I shall start as near to the beginning as I can. Its always the best place to start..
Its always rather jolly…
I was very excited about the Curry Evening and felt prepared and even, “in control”. Then the guests arrived. I was just in the middle of putting the chickens to bed ( they are lazy and wont put themselves away until I shoo them up their steps to their coop ) when the doorbell rang. I was still running around with rollers in my hair and my dressing gown. I had showered though. Bonus in everything. Something? Well, nothing actually as it would later appear…
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David had turned up early and as he undid his scarf and coat told me he didn’t want a Curry. Bit late to tell me after I had slaved over the Hob all day making 3 of the dammed things and the invitation definitely said ” Curry Evening”. (As they say the clue, Mate, is most definitely in the title.) I took his coat and left him standing in the hallway. I was a bit hacked off already as you can probably guess.
The two young sons…my father to the left and his older brother. I don’t know exactly where they were. It was of course one of their many homes and maybe the Bridge in the background may give a clue. He isn’t entirely sure. They look settled and happy.
Next through the door, and still before the allotted time for Bombay Blasters was Jon. Jon and Murielle have just sold their house and are relocating to France. I wasn’t sure if he thought it a blessing or not, as Jon is very hard to read. As well as being hard to read he is also very well read. He prefers to be the contentious one at the party. A real AgentProvocateur! He is also an Anarchist, which doesn’t go down well with David. Local Councillor. Or Nigel and Josslyn, who I love to death but are straight out of The Shires and adore all things royal. I allow them to choose their seats, rather than get involved. Jon also drives a Jag. so the socialist bit of his Anarchic life style falls down. I think he has little man syndrome. Small man. Big Car. ‘Nuff said. Jon was obviously having a slow moment. He likes to be contentious and he was. Sitting quietly at the top end of the table, he learned across and said in a huge stage whisper “Hello! I’m Jon. Are you still sexually active?” to Maria, the Portuguese neighbour. I wasn’t sure whether she was going to laugh; have a heart attack or a case of the vapours, so I decided to serve the curry. Sadly I was out of the room and missed her reply
Nigel and Josslyn are very pleasant. Very pleasant indeed. Think ” rich and pleasant land” and country fetes and you have them all tied up in a red check bow from Laura Ashley or Bodens. Nigel plays Golf with LM at the local ( Bull shit) Golf Club. Josslyn goes to Yoga and the Book Club unless it conflicts with the Bridge Night as, it would appear, it often does. It’s all very Middle England. I just observe. I shouldn’t snipe, I am probably just jealous. A social Interloper. I don’t quite cut it at the Golf Club and cant play Bridge or Poker. Oh and LM and I aren’t married so no one takes the relationship seriously. After all, if he was serious about me, we would be married! No hope for me, obviously….
Anyway, it seemed to go down pretty well. An odd amalgam of Peeps; plenty of red wine and some gentle bantering. Then the Brexit question. Of course, I voted out and still do. It may be a rough patch we will sail through but like everything else, there is always an end to it. I know it will be fine in the end, and if it isn’t fine, then it isn’t the end ( Yes I know, I nicked that from the Exotic Marigold Hotel before someone accuses me of plagiarism )
Jon didn’t want Brexit. Nigel and Josslyn did. The Portuguese Lady whose sexual activities were questioned over the chicken Jalfrezi naturally, didn’t want to go home. After all, why should she as she seems to have a very nice home and a UK Pension. How the heck did that happen?
I admit I was in the kitchen warming up the Camembert when it all kicked off but before I knew it, there was a shout of ” mind the curry” and ” grab the wine!”. I hesitated and fiddled with the oven temperature. What to do? What to do? What to do?
Once I had heard nothing more for at least 30 seconds I ventured the courage to walk back to the dining room. It was mighty quiet there. Nigel and Josslyn were sitting quietly sipping red wine. God that man can drink! And fast! I assumed it was more of a nervous reaction than quenching his thirst. Murielle was mopping something off Jon’s face. As it turned out it was curry but for a minute I thought it might be blood and Maria, Portuguese lady with good UK Pension was simply rubbing her hands. I had missed something, but no one was saying.
So you probably think that the fight ensued when I was in the kitchen. Not so.. it happened later. Having a few spiky remarks made during the meal, the battle lines were drawn and Maria; Jon plus Nigel and Josslyn began eyeing the exit nervously. Murielle didn’t eye anything. She seemed to be blissfully unaware of all things around here and I often wonder if that is not a simply wonderful place to be. A positive state of life to be in, that’s for sure. The conversation which had started off so well became very limp and forced down one end of the table and very controversial down the other. I sat, quietly, in the middle, rather like being at a tennis match. Looking at one end of the Court and then the other.
Finally, and yes it had become a long evening, they took to leaving. Once one person stood up. In this case, Dave, the Local Councillor, everyone stood up. ” Anyone want a lift home?” he enquired. Eying up Jon who, Dave considered, would only act that way under the influence. In any event, it didn’t matter as Murielle was driving.
So I was not quite sure how it happened but somewhere along the line, Murielle got into the Jag. Now whether it was excitement to leave the curry night or needing to escape an embarrassing moment I am not sure, but she did what many did in her age range do and that is, mistook the first gear for reverse and having pressed foot to metal in no uncertain fashion she took with her firstly, my flowing shrub; secondly LM’s wing mirror on his ” toy” and thirdly the rear bumper of Nigel’s new Audi. As always in moments like this, we draw breath and wonder who will blink first. In this case, it was Nigel who wrenched open the door on Murielle’s side and shouted across her to Jon, who by that time seemed to be having difficulty in breathing and I wondered whether a call to 911 would be on the cards. After all, he is 73!
” Why are you driving a Jag when you are a sodding Socialist?” seemed to be the question of the moment and not ” can I see your Insurance and have you seen the damage?”
Murielle by now had had an attack of the vapours and Josslyn was using her old nursing skills and kept asking her to drop her head between her knees to save from fainting. Not an easy feat when you have the steering wheel to negotiate before your head can drop neatly through your knees. Still Josslyn managed it with coaxing and pressure, although I did wonder if Murielle’s head would ever have the same flexibility again……
I looked at LM. He sighed… ” I’m off to bed. Let them sort it out” and with that he turned and shut the front door with a very determined hand. I then had to negotiate the side gate and enter through the back door. Very ” hired help” I must say.