|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?