Saskia has dropped off her entire CD collection. What’s she saying? That our paltry collection just won’t do? Admittedly, there’s a lot of “Best of….” albums and the obligatory double Lurve CDs that won’t be a lot of good tonight. Saskia has an amazing range - we go from Enya to salsa tunes taking in Frank Sinatra and the Arctic Monkeys on the way.
Lydia is trying to concentrate on making herself beautiful but the Stewarts have already started dropping stuff off to their “new” house and preventing her from getting on. She sent them along to help out with the barbecue. Frank is out in the garden now chuntering over the state of my grill. “Needs a wire brush on that” he pointed out. Marjorie is somehow under the impression that I have a 25 year old son. I quickly disabused her of this by loudly saying that the last time the barbecue was used was for my 34th birthday last June. “I did wonder!” she exclaimed, getting stuck into the wine “I mean, bit of an age gap between Matthew and Mackenzie!”. That thought hadn’t crossed my mind, I was more aggrieved at the fact that she thought I looked old enough to be Matt’s biological mother.
Jack Next Door is supplying the mint for the Pimms – Marjorie looked at the copious amount of leaves he handed Mac over the garden fence and asked if it was going to be “that kind of party”.
The meat marinade has gone wrong – there’s too much….stuff…..and not enough juice. Margaret suggested bunging in a slosh of wine and some lime juice. And then did just that. My delicately taste-balanced marinade is now going to taste of cheap Tesco plonk.
Amelia rang as I was straining it……shall she come tonight instead of in the morning? I screamed the word “No!” down the phone which has no doubt earned me a blacker than black mark. I can clearly see her lemon-sucking expression if I close my eyes. Oh god, I’m going to have to ring and pacify her.
Matt suggested he call her. I hear him in the hallway telling her that I’m a “bit stressed at the moment” and could he “borrow fifty quid?”
Mac was given the job of putting the peanuts into bowls. Marjorie screamed – she has a peanut allergy. She then talked my three year old son through her typical reaction to the merest whiff of peanuts “my glands go up and my tongue doubles in size and I go all blotchy”. Mac asked her to show him what she means and wafts a peanut dangerously close to her nose. She tinkled with laughter and patted his head a little too vigorously.
Then Bea arrived with her Exotic Au-Pair – just what I needed. Exotic Au-Pair mooched around the cocktail bottles and eyed up Matthew who shook his shaker even more vigorously. Bea is lending me her citronella candles and candle holders for the garden. I received a two minute lecture on the state of my nails. I can see her point. I promised to buff and polish them before the party. She gave me a stern look and told me I’d better. She headed off to collect the munchkins from school, almost forgetting Exotic Au-Pair. I ran out the house shoving Exotic Au-Pair in front of me like a battering ram. Matthew sulked.
David rang from the office. He’s not going to be able to get home before he goes out on his Office Jolly tonight. I grind my teeth as I watch Marjorie add more lime juice to the marinade. He asked what that noise was but had to go quickly as Barky Thompson-Pryce was on the other line.
Lydia rang – Mike has just called her with a load of abuse – he’s found out that she’s put most of the furniture in storage and “when was she going to tell him about the leaving party and her new man”. It’s taken him long enough to find out about Matthew. Seriously consider decking Mike. Lydia’s fragile ego can’t take much more of this. Despatch Matt to calm her down. Susan knocked on the door three minutes later and asked if she could borrow some rice. I left her on the doorstep, ran to the kitchen and practically threw a packet of basmati at her. She peered over my shoulder wistfully: Marjorie had put a salsa CD on and was dancing round with her bottle of wine.
I’ve just printed off a pile of cocktail recipes, Matt is lovingly setting up his bar, Marjorie is watching cartoons with Mac, Frank is on his hands and knees on the patio trying to plug in the speakers and Lydia is wringing her hands on the sofa muttering “No-one will come, no-one will come” pitifully.
Whose idea was this anyway?