Friday evening: Murder Mystery dinner party at sintar_mebta's. Yummy food: French Onion Soup, Pasta, & extra-yummy pancakes with ice-cream & raspberries (and I wasn't the only one who thought so - there was much scraping of plates). Note: I must invite Phil to the next readthrough I cast - possibly as Septimus in Arcadia if we do that - as he can improvise a character marvellously, and I therefore suspect he could act rather well too. I am also unlikely to forget in a hurry sintar_mebta's revealing a chest wig to the accompaniment of Marvin Gaye's Let's Get it On. Was nice to get the chance to speak to Martin's friend John a bit more too, as we've only chatted briefly at parties before, and also meet John's girlfriend Lucy.
Saturday: Woke up about half-eight nicely unhungover (note: there is an interesting state between being totally unaffected by alcohol consumption when you wake the next morning & being hungover; in which there's just the slightest hint of grogginess - enough to remind you what you've escaped in hangover terms, but which dissipates within about an hour of rising - and I find it oddly pleasant, somewhat akin to the pleasure of having slightly aching muscles the day after exercise). Nipped out to Sainsbury's in the morning to get food for the playgroup party that afternoon & for Mother's Day lunch on Sunday (Aside: if you're reading this & weren't invited, it was by no means a deliberate snub, just an unavoidable side effect of having a house of a certain size - alas I am rather prone to GSF 5 and feel guilty for not inviting everyone who I know & who might like something to it, despite the fact I really wouldn't have room. But anyway). Then started to make a lemon meringue pie for Sunday lunch & betweentimes tidy up the kitchen (meanwhile vectorious was tidying the rest of the house).
tea_at_bettys arrived a little after twelve & we chatted as I continued to cook and then after a quick lunch of bread & cheese (plus jam tarts made with spare pie pastry), I set her to work painting signs for the party that afternoon, whilst I finished the lemon meringue pie, and then laid out the potions lab bench in the kitchen (a wide variety of fruit juices, squashes & food colouring). Then rosie_rhi_bee arrived with a present of six lovely little pot plants (which I've yet to find permanent homes for). rosie_rhi_bee finished off the pirate island sign with a suitably evil-looking grinning skull, and then we laid out newspaper for the glittery activities, and started making things.
Other guests started to arrive around half-past four, and we soon had a veritable symphony of creativity going on. Those pirate maps which people didn't take away with them can be seen below. (I've made them fairly big so that the writing has at least a chance of being legible - apologies to those of you with slow connections). (I'm also assuming no-one who did one minds it being put up here - if you do just let me know & I'll take it down)
by ashfae and ixwin
by vectorious (unfinished)
by gnimmel and purplepiano (isn't it gorgeous?)
(casby's and yvesilena's maps can be seen here)
Photos of potions & people engaged in glittery activities were also taken although not by me as my camera is sad and injured (although in the course of tidying the house vectorious had found the receipt & guarantee which is very good as it means we should be able to get it repaired free) and hopefully some of them will be posted soon. (Edit: Yep - mostlyacat has now put his photos up here and I recommend them.)
I was particularly pleased with the effect of the soundtrack I'd chosen for the party - partly decided in advance, partly planned with Naomi earlier that day. We had a compililation of (mainly 80s) cheese courtesy of School Disco, then the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack (stirring stuff!), then the Beatles Number 1s (which got me - and several others - singing along), then an album of Jewel which moved things into a more chilled out zone, and was followed up by a Relaxing Classics compilation.
mirabehn had brought her copies of the Topping book and the new Bottoming book to lend to someone, and they provoked much interest for a while as the evening drew on. I was particularly intrigued by the 'books from the same publisher' section at the back, the titles of which I will not reproduce in a public entry as they were far too rude.
Anyway, people gradually left to catch buses or trains, until the last of us watched a few bits of the Bill Bailey DVD (Bewilderness), before departing or heading off to bed. (rosie_rhi_bee and tea_at_bettys, who had starrily done the washing up earlier, stayed at ours overnight).
On Sunday, we rose early enough to say goodbye to rosie_rhi_bee and tea_at_bettys. vectorious and I tidied up the last of the party detritus, (then engaged in activities over which I shall draw a veil but which felt very nice indeed), then got dressed, before I started getting the main course of lunch ready (a baked thing of spinach, ricotta, mushrooms, potato, and gruyere which I've made before). Our families arrived shortly after one, and lunch (both main course & dessert) was consumed enthusiastically with second & even third helpings dished out - it was very nice, though I say so myself. We then spent a pleasant afternoon chatting before they headed off around half five.
I then managed a better than usual study session. Partly, I think, by virtue of the fact that, as I'd had such a good and productive time this weekend, I didn't begrudge a bit of time spent at my desk, and partly because the weekend had been so good that I didn't want to spoil it by laziness/crappiness (partly because I actually wanted to write this entry and say that this had been a good weekend - odd motivation, I know, but hey it worked).
Then I came to the computer to write this and that including scanning the maps has taken me nearly an hour and a half. Still haven't had dinner, but then I'm still fairly satisfied from lunch. (Edit: am now eating cold baked potato from yesterday with cottage cheese & remains of salad from lunch - just the right size of meal for me tonight & a further good thing clocked up for this weekend)