What a difference a year makes ....
Foods all arrived ... no substitutions .. nothing missing .. the large American style fridge in our communal kitchen is FULL ... full to bursting .. I was beginning to think I might even have to wedge a chair against the door to make it stay shut .. but made a few changes around and I finally got the door shut .. and then put a large sign on the door to say KEEP OUT .. this means YOU !!!
It's weird ... somehow there seems much more than I expected .. and yet .. looking at it all I can't imagine how on earth it will go round 30 people .. ok ... I'm panicking ... breathe .. breathe out ... calm ... it will all be fine ...
the party was a resounding success ...
A crowd of expectant party goers started forming outside the communal lounge at 3.45pm .. go'way for 10 minutes we shouted .. (the scheme manager and myself) .. a frantic last few minutes scurrying saw the tables piled high with food, jugs of exotic fruit juice and lemonade were filled to the brim ..
We threw back the curtains (closed to stop sneaky peeking) then we opened the door .. the Hawaiian music CD started to play .. a travelogue DVD was showing all the 'hidden' areas of the Hawaiian Islands .. I greeted everyone as they came through the door and gave them a party bag and a Lei to wear ..
Honestly you should have seen all their faces light up .. they looked around in absolute amazement .. blow up monkeys, parrots, glistening tinsel palm trees .. exotic fruit table centre pieces .. straws and food picks bedecked with honeycomb paper fruits .. over a hundred paper parasols .. ooooohs and aaaahs were coming from everyone ..
The tables were a riot of colour .. and all the food was wonderful .. I had a little speech I wanted (no, needed) to make .. I made a show of looking through half a dozen sheets of paper .. but only the first sheet had anything on it .. (how 'naughty' am I) .. said my piece and then everyone tucked in .. next we had the party games .. limbo first .. then pin the tail on the donkey .. then a darts tournament .. (velcro darts of course, safety first) .. to my surprise almost everyone joined in ..
Then I brought out the desserts .. my 'special' home made custard yoghurt, on top of sliced banana and with ginger biscuit crumbles on top .. mini doughnuts and iced gems ... the party finally came to a close around 6.45pm ... some swift clearing away by the usual ladies .. who really do seem to enjoy and relish the job of clearing up ... and a ery vgood time was had by all ..
Honestly I have never seen so many of the people here having such a laugh and a good time .. cheering on the limbo'ists, laughing at the folks trying to pin the tail onto the donkey .. applauding the dart throwers and everyone going away with huge grins on their faces .. it just couldn't have worked out better ..
But by 'eck am I tired out .. I shall go back down in about an hour and do some more tidying up .. but I just had to come and sit in the quiet for a while .. chill .. and have my feet up for a bit ...
Was all the effort really worth it ... absolutely ... did I enjoy it ... absolutely ... did everyone else enjoy it .. absolutely ... would I do it again .. absolutely ........... NOT ... far too traumatic hahahaha
That sounds totally fantastic Patootie.
Give yourself a huge pat on the back, and I hope you are now getting a well deserved rest.
Sorry to hear you've been a bit poorly GC .. wretched food poisoning .. but glad to hear you are now on the mend .. nothing worse than the tummy wobbles ... !
I'm still really tired and having to lie down a lot .. hands are swollen .. can't get my arms above my shoulders .. and I can only walk a short distance still .. but everyone is still raving about the party .. and that makes it all worth while ..
I have an idea for Christmas ... got to 'polish' the idea up a bit and see if the things I'd need are available .. but it would be fun .. let's just say everyone would be wearing a scarf, woolly hat and sunglasses . heheheh .... more than that I cannot say yet ...
The little Club here have told me that I can ask for money for my 'entertainments projects' now .. reasonable amounts will be freely given, without my needing to say what for .. as long as everyone is included .. (which they would be of course) .. they are so pleased with all the ideas I've had this year .. the Easter Egg hunt, Haggis tasting on Burns night, Chinese food tasting for Chinese New Year, Trooping the Colour coffee morning, Wimbledon finals cream teas etc etc etc
OK .. got to go and lie down again ... get my legs up in the air .. and give them a rest ..
what a brilliant and lovely idea .. and will be credited to you if we run with it .. that would 'bridge the gap' between the onset of winter and waiting for the actual Christmas Day to arrive**.. we could put little Dutch Flags on the tables and print out some fascinating Dutch facts .. and yes some lovely food and nibbles .. along with the carols (and surely that's more than enough for a special musical evening on it's own merit) I might be able to find a Durch winter DVD or similar ... hmmm .. that's really got me thinking .. thanks for that ...
** surprisingly .. a lot of older folks feel very isolated during the run up to Christmas .. they don't have the Christmas 'feasts' to start shopping and planning for .. or loads of presents to be dashing around buying and hiding .. and it's quite noticeable here that the general mood certainly gets a little 'down' during December ... so the timing would be fantastic ... December 5th (?) is a Sunday .. so it might have to be the Monday or Tuesday ...
Don't let me forget please
Pheweee this sudden weather change has 'grabbed' me and given me a good 'shaking' ..3 nights running I've slept for 12 hours .. but don't you feel great when you get a half decent nights sleep .. so much better than only having 3-4 hours anyway .. only problem is the brains willing but the body isn't .. just as when my body is working well my brain is super muddled ... hahahhahhh .. can't win ... !
Had a word with our scheme manager and she thinks the Sinterklaas idea is a good one .. she just wanted to know if mulled wine is any part of the Sinterklaas festivities .. heheheh .. so we will have that one weekend too .. carols from Kings College Chapel here in Cambridge and some nice mulled wine ... !
Mulled wine - Glühwein - svarené víno - vin fiert - izvar - karstvins - grzane wino - Glögg - same hot spicy wine just different names around the world .. maybe we could do a short drinks quiz or similar .. with the winner getting a nice bottle of wine .. hmmm ... entertainment 'juices' flowing freely now ..
>yawn< ... been yawning my head off this last couple of hours .. so another early night ... perhaps try and read for a while .. then blissful sleep once more ... try and store up some 'extra' sleep for when I can't sleep next week (it's bound to happen) ..
Sigh, another lovely 10 hours sleep .. but will several bathroom 'pit stops' hehehe
Thanks for the offer to help with planning Sinterklaas .. (woohooo I can even spell it now without having to scroll up!) .. I would think around 15-20 would be the most likely number to come along .. proudly says .. my party was the best turn out they've ever had here .. !
The shops here have just started putting all the Christmas things onto the shelves .. it's really stupid .. the kiddies get excited that Santa is coming far too soon .. and to be honest by the time Christmas finally arrives everyone is fed up with it all .. and people panic and start buying because they think it will all be gone long before Christmas .. so the shops can then say .. well we had the demand for it .. grrrr In England these days Christmas = commercialism .. full stop ... none of the 'old fashioned' spirit of Christmas is left .. just chain store glitz and ready made food these days .. such a shame .. I used to love Christmas .. well the run up to it .. making puds, cakes, mince pies .. now it all comes in boxes and freezer bags ..
My speech ohh myy .. you don't really want to know do you ...
Ok Ok ... so here is the speech ...
"My first Birthday party was when I was about 5-6 years old, and typically I was ill on the day, all I heard from the party was the sound of tin whistles and tambourines as my party guests marched up and down the garden path while I was shut away in my bedroom ... (an aside, in all the party bags I had put a little plastic flute and mini tambourine) so please have a toot, rattle those tambourines and lay to rest the ghosts of my first party.
My second Birthday was not until I was 21 .. I was accidentally punched in the jaw .. I couldn't eat for a month and still can't eat hard foods on that side, and it's always been painful since then.
I said I never wanted to have another Birthday party .. blimey after the first two 'disasters' I'd probably end up killing someone I joked .. and had refused all manner of attempts to get me to have a party .. however, coming up to my 50th I relented and said someone could organise a little 'do' for me .. then very sadly in the early hours of my Birthday my dear old dad passed away .. and my jest of 'killing someone' hit home hard ...
But we won't dwell on sad things, just having said it is enough, so thank you all for being such a wonderful crowd of people, thank you for coming, thanks to Judy (the scheme manager) for all her help and support on keeping the party a secret for so long .. and .. LET'S HAVE FUN ... "
I had a number of people come up and give me a hug in the days just after the party, said I was very 'brave' to have organised the party .. and that they hoped the 'bad' times had been put into the past and that I could now look forward to better times ..
Some of them even went so far as to say that they could see I had 'dark' things in my past but hadn't wanted to intrude .. and that they were pleased I had chosen to 'give it another go' ... and that I had shared some of my 'hurts' with them ..
And it's true .. those 5th Birthday memories hurt .. had hurt for 50+ years ... me shut away sobbing my heart out .. other kids laughing and enjoying themselves .. I wasn't even allowed a bowl of jelly ... you see my doctor didn't believe in asthma .. told my parents I was just a naughty child trying to get attention .. so I went 16 years before I had any proper treatment for asthma .. he 'damn near' killed me stooopid man ... I have scarred lungs and a heart murmur because of him ... lost more than half my schooling .. and I'm still terrified of having anything put over my mouth and stopping me getting my breath easily ..
The 21st punch was truly an accident .. I just stepped into the way of someone flinging their arm out and his fist hit me just in front of my ear exactly where the jaw joint is ... it's permanently 'out of place' clunks when I chew hard or chewy foods and will have that until I die ..
(Sorry the next bit is a bit tough reading, so feel free to skip past if you feel like it)
We never know when we say 'daft' things that they may just come true .. I had known for a few days that dad wouldn't get better after his awful fall down stairs, I was the one who found him, he was in a terrible state, .. and truthfully it was a huge relief that he died as quick as he did because (and only because) he was in terrible pain even with all the morphine .. but I cannot tell you how gulity I felt (and still do) that it was all my fault .. I was trying to help him and we were having his home modernised to make it more comfortable for him .. I think that he simply 'forgot' the stair lift had been fitted and somehow fell down the stairs and landed on top of the stair lift chair .. it's not a sight any daughter should have to see .. I've never been able to tell anyone the real facts .. and I won't .. it's just too awful ... but I know I will always feel guilty ... if only I hadn't 'interferred' .. sigh
Sorry for 'unloading' my angst .. it is very helpful to finally be able to say some of these things .. it''s taken 8 years for me to even start saying anything about dad ... and the hurt does seem just a little less 'all consuming' ..
Awwwww thank you GC ... I know deep down that what you say is true .. and for every 'bad, sad' thought I have . I've tried to think of a good memory to make me smile again .. still .. enough of all this angst and woe ... suffice to say .. everyday is a better day ..
It's really hot here tonight .. hardly any breeze .. close and heavy .. yawn ... my eyelids are 'heavy' too .. they are like blinds .. slowly coming down over my eyes hahahaha ..
I think yet another early night is on the agenda .. need to be up early tomorrow .. I want to get out and 'pop up' to a kitchen and home shop .. blinking dropped 4-5 mugs this last two weeks .. broken the lot .. so I reckon I shall have to go and buy yet another lot .. sigh ... the amount of mugs I buy ... somehow when I'm making coffee or washing them up they manage to get a life of their own and just jump our of my hands hahaha
Maybe I should buy myself a kiddies non breakable mug ...
Oooohhhh look what I've found ..
The first site is fairly useful in giving me an idea of how the Sinterklaas day goes (and some cookie recipes) .. and the second site is a shop that sells lots of Dutch goodies .. they are bound to have some cookies etc that are for especially for Sinterklaas ...
And yes, sigh ... my brains had enough of sleeping .. woke up at 3am .. wide awake and raring to start searching the Internet for all manner of things hehehe
Right ... next stop is trying to find some little Dutch paper flags for decoration ...
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