All is Calm, All is Bright…

Well, good day Alex, thank you so much for ringing me.  I was going to give you a call later, but you’ve beaten me to it.  How is Chrissie?  And are the girls well?   Yes, I can understand that they are excited – with all of the hype on television and the adverts everywhere!

Thank you, we had a lovely Christmas party the other evening.  It went pretty well, without any major catastrophes.  Of course, there was the odd bottle of wine which was spilt – why is it always red wine that is tipped everywhere other than in the glass where it was intended to go?  Anyway, Joan from downstairs managed to pour a full bottle of red wine over her clothes and the cream carpet!  Wonderful!  However, owing to a bit of quick thinking and the portable carpet cleaner which was placed close by in case of such an emergency, the carpet didn’t look too bad after a swift cleaning operation.  It’s been left to dry out properly and I’ll take another look at it tomorrow and if necessary arrange for a local firm to give it a professional clean.  However, the speedy actions undertaken by Maggie, one of my friends certainly made the situation a lot better than could have reasonably been expected.  I did hear, on the grape-vine that another friend, Frances, had suggested that I was involved in the wine incident but that was completely erroneous.  I think she may have been trying to wind me up!

 Joan and her outfit didn’t fare quite as well as the carpet.  The silly woman didn’t think about what she was doing, and put her dress in the washing machine on a “boil wash” – 95 degrees of heat!   I ask you, who on earth would do that.  I wonder how much she had drunk before she had the incident!!

Yes, dear apart from that one mishap everything went fairly well according to plan.  I decided to change my ideas for the entertainment, as I thought that having one of the choirs from the talent content would have been rather problematic when it came to timings.  Instead, I asked one of the soloists to sing for us.  I invited her and her husband for the evening and she happily led everyone in singing a few carols, and she also sang a couple of her favourite pieces in-between.  That worked out very well and it meant that we just had a few minutes of singing every so often, rather than a formal concert which would have taken up too much time during the evening – and probably would have made it more disjointed.

Yes, Giselle and Teddy were both there.  As you know, G was providing the food.  She did a marvellous job and made a large chicken casserole with rice and a huge lasagne with lots of green salad and garlic bread.  Of course there were plenty of other items as well.  Several delicious quiche, plates of cooked meat, a side of salmon and so many vegetarian and vegan options, you wouldn’t believe it.

She also made some fantastic desserts – trifles, chocolate mousse, crème brulee, meringues and macarons.  Gosh, they were really moorish and all were tiny bite-size morsels so you felt you could keep eating more and more – although of course, you had to be careful that you didn’t just pile your plate up and then leave items because you couldn’t eat all of them.

Giselle is so talented.  I really wonder if she would like to have her own little bakery, or whether she is happier just doing the baking and then being able to walk away from it when she has finished each day.  That’s one of the major downsides of having your own business – it really is with you for twenty-four hours of every single day.  G is probably right to continue along this road as it allows her to do the other things she likes and she doesn’t have to worry about all the paperwork which any business, no matter how small, generates.

As I mentioned earlier, Teddy was also here.  I was so pleased that I was able to introduce her to a couple of my old friends.  She has heard me talking about them so regularly that I was starting to worry that she thought they were a figment of my imagination.  Teddy came without Harry, which was rather sad, as I love to see her little dog.  I understand perfectly well why Teddy left him at home, but I always enjoy his company.  However, Teddy has promised that she will bring him to see me again soon.

Sorry Alex, I wandered away just then.  Anyway, the food was absolutely gorgeous and surprisingly, there was very little left at the end of the evening.  G had thoughtfully popped up here just before the party and brought me a small portion of chicken casserole and some rice, both of which just need warming up in my oven.  I decided not to have any casserole at the party as I knew I had some saved for me up here.  Wasn’t that kind of her?

Giselle had also arranged the wine for the party and she had managed to do a deal with a local off-licence so it was all on “sale or return”.  Being able to do it that way meant we were able to have extra bottles of wine hiding in the wings, which could be brought out if necessary.

I had invited a few friends from Another Place to join us for the evening.  Although I’ve spoken to them frequently we haven’t had the opportunity to chat properly for some little time.  They stayed overnight at the local pub – it is rather nice there.  The rooms are in a motel style and tucked away.  They had two twin-bedded rooms and there was a small lounge, kitchenette and bathroom with a separate shower.   The pub has several of these motel rooms – some have two bedrooms, some with one bedroom, and I believe one of them caters for a family and has three bedrooms.  It is a lovely set-up and now I know how good it is I’ll be recommending it to other friends who would like to come and visit me.  The way it is organised allows guests to cater for themselves in a morning, or they can choose to go via a covered walk-way to the dining room in the pub for breakfast.  The staff will even provide room service, so that any guest can simply ring through and order their breakfast to be delivered to their room. 

I really must remember it for the future as you never know when it would be handy to have a comfortable place to stay within spitting distance of here.  Actually now I come to think about it, it would be perfect for you, Chrissie and the girls to stay there for the occasional weekend.  I know I can stay with you, but sometimes it’s nice for you to have the occasional night away from home and I could babysit for you both, meaning that you and Chrissie could go to the theatre and then for a meal.  It will also be really helpful in providing accommodation for the wedding guests who will be staying over after Georgie and Billy’s reception which we are having here.

I must just finish telling you about the party before you rush off.  We had crackers and party poppers – a couple of the residents insisted on them!  However, they were fine and added to the evening.  As usual the crackers contained bits and pieces of rubbish, but everyone donned their paper hats.  My friends Maggie, Frances and Hazel were really good and helped in taking plates to the kitchen and then assisted me in clearing up at the end of the evening.  I had been expecting Jane to come too, but apparently she had a prior event in her diary.  I’m sure she will be at our next get-together.  Oh yes, we did have a raffle.  I managed to persuade several businesses to donate some items and everyone was handed a couple of rows of tickets when they arrived.  There were ten prizes, including a bottle of gin, another of brandy and several gifts of toiletries and vouchers for the hairdressers.

I’m sure that I’ve forgotten to mention some of the things which happened during the evening, but not to worry – we’ll be speaking again soon.  Look after your family my dear.  It was lovely chatting to you again.  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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12 Comments

  1. Hello Jan, thank goodness you for sharing all the details of the lovely party at Lavinia Court. Yes I agree, the food was delicious, and I will spare your blushes about the ‘red wine incident’. We both know what happened, but I’ll say no more😉
    All in all it was a very successful event, and I have a feeling that it won’t be the last one you’re asked to organise.
    Will there be any collective celebrations on Christmas Day at Lavinia Court? Or will everyone be doing their own thing? I know that you’re going to be having a relatively quiet day, keeping in touch with your many friends, so I’ll wish you a happy Christmas, and look forward to hearing from you soon. X

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    1. Hi Frances – I think we’re going have to settle on a “score-draw” about the red wine incident!! Regarding Christmas Day at Lavinia Court – I’m not involved in any arrangements. I think that the majority of residents will be seeing their family or friends. As you know I plan to spend the day with my extended family of friends and trust you will be with us. xx

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  2. Jan, the party was brilliant! I’d love to know more about Giselle and her background – how did she become such a good baker? Xx

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    1. Hazel – G always enjoyed baking as a child and basically taught herself. She wasn’t ever frightened to try something new and adapted it till she felt it was perfect. She doesn’t have any qualifications but her baking speaks for her. xx

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  3. Lovely that you had a really successful party with just one mishap – Giselle is Ac really good cook but if she enjoys it I feel she would soon stop enjoying cooking if she had to do it 24/7 – a hobby that becomes work I feel is a shame to spoil the hobby- what will New Year bring I wonder?

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    1. Sandra – I agree with you. At the moment G can decide if and when she wants to bake. If it became a full-time business she may not get the same enjoyment. Have a lovely Christmas. xx

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  4. I can only apologise once more for double booking myself for the evening of the party. Next time I might volunteer to help Giselle with all that fabulous food she creates, I’d be happy just to follow her instructions and assist. Maybe you’d put a good word in for me Jan?

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    1. Jane – you certainly don’t need a good word putting in for you! However, I was most disappointed to realise that you hadn’t sent me any of your mince pies with the orange pastry – I was really looking forward to enjoying them. Perhaps, next year – or this year, if you think about it…xx

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