I came over all Canadian today, and hosted a baby shower for Niamh and Paul, who are expecting their second child at Halloween. June and Kelly and Elizabeth baked up a storm, and we blew up balloons, directed Eddie in hanging up a banner, got James and Jay to move furniture, put out all the bowls of crisps and dips, and waited for the guests of honour to arrive. Most of the waiting time was spent trying to stop all the kids from snaffling the nachos, but they kept making guerilla raids from the basement stairs. Feckers.
They arrived at last, and were suitably surprised, so we didn’t have to beat anyone for letting the cat out of the bag. Rebecca handed them all the presents one by one, with a running commentary for each. She had insisted on getting into her Party Dress at 9am, so it was looking fairly bedraggled and covered in strawberry stains at this stage. She had “helped” me to make the sponge and the pavlova, so there was lots of cream and icing sugar mixed in with the red stains. I need the Canadian equivalent of Vanish.
Paul had brought the makings of a huge bowl of nachos with mince, guacamole, sour cream and grated cheese, so silence reigned while that was lorried into. The men decided that a “dessert combo” was the fairest way to appreciate all the baking efforts, so they all got a plate of pavlova, chocolate cake and coca cola cake. The cherry pie and sponge were temporarily ignored, and the kids were inhaling the cookies. Ten minutes later, the men were wedged in an insulin haze on the couches, and the women were dissecting recipes at the kitchen table.
Christopher and Benjamin nagged until finally some of them headed outside to play soccer, and then Michael headed off to Nicholas’ first soccer match at the Sports Centre on Nelson Road.
Christopher and Benjamin and Jay went with him, and James and Kelly followed them out to cheer him on. He looked great in his new kit, and it all went swimmingly until he fell over a speed bump on the way back to the car and “injured himself in lots of places”. We mopped and tidied him up and despatched him to bed, and I headed out to experience the joys of my second Bingo night.
I am considered a veteran now, and Erin handed me my book and apron with no instructions and absolute confidence in my Bingo abilities. Sucker. She’s great. She runs all the Bingos for the Goldfins, and has a very droll sense of humour. Just when you think you’re going to sucker-punch the next Bingo nut that asks you for a Bonanza, she calls you over to do Bingoey things with your folder, and suddenly it’s all fine again. She’s like a black-haired, dark-eyed jab of Prozac, all sunshine, sarcasm and wit. She also actually understands how to play Bingo. I am in awe.
I sauntered around the Hall, spotting all the faces from the first time round. Tiny Wizened Man was there, and I managed to sell him tickets twice without needing a translator. He was wearing rolled up jeans and little shoes, and kept beaming at me every time I walked by. There was another little old dear with a powdery face and crazy pencilled eyebrows, who had bathed in Granny perfume before she came out. She had white hair that stuck out all around her head like a lampshade, and she had dressed herself up for the Bingo night. She called me over to tell me all about some woman who was walking beside the train tracks when she was on her way here. There was no beginning or end to the story, just a rambling middle section, so I kept nodding and agreeing with her about how terrible and dangerous it all was. Tracks. Night-time. Darkness. Lethal. Nod. Smile. Rapid exit.
There was a gigantic man sitting towards the back of the Hall, in a tee-shirt that read “Once you go Big, you never go back”. I don’t think so, bud. His chair was about four feet back from the table in order to allow for his gut, and he got thick with one of the lads because he “could have come a bit quicker”. Yes, dear, because clearly you sprint everywhere all of the time….
There was an exceedingly grumpy old man sitting on his own at a table, who growled “BALLS” at me and one of the other guys until I got him a BALLS sign and left it to those guys to deal with him. He had fierce bushy eyebrows and a mad moustache, with dark-rimmed glasses. I think he’d also borrowed Mr Potato Head’s Angry Eyes. Cranky old git.
Finally it finished, and we emerged to -8 C. I got stuck at a level crossing while a 150-container cargo train trundled by, and eventually got home at 1.30am. It’s 2am now, and freezing hard outside, with snow forecast over the next few days. Should be interesting…..
Goodnight all, enjoy your Monday xx