Of course, it helps when I can’t sleep at all, as then I can write emails on my phone in the small hours, but my old eyes are getting too tired for that sort of thing.
The Sage being carless, he needed a chauffeuse and it was lucky I had a free day so no juggling was required. It was nice, in the pleasant sense – I drove him over to Attleborough to do an appraisal for possible future sale of some china. On the way home we stopped for lunch at the village pub at Hempnall. We went marvellously retro with scampi and chips in a basket. When we got home, I took Ben for a run on the marshes. A friend came by with her dogs and Harvey, a pale yellow labrador, was as keen as splashing in the water as Ben is and they had a great time. Then I took the Sage to Southwold to fetch the catalogues for his sale in June. More about that another day.
We’re up to 16 for Sunday lunch, which is a lot less effort than it sounds. It’s just a case of preparing more vegetables. And borrowing another table, but I’ll take the wheelbarrow to the church for a folding one, assuming I get permission to do so (I will). I’ve bought a big joint of pork and will make a triple-sized pud. Do you remember the ’80s when we all cooked elaborate dinner parties? And the ’60s come to that – I remember my mother making everything from scratch, mincing liver two or three times for a pâté and so on. It’s simpler now on the whole – well, it is in this house, especially for Sunday lunch.
In fact, the shorter the notice and the more people turn up, the simpler it is. I mean, if you invite two or four people a couple of weeks in advance and at least some of them are excellent cooks, it takes a lot of self-confidence not to feel the pressure to do something elaborate (I’m old enough not to care, mind you, most of the time). But if some people drop in during the afternoon and you feel drawn to ask them to stay on, it’s pot luck. Frankly, they’ll be impressed with being fed at all and if it’s reasonably tasty they’ll be more than happy. And if you run out of plates and someone eats out of a frying pan, that doesn’t really matter either.
On the other hand, having set the date for the blog party several months in advance, a plea of not enough time to plan is not going to hold water. The only thing I know is, it won’t be a barbecue. I’ve learned that lesson.