Monday, 9 August 2010

Spaced Out

I’m feeling a little bit delicate today. No, it’s not the summer flu, nor “that time of the month”. It’s a good old fashioned hangover. You see, yesterday, Him Indoors and I hosted our first barbeque, and being an afternoon affair I had my first beer at about 1pm. And didn’t stop drinking until the last guest left after 10pm.
However, this is not a confession of alcoholism. I am too far in denial for that – it was my reward for careful planning and food preparation. I’m not someone who can buy in a tub of coleslaw and a packet of burgers and call it a good job. Oh, no. I had to make my own burgers, kebabs and salads, and although I bought in plenty of beer, I insisted on making summer sangria (too good – hence the headache) and Pimms and lemonade with fresh fruit for that sophisticated touch.
Then there is the small problem of space. Being mere average earners in London means that we only have a one bed flat with a modest kitchen/living area and a roof terrace. I love my roof terrace, a rare find for a reasonably priced property in London, and of a decent size. But a lawned garden it aint. On Saturday Him Indoors spent a considerable amount of time deciding where to put the barbeque and chimnea to optimise space and minimise the risk of burning the entire building down. Then we had to figure out where to sit everyone. And what to seat them on. Tricky.
Having invited a group of friends who live outside of London, there was the added problem of overnight accommodation. After squeezing about eight of our friends on the floor of our living area after my thirtieth birthday party last year on various air beds, sofa beds and cushioned items, I was not too worried about this. Until one of my friends said she would come down on the Sunday as her back was not up to the student lifestyle anymore. I apologised for my lack of grown up facilities and offered my bed, mentally noting that even if I don’t mind slumming it after a few beers, maybe I should provide more conservative sleeping quarters now my friends and I are no longer twenty-somethings.
And finally, there is the storage of food (and beer) problem. By Sunday morning my fridge had become a complex 3D puzzle that only I was qualified to tackle and my bath was full of ice and vats of various alcoholic beverages. Mmm, maybe it’s time to invest in a decent sized fridge too.
However, despite these various obstacles, I think the day was a success. Everyone had something to sit on, nothing got burnt down and the food went down well without a hint of food poisoning. And my terrace looked lovely with its solar-powered lanterns and citronella candles. But maybe it’s time to find somewhere slightly bigger if I want to throw parties for my chums in the future. Let’s face it, none of us are getting any younger – my fuzzy brain is proof enough of that. Then there is the prospect of children being introduced into my social circle. Something tells me that suggesting putting all the kids in a tent outside might not go down too well. And that playing “I have never” may become inappropriate with under 18’s present.
Or maybe I should continue to pretend we are all just out of uni and top up everyone’s glasses before collapsing on the kitchen floor in a sleeping bad. I’ll drink to that.

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