Where was I??
Ah. Glued teeth. I remember the day that I had new carpets laid throughout the house. I remember the smell of them which was delightful for the first hour or so but then got a little overpowering. But I digress. I had invited Peter and Glynis to dinner that day. Peter's Mum was visiting from Natal, and so I wanted it to be a really special evening. The food was fine. It must have been because I can't remember any catastrophes, unlike the time I asked friends to dinner back in the days when we all dressed up in long dresses for dinner parties - do you remember them? That was when I drained the potatoes straight into a sink full of dirty dishwater. Well, what would you do? I fished them out and popped them back in boiling water after I had rinsed them and no-one was any the wiser. I must admit the blood pressure was stratospheric back then. Then there was the time I swept past the coffee table in a long dress and knocked every single Stuart crystal wine glass onto the floor, breaking the lot. Sigh.
Why do I remember the disasters so clearly?
So, Peter and Glynis and Peter's mother were all sitting round the table and I brought in the simple dessert of ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce. Only, I lost the recipe for the home-made chocolate sauce, and in a stroke of genius (I thought) I decided to melt some Mars bars instead. I cannot tell you how delicious it tasted. For all of 5 seconds. That was the time it took for the combination of the toffee in the Mars Bars to hit the ice-cream in your mouth and turn to concrete. Glue-ing one's teeth together. Welded. Good grief. False teeth vacated the gums, and the hysterical laughter meant that tears were spurting from the eyes as we tried not to dribble as we attempted to saw our teeth apart. I headed for the kitchen at speed to boil water for hot drinks. So much for creating a good impression. Memorable.
Oh yes, it was memorable. We just have to raise the subject 33 years later and Peter, Glynis and I are bordering back on that point of hysteria. Thank God we all retained the ability to breathe.
I was super organised back then. I amaze even myself when I look at the "Hostess Book" I created. Lists of shopping and costs, who came to a meal when, what I served, what they didn't eat, what they liked to drink, allergies, the lot. That lasted about 4 or 5 years and then I tossed it in the drawer and embarked on the informal entertaining lark, which remains to this day. I am more likely to call you at 5 in the evening and say that I am about to BBQ, so come round, than I am to issue advance invitations.
But I do grin when I think back to the long dress and dinner suit days, and the fun we had. Not that the fun stopped, it just changed. Little traditions started, like the French Open - Glynis and I always try to watch the French Open tennis together. That goes back to the days I knocked over a bottle of 5th Ave Cold Duck all over her new rug. (See - more disasters!)
Christmas Eve in my home meant open house for sherry and mince pies from about 6pm, and the house was always full of people. Wonderful. And then there was Christmas night at my parents' home. Another open house and so many people rolled up for a cold buffet and fun and games. The kids were in and out of the pool, and my friends came in droves, as did Marge's friends and Mum and Dad's friends. And family too. Towering Christmas tree, Auntie Myra starting the carol singing, bikes and skateboards whizzing up and down the driveway, so much laughter and chatter and a table overflowing with food. As I have said before - we never invited people - they just knew it was open house and they always came. So many years of memories..........
One of the lovely traditions we have here in this village, which has been going for over a decade now, is our shared lunch. It all started when we all went to the local village church. We would meet at different homes on the second Sunday each month and take some food and share it with everyone. As we all moved to different churches all over the county, we kept the shared lunches going, and still meet once a month. With no forward planning of the food, it never ceases to amaze me that there is a) always enough, and b) a good split between savoury and sweet. And it is such a great way to catch up with friends we don't see very often. Food and company - they go together so well, don't they?
I am sure I will dredge up more entertaining disasters - or triumphs before the month is over. Watch this space!