Monday, 19 January 2009
The party's over - but it still feels good
Dr P had a very good birthday on Sunday. What good management to have your 85th birthday fall on a Sunday. We had a self-serve lunch with plates balanced on knees. A nice simple menu - ham, cold chicken, potato salad, egg salad, smoked salmon and pesto savouries, followed by the ever-reliable and delicious orange almond cake, and pavlova with mixed berries. And juice, water and wine. The ham and cooked chickens were bought, another friend provided the egg salad, and I did the rest.
It took me the whole week to prepare, but I paced it and was very organised. Monday was cleaning day, Tuesday was time off and driver's licence day, Thursday was food shopping day, Friday was wine buying day, Saturday was for baking the cake, and pavlovas, and Sunday morning was for arranging the house. What was Wednesday? I can't remember! Oh yes, K from Canberra was here overnight.
Dr P got worried during the week that I needed some help, and with the help of our close friend KMe, we engaged a young student, who arrived an hour before. She was terrific - knew how to pitch in, did the drinks well, and just got on with things. With her help, I was able to have a good time and talk to our friends.
The happy glow lingers on. The photos I took of Dr P and all the guests show that everyone had a good time. He did not want any presents, speeches or toasts, so there were none (champagne is nasty stuff anyway). Everyone talked to him and to each other. It was all I'd hoped it would be. Dr P had a very good time, and was very happy.
Our Canberra friend K, despite having been here during the week, came back by bus, but was late due to the bus aircon breaking down. He had to catch the return bus at 6pm. What a day.
Now all we have to do is eat the rest of the ham, chicken, potato salad, the cake and the remains of the pavlovas. Everyone just loves pavlovas, especially with berries, and they are really very easy to make - although you do have to concentrate. When I decorate a pav, I just put the mixed berries on top, but our student, L, mounded them, with the strawberries arranged around the outside, and it looked most artistic. I must remember that one.
What with L's help, the cleaning up afterwards was minimal, and the furniture rearrangement did not take long.
I don't usually blather on about lunches, etcetera, but just feel very glad that it was such a happy occasion. I have had a couple of very quiet days. Dr P went to bridge, and all is well.
Dr P is doing some cleaning out of his study. He collects funnies. (Well, so do I. I've got all the farnarkling correspondence from many years ago. And lots of spoofs by the loyal and devoted staff on bureaucratic management edicts such as the introduction of a tea voucher system.) He's got some good ones. He brought out for my delectation a cartoon from The New Yorker. It shows a couple sitting in the office of a female marriage counsellor. She has picked up the phone and says to the couple, "Excuse me a moment. It's my idiot husband." We tend to keep stuff that still makes us laugh. It sure makes tidying up a slow and inefficient process.
I haven't cooked dinner since Saturday.