Friday, 25 July 2008

Summer party - just a casual BBQ - not much effort required really

Tomorrow is the big day. Our annual summer party. We expect to have about 30 adults....and roughly the same number of children....all under the age of 7. The intention is to be outdoors, enjoying the garden, eating our own body weight in BBQd sausages and swimming in the pool. For the kids we've got face paints, bubbles, inflatable plastic things, ride on tractors, sports day games, the trampoline and the pool. For grown ups we've got lots of wine. It should be fab.

But according to the BBC weather page, the forecast is light showers. Excellent. Just what we need. At least they're 'light' showers as opposed to torrential rain with galeforce winds. Which was equally likely. So can't complain really.

As a result, this evening, husband and I shall attempt to erect two marquees - our rainy day back up plan - plus inflate two large inflatable ball pool thingies that will irritate the living hell out of me when the children scatter the balls all over the garden so that we spend the next year finding them nestling amongst our tomato plants. I also have to defrost the 17 tonnes of meat, make a potato bake to feed the masses and attempt to curry some peaches (my casual nod to a South African side dish. If this was a real South African affair, it would be called a Braai and there'd be double the quantity of meat cooked over a coal fire with beer bread, mielie pap and carrot and orange salad with beer - Castle Lager. But it's not, so it's a British BBQ with sausages and Pimms.)

Tomorrow we need to collect ride on tractors, a big gas BBQ from the pub down the road, prepare the rest of the food, clean the pool, set up a million other things including tents for people camping in the garden. And then once people arrive, I'll get to paint children's faces, organise kids races, shout at too many children jumping on the trampoline at once, instruct drunken grown ups to get off the trampoline altogether, serve food, break up fights, get kids into bed when they're over excited and over tired, and clear up.

At some point I do plan on having a glass of wine and a lie in the sun should the rain bugger off.

But it has become apparent to me that I am a fool for organising this party every year. For it to truely be a success I need a) Guaranteed sunshine (not something I'm ever going to get on this grey island) b) staff and lots of them including a herd of babysitters and kids entertainers, plus cleaners, chefs and groundsmen, c) lower expectations.

But fingers crossed it will all go swimmingly. I will attempt to report back with a hangover on Sunday evening. Till then, have a good weekend.

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