Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree!

Good Day my dear and how are you doing?  It’s been a couple of days since we last spoke and I’ve slowly been catching up with the bits and pieces of news both in the village and the happenings here at Lavinia Court.

One thing which did surprise me slightly (although I don’t know why) was that a note had been pushed through my door which was written by a couple of residents who live on the ground floor.  They said that they knew I was away on holiday but when I arrived back please would I arrange a Christmas party for the residents. 

Apparently, at one of the coffee mornings in the lounge, there was a little discussion about having some sort of a Christmas “do”.  The feeling was that it hadn’t been a great year here for several reasons.  To be honest, everything which has gone on hasn’t really affected the other residents much.  Yes, there was the death of poor Patricia who lived on the ground floor and was really well-loved by everyone here.  That did upset folk, particularly the older ones, who she popped in to see on a regular basis.

 I’m sure you will remember Philip who lived along the corridor.  Most of the residents didn’t really know him as he was a quiet chap who kept himself to himself, but he lived next door but one to me and we used to pass the time of day. 

Most residents knew Gordon, but had only done so for a very short period of time as he moved here after he retired from the police service and only arrived earlier this year.  Later, more residents got to know him a little more, in connection with his position of building manager, but he wasn’t in the position for very long before his death.

I’m really sorry now my dear, as I’ve wandered completely off topic now.  Anyway, I seem to be fairly well-known – for my sins – and I haven’t been here very long either.  However, I don’t think there is anyone else who will arrange a party if I don’t, so I suppose I’ve been volunteered!

Photo by Lisa Fotios on

Mary, one of the writers of the note had enclosed her phone number so I gave her a quick call and suggested that she came up for coffee, which she did earlier today.   I’m sorry to say that I didn’t recognise her; unfortunately she’s one of those mousy women who don’t stand out.  Actually it’s a great bonus to be like that.  It’s just the type of person the Security Services look for in an intelligence officer – someone who can blend in and disappear in a crowd.  Not that I’m suggesting that Mary could be an intelligence officer now, considering that she’s about seventy-five!

I digress again my dear, and you really should stop me from doing that.  However Mary came up this morning for a coffee.  Would you believe it, she’s another woman who likes shortbread biscuits too.  I think she had four of them – not that I was counting, of course.

It turns out that Mary and Joan, the other woman who signed the note, had been asking if someone would be arranging a Christmas party this year because there weren’t any posters up about it!  Someone else said that they didn’t think that anything had been arranged but as I run the Knit and Natter group at the library which they’ve been thinking of joining, that reminded them that I live here and they just thought… well yes, you knew what they thought!

I asked Mary if they had any ideas of what they wanted to do at this Christmas party – but no, they had just become fixated on the idea of a Christmas party, and wanted to know whether I’d organise it!  Well, yes of course I will – if folk want a party, then a party they will have!

I’ve just posted a notice on the board next to the office, saying that if anyone has any ideas I will be in the lounge tomorrow morning between 10.30 and noon so they can discuss them with me then.  I deliberately didn’t give my phone number out as I don’t want Mrs All and Mr Sundry ringing me about minor details on an ongoing basis. 

When it comes down to it I don’t think anyone will come to find me tomorrow.  The problem is that they’ll expect me to ask them to do something to help – which of course, the majority of people don’t want to do.  What I’ll do, is go to the lounge and take my Kindle and knitting, so I’m fine anyway regardless of whether anyone comes to speak to me or not.

I’ll need to decide on a date – probably the Friday before Christmas, and I’ll contact the winners of the talent content and see if any of them can provide a little bit of entertainment.  I’ll certainly speak to one of the magicians as he was very good.  To be honest if one of the singers will sing a couple of Christmas favourites and then lead us in singing a few carols that will work quite well.  If there isn’t a pianist available then I can accompany her easily enough.

I have given a little thought as to the food.  I think that having a buffet will be the easiest to arrange.  Now what I do need to think about is cost.  I’m going to have to charge residents for attending.  That’s only fair; it’s something that they want, and not something which would normally be provided by Head Office.

I am concerned about the squatters who still seem to be residing in two apartments at the other end of this corridor.  I think that the best option regarding the squatters is for me to speak to Teddy and ask her if there is any way that those apartments could be blocked off for the night.  I don’t want to confront the squatters – it’s not my business to do so, but a light police presence, even an unofficial one, would make me feel happier!

So then, my dear, back to thinking about the cost.  I think that there may be between 30 and 40 people who would like to attend.  I know it’s close to Christmas but the majority of us older folk don’t like going out in the evening, particularly during the cold, dark winter months.   I think that I will need to come up with a price that is all inclusive.  We don’t have a permanent drinks license here but I’m sure there will be a way round it, particularly as people won’t be paying for anything on the night.  I’m going to keep it simple and offer a sherry on arrival, and soft drinks and wine with the food.  Of course, I’ll ask G to arrange the food for me.  I really must ring her tomorrow and ask for her assistance.  I need to start making notes in my little book.

Right then I have a plan.  After my stint sitting in the lounge tomorrow morning I will make a poster saying that I would like a list of names of people who would like to attend.  It will also say that I don’t have a fixed price yet – Giselle will be providing the food – that will be very popular – and once I know approximately how many folk will be attending I’ll confirm the price, which I don’t expect to be much higher than about £30 per person.  I think that seems to be a reasonable figure and once I’ve had a chat with G and priced some wine etc we’ll be able to confirm the price.  If there’s any money spare, I can always buy some raffle prizes which will be extremely popular.

Photo by on

Well my dear this conversation has been rather longer than I expected, but things happen all the time here.  To be honest, I’m quite happy arranging this, not that I would make anyone aware of that fact.   Right I better go now, so that I will be ready for action later.  I’ll be back soon to let you know what’s happening.  As Always –

With Love – Jan  xx

Published by Jan

I'm retired, disabled and after sudden death of wonderful husband, have moved closer to my son, daughter-in-law and baby, Charlie. I live in sheltered housing at the bottom end of the scale called Independent Living. I had been in an online Knit and Natter group for a couple of years before Ian died and the members of the group were and still are a wonderful support to me. Since moving here I have now got my own little Facebook group where the members are now my friends and extended family. It was suggested that I write a blog - so here we are!!

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  1. How did the ladies on the ground floor know that you were away? My suspicious mind again! They certainly want to keep you busy asking you to arrange the Christmas party. Still be on your guard Jan and don’t put up with any nonsense from anyone. No news of Mrs M? Xx


    1. Maggie – I think they asked Georgie as one of them saw her when she was leaving my flat one day. I understand Mrs. M is fine at the moment and I’ll let you have the news regarding her as soon as I can. xx


  2. Fantastic! I know you’ll do a great job 😃 Will Father Christmas be visiting, perhaps with a little gift for everyone? And you‘ll need christmas crackers – the worse the contents, the better 🤣


  3. I think that organising a Christmas party is exactly what you need to take your mind off the awful happenings. Hopefully it won’t tire you out too much, and I ready hope that someone will come forward to help you, even if it’s collecting money, or buying crackers and decorations.
    Isn’t it about time that head office put in a new manager? They do seem to be dragging their feet on this, don’t they!
    I too wonder how people knew that you’ve been away, and now are back. Please continue to be vigilant, it’s time head office looked after you all. After all they still pocket your service charges. X


    1. Frances – yes I’m quite looking forward to it. Hopefully it won’t become too complicated. Unfortunately I’ve not spoken to anyone from Head Office since I returned. I should probably ring them to find out the situation. They may not tell me – but I can only ask. xx


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