Sunday, 29 November 2015

Village Christmas Drinks At The In Laws

Beeswax cakes (in case you were wondering. Can't tell you how heavenly they smell- just like fresh honey)
 









Kidney Vetch, still flowering at the end of November. Crazy!





We're just home from my in law's Annual Village Pre-Christmas Drinks Party. Every year, they host what feels like the entirety of their village's population of elder statesmen and women in their house, only for the whole process to be repeated again next Sunday at someone else's house, and so on every weekend until Christmas Day arrives and they're all heartily sick of the sight of one another.

We go every year and every year I find I have forgotten 90% of the names, something I mostly get around by volunteering to Be In Charge Of Handing Out The Wine. This has two benefits 1) you have the perfect excuse to keep moving (unless you happen to stumble across an Interesting Tale), and 2) watching everyone getting steadily more tipsy and wobbly on their pegs as the afternoon wears on is it's own brand of amusement. I am generally known to all of them as M's wife (and he is often known as B's Boy, despite being almost fifty and having grown up with them all), so I figure my own memory lapse is forgivable.

M and I have a competition to see which of us can spot the man with the hairiest ears and nose (I won this year) and I frequently have to stifle giggles at the complete lack of Political Correctness that is confidently aired.


Uncle Charles was on Good Form. He was loudly telling M (and everyone else within a twelve foot radius) all about his recent sojourn in hospital where it turned out that the man in the bed next to him was an undertaker who'd got tired of his job and decided to become a magician. This was a more entertaining story than the one which consisted of asking a bemused-looking woman which was her favourite short-cut key on a computer keyboard.

Uncle Charles is an institution in our family. He is deaf as a post and has terrible balance, but he is relentlessly cheerful with the sort of laugh that, when they were younger and still deigned to come to these events, the children would try and secretly record on their phones.

He is now so wobbly on his pegs that standing for any length of time is perilous, never mind the addition of a glass of red in one hand and a suspicious-looking prawn on a tiny circle of pastry in the other as well as his walking sticks. He has hearing aids, which are so ancient they are doubtless worth more as antiques, but despite the fact they don't work he refuses to update them, so we all have to yell at the top of our voices into one of two black boxes he wears round his neck while he attempts to lip read. 

I was deriving Great Amusement listening to he and Mark attempting to have a conversation about Microsoft Word when I was hailed by a jovial chap with a shock of disobedient white hair wearing a bright red waistcoat that perfectly matched his cheeks who boomed cheerfully:  'At last! A pretty blond barmaid bearing wine!' Fortunately, I possess a sense of humour so I just grinned at him and refilled his glass. I then had a conversation with another old boy whose right eye dripped continually onto his cheek (it was hard to ignore the urge to hand him a hanky) all about his time in Colonial Africa. It reminded me so much of the French & Saunders sketch that I got the giggles and had to rush off to the loo to compose myself.

To reimpose a sense of reality, when we got home I made a batch of beeswax and olive oil lip balm as Christmas gifts for friends, and a frankincense and olive body balm for Ma who has requested some. I am now looking forward to roast beef with all the trimmings for supper, because it turns out that tiny circles of pastry with suspicious prawns atop a dollop of something white, little bits of salmon clinging to ovals of cream cheese and miniature sausages on sticks with dips may look very pretty but do not necessarily fill a person up, no matter how much G&T you consume as part of the survival process.

Hope you are all well?

CT :o)

44 comments:

  1. Oh such japes!! What a FRIGHTFULLY hilarious twee tradition!! I wish I was there with you! I love old dears with all my heart X
    You've teased me with your birds shots! Someone's eating my wares, but they must be invisible because I'm not seeing them at all!
    Gammon for tea here! Lovely to see you in Blogland x

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    1. If you had been there too I would not have been able to hide my giggles in the loo! It was a lovely couple of hours, they are all marvellous.
      The Mystery Of The Phantom Birds, eh? Curious.... No doubt they'll show themselves during the Christmas Hols. Enjoy your gammon, chick XX

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  2. Sounds a scream, work and entertainment is equal amounts

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    1. It is always rich pickings for writing. They are a lovely lot x

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  3. What a blast, all it needs is a murder. Uncle Charles sounds absolutely delightful. Well done on the festive making, I do like to hear tales of organisation and excellence. Me and the biggest boy are envying you your nuthatch, I've never seen one. Have a good week CT. CJ xx

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    1. OMG, a Murder? Can you imagine? Captain mustard in the library... (sorry about the OMG, we've just been talking to our teenage daughter).
      We have at least two nuthatches here, a breeding pair. I hear them squeaking like guinea pigs all the time- worth checking their call ion the RSPB website and seeing whether they are there with you, just not visible. Have a good week too my friend XX

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    2. ps that should have read 'on' not 'ion'. Atoms are not involved in any obvious way :o)

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  4. Hey CT,
    I had a similar experience at the sailing club's annual laying up supper. I'd like to meet Uncle Charles; I suspect we'd get on well. I have watching a juvenile Heron on Carbis Bay beach all this week. He seems a bit lost, and spends a lot of time hanging around the Cormorants. There was also a Little Egret dabbling about, which was lovely. I've only seen a Nuthatch at Centre Parcs. Hope you enjoyed the roast.
    Leanne xx

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    1. You and Uncle Charles would hit it off like a house on fire. He has us all in stitches.
      Interesting about the heron, hope the Cormorants are being kind. Little Egrets are spreading their range more quickly than any other bird or so I hear. I was just saying to CJ that we have a breeding pair of nuthatches here so I'm surprised to hear they are not around in the West. Roast is calling, along with the 6th Harry Potter and a rather large glass of red wine.. :o) XX

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  5. It sounds like something out of The Vicar of Dibley. I was slightly alarmed by your post title - Christmas drinks in November? - but I guess there are only three weekends to go after this one. Yikes! I'd love to have a go at making beeswax treats - did you buy that big cake of it or make it? Sam x

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    1. I love the Vicar of D! It does seem a bit rude to be Christmas Drinking at the end of Nov- the problem is other folks in the village had already nabbed the December dates, and they do like their Christmas festivities here :o)
      I buy the beeswax from a local beekeeper. It's filtered with rain water and is so lovely.
      Hoping to pop over and catch up with you today/ tomorrow- hope you're healing up well. XX

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  6. It sounded like fun to me. I have to tell you this. When I first looked at the top pic, I thought mmmmm, cinnamon bun, then in looking closer, I thought ick, liveroni pate with gristle. Glad to hear it was beeswax. I'd love to smell those candles. Beautiful gifts.

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  7. You are hysterically funny CT. I totally love your posts. Any chance of a lip balm making tutorial. I know I could probably google it, but I'm sure you know what you're doing and you take great care to do everything right by the planet at the same time.

    Jean
    x

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    1. I'll pop one up when I get a chance. They aren't hard to make, it's just a matter of getting the quantities right x

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    2. Thank you m'dear. You're a star. I have a block of beeswax I want to put to good use. Lip balms i'm hoping are the answer.
      Jean
      x

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  8. I love to volunteer myself for jobs like that at a party. I'm kind of a wallflower anyway, and the chance to stand quietly and watch everyone else get drunk and say crazy things is just too good to pass up. I love the beeswax, I agree that the smell is wonderful. I'm thinking about asking for some beeswax candles for Christmas. Time to hit up Etsy and buy some for my husband to give me (if I buy my own gifts, I always get exactly what I want. :) )

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    1. I agree- having a job at a party makes the whole experience easier :o)

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  9. You've got a lot of customers at your feeders! Not had so many here, not even seen them! But I've seen the peck marks!

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    1. Masses here, Si, of all varieties. Including an enormous Sparrow flock I've spent 8 years building up from nothing :o)

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  10. I don't know it sounds like a pretty good party to go to if you "have" to go to a party.
    Love love love the darling photo of the sweetpeas !

    cheers, parsnip

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  11. OMG... you could have written the Vicar of Dibley..I am laughing very out loud. Brilliant! British drinks party at its finest.
    Merry Christmas...you sound like you have already started. Fab pic of the doglets. Love to you all x

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    1. And to you, lovely girl. How is the course going? :o) x

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    2. Course went really well. I have finished now. It was a 2 month intensive course and boy...they were sure right about the intensive part. Loved it though. Hoping to get some work after the long summer break. My kids have already finished so 9 weeks hols!!!! Hoorah.
      Have a happy time leading up to the festive frivolities. xxx

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    3. Excellent- well done indeed. I'm sure you'll be fab and the work will appear xx

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  12. I love the smell of beeswax too, especially in unadulterated candles and furniture polish. The lip balm sounds like a wonderful gift and look adorable too. It is quite hard to buy beeswax (as opposed to petroleum based) lip balm so a very good idea to make it. One of your famous tutorials would be eagerly anticipated, by me at least although I wouldn't trust myself with a hammer or hot wax after a Christmas drinks party!

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    1. I will try and get a tutorial up at the weekend :o)

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  13. What a hoot..........I would love to be a fly on the wall,
    Your writings are just too funny.

    Love the image of the Nuthatch......such pretty birds.

    All the beeswax products sound wonderful.....I can smell it from here :)

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    1. Events like that are always a rich vein for comedy I reckon :o)

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  15. That sounds a wonderful way for everyone to enjoy the run up to Christmas, it did make me laugh! Sarah x

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  16. Glad you had a good time! It sounds great! The balm sounds wonderful too! xx

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  17. Now there's a party that I would find most enjoyable m'dear. People watching at such times is so much fun, especially if the old boys are fueled by alcohol :-)

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  18. Your post had me giggling from beginning to end - there's a book there somewhere if you go every year.

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  19. There simply has to be a story to be told about an undertaker who decided to become a magician. Even if it is not the one which Uncle Charles met.

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    1. I agree- Uncle Charles always manages to say something that has me in stitches. I'm not sure whether he always intends that to be the outcome, but there you go :o)

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  20. Keep on missing your posts my dear, life just gets in the way. Uncle Charles sounds like a splendid addition to any party, I've not been to a party like the one you describe for yonks - people dying off now & I'm to boring & tired. Home made balm & lotion sounds a wonderful idea for presents, I bet it was fun to mix too. Hope life is treating you well xx

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  21. Hey Jo :o) Don't worry my dear, I've been playing catch-up this evening too! All well here, hope same with you all too xx

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Thank you for leaving a comment. I always enjoy reading them and will try my best to reply to every one. CT x