Whenever I write down things to do in my house (from mopping the kitchen floor, to re-decorating 3 rooms) I always find that an event where guests will arrive forms a catalyst, and forces action that might otherwise have been put off.
I’ve actually learned to put the cart before the horse now. I make a list of things that need doing, calculate how much of my free time it will take, subtract 25% from the future date for efficiency, and then invite people round for the relevant date.
My birthday is nearly a month away and I’m expecting loads of people to stay over or visit my house for the first time. I decide to split the project in 2, and have a barbecue a month early, and have half the work done in time for it.
Well, that’s all really nice, but the reality was a hectic week at work, being in work the Saturday morning of the Barbecue and various other things. It was mad chaos, up until 5pm when the Barbecue started.
That said, once everyone arrived, everything went to plan. The Barbecue was lit on cue, the kebabs and burgers prepared, buns buttered etc. Kitchen, bathroom etc. were all fully stocked and spotless. I’d even put up some Phonak Soundfield speakers up to add some music to proceedings.
I’d put a note through both my neighbours doors, inviting them, and advising them to call me if there were any problems. As I worked through the to do list on my clip board, everything was coming together (I even made notes about who the guests were, and possible points of conversation I could use to engage them. When some of the guests found it later, they thought it was hilarious).
I decide to go for a mixed bag approach. Two old friends (Dan & Glenn), Three people from the walking group (Brian, Sue and Jo) and Tony, Lorraine and baby Daisy.
I even bought a special Peppa Pig cup and bowl for Daisy, so she could feel like part of action (I didn’t realise the cup and bowl set came with an Easter Egg, that she seemed to enjoy).
An old trick I’ve learned from Gareth at work, is to use youtube to entertain small Children. Daisy was well behaved anyway, but seemed to enjoy it even more, when CBBees or some such was put on the computer.
I put out the potato wedges, Salad, potato salad and rice (everyone commented how well prepared things were, but in honesty, it was all taken from Ainsley Heriots Barbecue book I bought from the Charity shop).
The food and drink seemed to go down nicely, everyone got into small groups and got to know each other and some people went through my book case and ridiculed my reading preferences 🙂
I gave occasional tours of the house to people who hadn’t visited before.
The one thing you cant plan for in the UK is the weather. Sadly, it was an appalling day, and once the “outdoor” food had been cooked, the door was closed and it turned into a house party (just as well, during prep, I realised my garden Bench had broken, and had to be thrown away. There wouldn’t have been anything to sit on.
Later in the evening, I lit the simulated real fire, everyone sat around, and we had a really good time. Party went on until the last guest left at 1:30am.
Overall, a superb evening, well worth all the work. Thanks to everyone who texted to congratulate me on it.
Oh, and loads of important things have been done in the house as well !.