After a very late night again last night – 2.30am when we got to bed this time – I am struggling today to get my act together as it were. It has been another busy few days preparing the house and food for our friends (some neighbours up the road) coming, but all worthwhile as we had a very pleasant and relaxed evening just chatting, eating and laughing round the table. I decided on buffet type food instead of a formal meal but eaten at the table rather than balancing a plate on our knees – things to nibble at, a selection of Quiche and sausage rolls etc. a green salad, some pots of couscous and coleslaw, a few tiny baked potatoes and a cheese board.
Isn’t this what life is all about – connecting with people, enjoying each other’s company and eating together.
When we bought the food and drink for last night I did try to be quite prudent and not over buy. Had our friends been vegetarian or even had a liking for vegetarian food it would have made things simpler and cheaper but they are traditional meat eaters and one of them does not eat fruit and the other no nuts or salad and more recently pastry – we only found out about the pastry when they sat down to eat – a bit tricky as I had bought pork pies, sausage rolls and Quiche as they always seem to go down well. Our friend ate the fillings and left the crusts which solved the problem! The left over meat products have now gone up to my daughters for SIL’s lunch at work tomorrow.
Anyway my main point about the food and drink is to say that I find the state pension does not really stretch to entertaining or buying alcohol so in future I need to think ahead and buy the drink in a bit at a time. Catering for all the varied tastes now is a bit of a headache when you ask guests ‘what would you like to drink’ we have requests for Prosecco, Gin, rosé wine, Peroni and craft beers in addition to the usual red and white wine and lager – to stock everything is going to prove too difficult with less income especially when a mixer is required like tonic or lemonade as we don’t drink them ourselves and they have often gone flat by the next event.
As well as a good evening it meant we had leftovers to eat today – bits of Quiche and spinach parcels, salads and leaves so we packaged them up added some bread and hey presto we had a picnic to take out with us accompanied by a flask of hot chocolate.
We headed for a local garden centre to choose a birthday gift for another friend. Had I been well organised I would have bought this before Christmas and not at the last-minute. But I was not on this occasion.
However, we did take advantage of the sale items and as well as a lovely mosaic outdoor table light for my friend I bought two half price items – a solar light for hanging on my outdoor cherry tree (so it doesn’t look too bare outside now the Christmas lights are over) and DH got some secateurs (you can never have too many when you have two gardens to upkeep!).
Our dining room and kitchen has been the hub of many get togethers over the years with friends and family and for all our daughter’s parties as they grew up. I have so many happy memories connected with this room – it may be battered and old now but the joy and laughter still seems to linger in the atmosphere and in some ways I am loath to decorate in here in case I lose that but we do need to give it a fresh new look.
I have been holding a Burn’s night celebration with a group of friends over the years but this year we may have started on the kitchen renovations by then and I am not sure we can afford to host it; even though Haggis, turnip and spuds are fairly cheap foods my friends have hearty appetites.
During January I aim to review all those important things in life-like health, diet and finances to see what is working for us and what is not. This week I will be reviewing the finances and will find out just how we have done over the past year spending wise and look at what areas need a bit more attention to cut down any wasteful and unnecessary spending.
Have a good week everyone and thank you to all those who took the time to make themselves known with a little comment on my blogday post – it is much appreciated. x