after the party

08 Apr


YoungB’s birthday party went off well. The music wasn’t too loud, and certainly not too loud too late (no police responding to complaints; always a good sign), there were no fights (high spirits and alcoholic spirits aren’t always a good mix) but, most importantly of all these days – particularly in our area; and it’s a sad comment on society that things should be so – there were no gatecrashers. The morning after crept on into early afternoon and the last guest waved goodbye at about lunchtime. YoungB and I did a rubbish round, dealt with the last of the recycling and discovered that the Pale Ale he provided is not many’s preferred drop; except ours, as it happens!

There were, it’s fair to say, a few sore heads but nobody completely written off. On the whole, the guests behaved well. And was YoungB’s head sore? Yes, probably, but more from weariness than intoxication. He said, quite rightly, that it was his job as host to ensure his guests’ safety, which meant that he needed to be fairly sober at all times. It didn’t meant he couldn’t or shouldn’t have any alcohol, but that he had to be sensible. He was. He was also sensible enough to drink copious amounts of water and make sure he ate plenty.

He was weary because he’d had a l-o-n-g day. The Schools’ Head of the River Regatta took place on the same day As a coach, he’d had to be there by about 7.30 to get his crews organised and give them some last-minute tips. (No, they didn’t win but he was pleased with how well they rowed, particularly because of some late crew changes.) All of that had entailed a 6.30 am start. YoungB then didn’t really stop until about 3 o’clock the following morning. He has flat feet and, as he admitted when I was shooing him back to bed for an afternoon nap, they hurt after that much standing about, orthotics or no orthotics.

We agreed that, although we’d have liked the guests to have eaten more (you don’t want to even think about how much food we had left over) it was an enjoyable party and nobody misbehaved too badly. The guests were most enthusiastic in their rendition of Happy Birthday. I have to say, somewhat bemusedly because I truly don’t understand why, that it was one of the most energetic but least tuneful efforts I have ever heard! It was sung twice: once in English and once in Italian (oh, yes, most of the kids had studied at least one year of Italian at high school). The boys even did an emu parade the next morning, between my appearing with the toaster, raisin bread and crumpets, and returning with the coffee; something I considered polite and thoughtful. And, when sober, most of YoungB’s friends have always been that. They’re a likeable lot and, as I once said after a presentation ceremony, if our future is in their hands – and I suppose ultimately and immediately it is, because they’ll be choosing our nursing homes; but in a wider way, it might also be so because some of them certainly have the potential for politics – then it is likely to be a good future.

There are some more bits of tidying up to be done that Dr B will deal with today (returning the marquee, chairs and trestles; things of that nature). Then YoungB will catch up with most of his mates again at uni for the last week of half-semester. And I, I’m going back to finishing-up Youngest Uncle’s fingerless gloves. I am. Really, I am. Honest. Or perhaps finishing the winter hat while I watch a TV show. At the very least!


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