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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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In which I claim success [20090217|17:14]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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It’s taken me three days to recover from the largest party I’ve ever organised.

The bloke has the misfortune to celebrate his birthday on the day after Valentine’s, otherwise known as the Bogus Holiday Which Shall Not Be Mentioned In His Presence. This year is his 30th.

The Great Organisation started innocuously enough. I polled his friends to see if they’d be able to come to London for the party. I didn’t have any grand plan in mind other than getting a bunch of people together, as I know he’s a far more social animal than I am and loves a crowd. Then someone suggested that we do something a bit special.

“A bit special” turned into quite a lot, and keeping it secret for the past few weeks has been a logistical nightmare. (I made a goddamned spreadsheet. For a party. I've never done that in my life.) Especially since he kept asking questions about whether or not I’d invited certain people. Finally I had to tell him to stop trying to ruin it for himself and just accept that everything was under control.

He came down from Cambridge on Friday. We went to a little pub near Kings Cross where we met the first of the friends who’d come from quite far out of town to be there. A mere single pint into the evening, we received an omen of the rocking weekend to come when the bartender announced that he was about to do the drawings for the raffle. First prize in the raffle: The Tower of Temptation, featuring three boxes of chocolates and one of wine & champagne. The bloke loves a little flutter now and then, so we got ourselves some tickets for £1.

We won the Tower of Temptation.

In order to avoid being lynched by the locals, we offered round the chocolates, which went a little way to calming some ill tempers.

The next day, we lay in with the papers, bacon sandwiches and coffee until it was time to head to Borough Market to meet his family. His sister, bless her, came down from Leeds just for the afternoon to help out with being part of the diversion. After coffee and cake at the Market, I was delighted when the bloke suggested it would be nice to take a stroll along the South Bank because the weather was so nice. I agreed, attempting to conceal my delight. We went to a pub that just happened to be showing the France-Scotland match (that’s 6 nations rugby, my fellow Merkins). It wasn’t easy to get everyone to motivate in the correct direction once the match was finished after a couple of pints of ale. I ended up having to dash off to the London Eye office to get us checked in.

I’m pretty sure he didn’t know that 25 of his friends and family had shown up to drink champagne in a private capsule until he was guided to the meeting spot. He’d never been on the Eye before, and we had a glorious clear night for our half-hour “flight”. I didn’t bring my camera for fear of ruining the surprise. I’m rather glad of this because if I’d been concentrating on taking pictures, I doubt I would have enjoyed the scenery or my champagne quite so much.

We herded everyone onto the Bakerloo line to go to Ping Pong for dim sum. At the restaurant, the bloke was surprised by yet more lovely friends who couldn’t stay for dinner but wanted to wish him Happy Birthday anyway. My handbag began to strain at the seams with gifts and cards. After successfully stuffing ourselves with lychee drinks, little steamed buns and beer, we headed off to dizzykj’s club. Yet more friends arrived. It all kicked off in style, with espresso martinis and decorous behaviour, and ended with a glitter-covered bloke crowd-surfing the dance floor and most of our friends standing on chairs. I also recall having to order him not to take his trousers off several times. I was so exhausted by the time the club shut at 3 AM that I burst into tears for no apparent reason. It wasn’t until we got home that I discovered this was at least in part because I fell down the stairs and twisted my ankle. It is currently still swollen and an interesting shade of purple.

Astonishingly, we managed to get ourselves out of bed for noon the next day and meet family (including parents this time) for a pub lunch, cake and several rounds of Lego Star Wars on the Xbox. We concluded from this experience that there’s nothing that a good Bloody Mary won’t sort out.

I had a blast, but if this is what planning a wedding is like, then count me out.

[User Picture]From: sekl
2009-02-17 17:45 (UTC)
Nonsense, tossing someone downstairs at their wedding and twisting their ankle is an old American custom. Stay right where you are and you should be fine.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-02-18 14:17 (UTC)
But if I have it here, who will bring the shotguns?
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[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2009-02-17 21:16 (UTC)
Good lord, you completely WIN. Will be sending Badge & Fluttery Cape in the mail.

Will also use obnoxious gif icon just because. *curtsies*
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-02-18 14:15 (UTC)
Yay! Thank you. Seriously, I can't get enough praise/thanks for this. I know that probably makes me look like a big needy needster, but I don't care. :-P
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[User Picture]From: cataragon
2009-02-17 22:24 (UTC)
Yes, it pretty much is what planning a wedding is like, only with extra weird things, like paper invitations and reply cards and more silly outfits.

I love love love event planning, and voluntarily do it whenever I get a chance, and even I find weddings ridiculous in many ways.

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-02-18 14:22 (UTC)
Eek, don't tell me that. I'm starting to fear it's the only way I'm ever going to get my parents to visit me in England. It's either that or get pregnant.
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[User Picture]From: cataragon
2009-02-18 23:21 (UTC)
Hire someone.

They do all the icky organisy stuff, and you just get to do whichever bits you think will be fun.

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[User Picture]From: ironed_orchid
2009-02-17 23:33 (UTC)
Sounds like a big success.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-02-18 14:19 (UTC)
I think it was. My only regret is not stopping drinking a teeny bit earlier. My normally way of avoiding the too-drunk, tired-weepy phase is to drink only mixed drinks or beer. At this club, both of those are incredibly expensive, so we stuck with buying bottles of wine instead. And wine is a lot more alcohol per volume so it pushed me over the edge.

The rest of it was fabulous, though!
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[User Picture]From: victorine
2009-02-18 01:16 (UTC)
Sounds like a fun night, but I don't envy you the headache of herding all those cats!

And now I want a bacon sandwich, thank you very much.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-02-18 14:23 (UTC)
It wasn't too bad, actually. I provided exact directions on where and when to be a different places and how to get there on the tube, and it seemed like most people read them and/or printed them out because we didn't have any trouble getting around.

Mmm, bacon.
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