Monday, 25 June 2007

Sunday Service

Well, Sunday lunch was a big success, in that we ate loads and drank loads, and no-one threw up.
It hadn’t been the most auspicious start. The invitation was for midday, so I spent the morning in complete denial by reading the newspapers, crunching Coco Pops underfoot, cursing at the kids - all the usual Sunday morning stuff. It was only at about 11am that the true magnitude of what I needed to achieve within the next hour gradually dawned on me.
Like the beginning of a machine wash cycle, I started off just moving slowly backwards and forwards across the kitchen, without actually doing anything. Gradually I began to build a bit of momentum, prodding at a few piles of dirty washing and crusty plates. Within half an hour I was up to full spin, whipping through the house, removing all traces of the life we really do live (toenail clippings on the sofa, fourteen pairs of shoes in the hall) and trying to replace it with the pretence of a more civilised version. The finished effect was hardly ‘Homes and Gardens’ but at least the living room didn’t look like a crack den any more.
I had earmarked the last 15 minutes to run upstairs and attempt the final bit of ‘Sunday lifestyle’ deception – clothes and make-up. Therefore you can imagine my blind panic when the doorbell rang at 11.45 and I was trapped in the kitchen, still wearing my (rather stained) dressing gown.
Like many women my age, my un-made-up face bears absolutely no resemblance whatsoever to my fully-made-up face. So, for one fleeting moment I considered pretending that I was the live-in help. That promise of salvation was short-lived when I realised that I don’t look underfed enough to be really convincing in the role. Also, the stained dressing gown would have been grounds for instant dismissal under the draconian hygiene standards demanded by employers of domestic staff.
So, with skin like blotchy porridge, and eyes like pee-holes in the snow, I went into the hall to greet the guests, smiling brightly through anaemic lips.
I needn’t have worried. The couple who had arrived early have a three year old and a six month old baby, and were therefore so sleep-deprived that I could have been wearing full clown suit and wig, and I doubt they would have noticed.
I left H to steer them gently towards the drinks, and escaped upstairs, emerging 15 minutes later, slathered in industrial quantities of concealer, and wearing something suitably floaty and relaxed. The whole intention was to create an impression of effortless style, but I nearly gave myself a coronary trying to achieve it. The contrast, though, was so dramatic that I had to introduce myself all over again to the baby-infused couple. I think they spent the rest of the afternoon vaguely wondering when the pasty-faced domestic was likely to appear again, and hoping that she hadn’t touched any of the food.
At about 12.45 the other family arrived, just as we were popping the cork off the second bottle of Lindauer. Since their children are seven and five, they had been delayed by the usual arguments and mock threats of stopping the car, and pretending to drive back home. By the time they got to our house, they had actually covered the total distance twice over.
As the meal got underway, and the white wine flowed, it became easier to ignore the constant interruptions from various children. By the time we hit the red wine, the kids had finally realised that we were shouting louder than they were, so they sensibly left us alone and went upstairs to imprison each other in the wardrobes. We didn’t see them again until the two designated drivers (the dads) decided they really couldn’t stand any more of their wives’ shrill hilarity, and shovelled them into their cars along with the children.
One of the wines our guests brought was a fabulous Saint RocheVin de Pays du Gard (Ocado £5.49). This fruity organic red went really well with the fresh, meaty shepherd’s pie. It’s a shame there isn’t any of it left, as a large glass would certainly liven up the congealed mass of leftovers we are eating tonight.
Perhaps it’s just as well I’m abstaining. The children came down for breakfast this morning and started a rousing chorus of ‘Ten Green Bottles’ when they looked at the detritus. I had to buy their silence with sweeties, but I know that our excesses are documented every Monday in that Stalinist invasion of privacy known as the ‘My Busy Bee News’ exercise book. I did tell them that the clear bottles are for lemonade and the green ones are for limeade, but I don’t think they believed me.

23 comments:

Stay at home dad said...

Good to see you confine your association to those who shop at Waitrose.

Another cracker, despite the raised bar of book deal talk!

mutterings and meanderings said...

I love your imagery!

EmmaK said...

Oh, I can so relate, to those kid Stalinists and their Busy Bee diary. My six year old is always grassing me up to daddy: "mommy gave Sausage a lollipop and didn't brush her teeth afterwards. We haven't eaten any vegetables all day. When we wouldn't eat our broccoli mommy just threw it in the trash and said 'don't tell daddy.' Mommy had a glass of wine at lunch, she tried to tell us it was grape juice but it smelt funny, then she drove the car, she was singing Abba, I think she was drunk daddy."

it was so wonderful when the kids could only babble.

Mopsa said...

Fantastic image of you revving up in the kitchen - gave me early morning chuckles.

DJ Kirkby said...

How is it possible for you to write such hilarious posts? (Don't stop) I've just laughed myself silly (again)

Elsie Button said...

so funny! brilliant! the 'my busy bee news' bit made me think about when i was at school and every monday i would write 'this weekend my mum kissed another soldier' which was completely untrue of course! well i think it was anyway. the teachers have a field day with these diaries though - it is so bloody nosy.

The Good Woman said...

Brilliant Drunk Mummy. And that your stunning transition only takes fifteen minutes is highly impressive too!

Motheratlarge said...

Even when fully sober I balk at early morning singing. Pointed renditions of Ten Green Bottles could finish me off altogether. As would the effort of spinning wheezes involving lemonade and limeade. Another nice posting - thanks!

ps - thanks for the blogroll

debio said...

Brilliant blog, drunk mummy.

Isn't it interesting that when the big people are becoming shrill and boisterous, the little people head off to amuse themselves? I've been pondering for years whether the control of my 'shrill' side on a daily basis is doing me any favours.

Akelamalu said...

Oh you do make me laugh! I only went out without my make-up once and someone asked if I was ill! Never again!!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

What was life like before makeup, I wonder. To say I look like death warmed up would be an understatement, never a good idea to go out without the old blusher, the tups in my field are looking ever so bored..!

Pig in the Kitchen said...

drunk mummy you are so funny! that did make me laugh! Glad you had a lovely time.
Pigx

Omega Mum said...

What book deal? Go, girl, go....Very funny and well done for getting house sorted in an hour. Am in awe.

Drunk Mummy said...

SAHD - you know me - I'll drink with anyone.
All this talk of a book deal does put the pressure on - shame there's no truth in it. Not quite sure where it all started, but I'm flattered!

M&M - thank you!

Emma - yes, they have a habit of repeating everything when they get older, especially the swear words.

Mopsa - thanks, I was close to short-circuiting at one point!

dj kirkby - thank you, you are very kind!

elsie button - I bet the teachers thought your mum sounded like a lot of fun!

good woman - ah, but I was starting from an exceptionally low level.

motheratlarge - I'm not very good with early morning singing either - which is exactly why my children torment me in this way.

debio - release that inner 'shrill woman' - you know she is dying to get out!

akelamalu - yes - its when someone holds your hand and asks if everything is OK that it gets really embarrassing!

crystal jigsaw - yikes, I suppose the tups wouldn't care if you hadn't re-applied your lipgloss either! (btw I had to look up 'tup' - I thought it was a slang verb - I suppose the tups actually do tup)

pig - thank you! It was good fun, despite all the clearing up.

omega mum - sadly all talk of a book deal is mere fantasy on the part of Commenters. Still, we all like to fantasise - for me it usually involves champagne fountains and a big straw.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

An hour to get the house sorted and fifteen minutes to get yourself sorted? am impressed! I need at least two hours for both!

Omega Mum said...

Why the devil shouldn't it be reality? Who was it who was advocating some mystic wishing system. Go for it. It adds more jollity. Which vintage Krug would you serve with the launch party, incidentally?

Peter May - The Pinotage Club said...

Hilarious. Oh dear... been there. You bring back so many memories between the laughs.

Like when our youngest suddenly vomited onto his dinner plate. That was the last time that couple and their offspring came to us for dinner, and we've never ever had the meal of the evening again. It would bring back too many memories.

Akelamalu said...

PS I've tagged you. :)

Elaine said...

Love the blog. Am resisting temptation to read it all in one go (o rats, forgot that I don't go in for resisting very much). Ever come across the vintage 'Mummy's Special Ribena'?

Drunk Mummy said...

nunhead mum of one - it depends what you mean by 'sorted.' Both myself and the house achieved only the minimum of standards of hygiene in that time.

omega mum - I think it would take a lot more than mystic wishing!

peter - eeek! I can imagine that would conclude the meal fairly rapidly!

akelamalu - Oh no! Not again! I'll have to come back to that one.

Hello elaine!
Mummy's Special Ribena sounds like it might have a lot more going for it than merely being 'kind to teeth'!

jenny said...

If only more of my parties involved wine then perhaps I wouldnt be so frazzled at the end of my party!

At least at your party, they only showed up 15 minutes early. At my party which was CLEARLY stated to start at 11am, the first guests arrived at 8:30, the 2nd guests arrived at 9 and the last guest arrived at 10. I woke up at 8. Do the math.... Thank God I cleaned house the night before and only had a few things left to put away which were quickly shoved into the hall closet.

Drunk Mummy said...

jenny - I read that post on your blog - you were far nicer than I would have been about it all! Personally, I think arriving too early is much worse than arriving too late.

Jill said...

Just found your blog & LOVE it! (don't know why I started down here).

I'm laughing at the journals, but really kids spill it all whether they write it down or just blurt it out in class, so it's only different in that the teacher can enjoy it at her leisure. :-)

I had to laugh at the stopping the car threat too. I sat by the side of the road *plenty* of times, refusing to move the car until the kids stopped whatever it was that was driving me up a wall (as opposed to driving me merrily down the road). And once or twice in 12 years I really have followed through and just went home. Helps to be more stubborn than the kids...

YES! Coming early is WAY worse than coming late!!!!!!!!!!!!