Friday, January 02, 2009
dear readers, i have only just recovered from the festivities of the new year celebrations enough to tell you about them (herself has pointed out that this sentence may be a little lacking in the syntax department - no doubt mrs captain will put me right if she is reading this). a whale of a time was had by all, chez nous. herself has got the entertaining thing down to a fine art. as himself is still a little flaky when faced with large amounts of catering, herself has taken to inviting guests and then getting them to cook the food.
for new year we had her maamship, the prof and the extreme programmer to stay, in line with tradition. in addition, the snake charmers and mrs snake charmer's brother came, together with recipe books and ingredients. the next doors were also invited but had already agreed to be elsewhere.
cooking started as soon as the snake charmers arrived. mr snake charmer is a creative cook with great flair, but pays scant attention to the aftermath in terms of the state of the kitchen. himself by contrast, while being an equally fine cook, has an obsession with immaculate worktops at all stages in the process. these two might not sound as though they would happily co-exist in a kitchen. but we are fortunate. our kitchen has two zones. there is the ocd zone, where himself can happily wipe up crumbs and straighten chopping boards, and then, the other side of a pillar, is the adhd zone, usually occupied by herself and my boy, where chaos can ensue, uninhibited by order.
mr snake charmer was installed in the latter, with a glass of wine and his recipe books. the other peeps settled down in the living-room to work up an appetite. this process was aided by an inspired idea of the youngest of the snake charmers, who had brought with her a thing called a wee.
when young dave and i heard that a wee was going to be brought we were fascinated. young dave in particular loves a good wee. he has been practicing since he arrived, in all sorts of places and from all angles. recently he has taken to an amusing 3-legged version, in a rather endearing impression of yours truly. young dave has yet to learn that this should not be done while pointing towards the french windows. from inside there is a fascinating view of dave's undercarriage in all its glory, spraying the glass with golden nectar. i only hope that he moves on to lesson 2 before the summer. the french windows tend to be left open most of the time and i cannot see that this trick will seem half as amusing when the supposedly house-trained young fellow is going outside only to spray the floor from the garden.
i digress. the wee turned out to be an altogether different beast. it was an electronic gadget which my boy attached to the telly. the various peeps then held little bones in their hands and waved them about, causing little people on the screen to hit golf balls and roll bowling balls and all sorts. after an initial misunderstanding as to the requirements of fetching said balls, young dave and i settled down by the fire to enjoy the fun.
the food began to arrive but i am unable to tell you anything about it other than that it smelled divine. the peeps watched it like hawks and wolfed it down in a similar fashion. it was a thing called tapas. i think this is because after you have had tapas you have to have the tap on for quite some time while you clean up the kitchen.
eventually the new year came and went with much popping of corks, hugging and kissing and good wishes for better times. a couple of hours later and things were winding down. himself had gone to sleep sitting up on a stool (he is clever like that) and the prof and her maamship were nodding off. they could not of course go to bed until the guests had left on account of needing the sofa to sleep on.
the snake charmers were just leaving when there was a kafuffle outside. it was mr next door. he was in high spirits. young dave and i like mr next door, not least because he is in charge of young ruby, the next door dog. anyway, mr next door came striding into the kitchen, saying he just wanted to kiss lots of women and he would bring his guitar round and serenade us all. while normally this would be a huge treat, on account of mr next door's magical way with a guitar, there was a distinct lack of enthusiasm due to the lateness of the hour. the prof was standing by the cooker, reading the paper while waiting for the kettle to boil for his bedtime cuppa. mr next door paused in his flow.
"i have to say i'm not getting a singing vibe from you right now. maybe i can just kiss lots of ladies instead..."
at this point herself took matters in hand and gently wheeled mr next door in the direction of next door. he is a big man so it was fortunate that he was compliant. even with the large number of guests it would be a tricky business manouvering him through our narrow hall and into his own without co-operation on his part.
things quietened down and eventually everyone went to bed. but young dave was not to be dissuaded from his usual sleeping quarters. there is a myth, perpetuated by the whole family, that young dave and i sleep in our bed. everyone knows that the minute the light is out i climb into the leather chair and young dave spreads himself out on the sofa. but we pretend it is not so. unfortunately, no-one had explained to young dave, or indeed to the prof and her maamship, that things had to be different when there were guests on the sofa. when young dave was small it might not have been such an issue. but he made the mistake of snuggling up between her maamship and the prof.
even after a long evening, her maamship is a lady of perception. she knows well enough that the prof does not have a beard. she has tried to persuade him to grow one for many years, to no avail. the prof is equally astute. while he is aware of the effects of the menopause, he knows that these are gradual, and that beardedness in a wife would not have a sudden onset. it therefore dawned on both guests fairly quickly that there was an intruder in the bed. young dave was politely but firmly ejected in my direction with a gentle thud.
i can see i will have to get him an electric shaver (or chin scissor as my boy calls them) if he is going to make any headway in the kissing of ladies...