The Dinner Party – because we all need a break every now and then…

Once upon a time, The Cyclist and I used to have dinner parties with alarming regularity.  I use the phrase ‘dinner party’ loosely, it was usually a gaggle of friends, oodles of wine and an excuse to get out the posh dinner service we got as a wedding present.

Fast forward 5 years, a new home, more children, a building site, a dog and a serious lack of babysitters , and we were having people round ‘for dinner’.

The first problem was the Children.  I decided that it would be fine – they would go to bed with the eldest allowed to stay up to say hello and take drinks orders with her new writing pad. This was a dangerous plan, not only did it mean only one of us could focus on food, it also meant gambling on bed-time going to plan, and more importantly, on time.

It would be fine.  And in fairness,  just this once, it really was.  I swear I wouldn’t have recognised the Little Cherubs. It meant I had literally 7 mins to get changed but otherwise, it all went very smoothly.  It was lovely to finally have people round, even if it did open my eyes to my Orla Kiely obsession..  I also may have also got a little carried away with excitement and was positively sloshed by the main course.

Before people arrived , The Cyclist and I had a few tiny grumbles.

Him – ‘That book looks stupid in the bathroom’

Me – ‘What book?’

Him – ‘Pride & Prejudice, it’s as if you want people to think you are reading it.’

Me – ‘I am reading it’

Him – ‘Well it looks stupid. And pretentious.’

Me – ‘Its my favourite book! My mum bought me that edition!’

Him – ‘It looks daft.’

Later on – I went to the bathroom only to discover he had removed said book and replaced it with copies of New Scientist!?!?!

Well knock me down with a feather… I’d have been better off leaving 50 Shades of Grey.  At least people would think we were interesting.

The next day I was so hungover that I had to get a taxi to a Soft Play centre where youngest child was attending a birthday party.  I had to get  the cabbie to drop me on the corner to avoid the walk of shame.  Upon returning home I found The Cyclist on the couch, apparently unable to move and the children feral and half naked; I was at least pleased that the Dog had done an excellent job at hoovering up. A glance at the dining table reminded me why we don’t really use the red wine glasses as they need washing by hand.  The cut on my top lip reminded me that one of them needs throwing away and the piece of sellotape around the rim really doesn’t remedy the problem.

Cue – what to do with the remainder of Sunday when the children need occupying, the dog needs a walk, every dish/plate/bowl/glass in the house needs washing, you haven’t ironed the school shirts and you don’t even want to open the lid on the congealed mush that is lurking in the slow cooker….

There is nothing for it, the dog can run round the garden, I’m going to consume mass amounts of Diet Coke and Panadol; and yes children – you CAN get the Play doh out.  because quite frankly, it can’t get any worse.

Despite The Cyclist slaving over a gourmet recipe all day – the triumph of the night was Nigella Express Cocktail Sausages. I reckon we could have just served them with a bowl of Halloumi Bites and we would have been quids in.

Was it worth it? Absolutely.  5 hours of excess alcohol, an excuse to use my Mary Berry cake forks (even if everyone laughed at them ) and an annual outing for the Zara tablecloth made me feel fabulous and fancy free.  There was even a bit of dancing .  The resulting 4 day hangover? The drunken anxiety that I may have said something inappropriate? Don’t know.  Don’t care.   We all need a bit of release every now and then. Till next time folks…….

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