karaoke machine with 1950s songs and everybody had to take a turn at the microphone.  The two girls were really enjoying themselves.  Around 1am Daisie, being the most sensible of the two, thought they should go home.  But Charlotte was with a group who were going on to a nightclub and she wanted them both to go with them.

Somewhat reluctantly, Daisie agreed, and the group set off in several cars.  Once again the girls were separated.  The noise at the club was even louder than it had been at the party and Daisie quickly developed a headache and decided that she just had to go home.  But Charlotte was not ready to leave.  There was a slight argument between the two.  Daisie was well aware that her mother thought the girls were still at the party and didn’t know how she would react if she knew they were at a somewhat sleazy nightclub.

After some pleading, Daisie managed to persuade Charlotte to leave with her.  They declined the offer of a lift home in somebody’s car – how much had they all drunk that night – and called for a taxi.

It duly arrived and the two girls climbed into the back….

Photo thanks to Sallyann at Photographic Memories.
Click on photo to go back to Sallyann’s Post.

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Look Who’s Coming to Dinner

Anti bull cookbook

I have written before about this cookbook and how it make fun of the pretentious while delivering some really good recipes.  On looking through it today for some inspiration I came across this:

Dinner Guests

This picture accompanied the suggestion that we assemble a really nightmare selection of guests for a party:

  • Career woman (remember the book was published in 1964)
  • Repertory actor
  • Accountant
  • Pop star
  • Tough young writer
  • Back bencher (for those who don’t know this is a member of the parliament who doesn’t hold a Ministerial portfolio)

The actor, the writer and the star will no doubt have had to starve at times while making their fortune and the rep actor probably is still starving.  So they will be reasonably easy to please.  The author suggests that the career woman has”had t fight tooth and claw to establish herself in a bluff man’s world and she’s nobody’s fool” and the accountant probably has an ulcer or is diabetic because of the stresses and strains of his chosen profession.  And the Back bencher is used to being fawned over and eating at Bellamy’s (or the equivalent of the restaurant in the seat of government) so he is likely to be more demanding.

So what would you serve this nightmare group?  Our author suggests two menus:

  1. Hot grapefruit flavoured with brandied honey; followed by Lobster Thermidor and then Negre en Chemise which I decipher to be chocolate souffle.
  2. Oysters “in the English manner” which I decide is oysters sprinkled with cayenne pepper and then skewered with streaky bacon and grilled; followed by roast lamb, new potatoes and french beans and then brandied melon.

But for these disparate and perhaps difficult people I would serve:

  • Chilled cucumber soup because they would be so busy talking and trying to impress each other that a hot starter would soon get cold.
  • Beef Wellington with scalloped potatoes and a large green salad
  • Pavlova with fresh fruit and cream*

Hopefully this will impress the career woman, the accountant and the Back bencher and totally ‘blow the socks off’  the other three.

*Pavlova is a dessert with a meringue base, topped with fresh fruit and fresh cream.  It is the subject of hot arguments between New Zealanders and Australians as to which of them first introduced this desert.  But we all agree that a well made Pav takes a lot of beating- excuse the pun!

Pavlova

Image via Wikipedia

Then hopefully, they would all make their way home having been thoroughly entertained by the other guests and well fed by me.  And leaving me to clear the table and do the dishes and all those other follow up chores after a party.

“I went to a marvelous party,
I must say the fun was intense,
We all had to do
What the people we knew
Would be doing a hundred years hence…”
From I went to a Marvellous Party,
Sir Noel Coward

Restore

A short time ago I wrote a post Dumb and Dumber relating the silly mistakes this elderly lady made.  Well today I have to say that I can add another to the list.

Yesterday I wrote a blog on The Market and then for whatever reason having published it, it disappeared.  Only after I spent time re-writing the blog did I find out that the post could be restored to the way it was when it was published.  Oh dear.  As my late husband used to say “If all else fails, read the manual”.  So maybe I should have taken some time to find out just what we can do with WordPress.

And today was Neighbours Day here in New Zealand/Aotearoa.  I had heard nothing about Neighbours Day but on Friday I found an invitation in the mail box to A Garage Party to celebrate our neighbourhood on Neighbours Day.  What a good idea.

Our Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown has thrown her support behind the idea of a nationwide Neighbours Day, saying that it would build stronger, more resilient communities. Click here to read about it.

One of my neighbours had picked up and run with the idea. She organised this for our street and we were invited to BYO (bring your own wine or beer) and nibbles to share.  So after I had been to the one only Open Home we had today, with a friend I went to the Garage Party.  The party was held in the street and it was an excellent opportunity for us to get to meet and know each other.

We had a very pleasant hour or so together and what a good idea this was.  This is a small inner city street and as everybody goes in and out of the street by car, we rarely get the opportunity to speak with each other.  I congratulated the woman who ran with this idea and hope that maybe the same thing will happen again in the not too distant future.

And no, Lotte didn’t come.  She wasn’t invited but it seemed that most people there knew of her.

Lotte on desk

Another helping hand

As you can see, she was left at home in charge of writing a post for the blog.

Nothing makes you more tolerant of a neighbor’s noisy party than being there.
Franklin P. Jones