The temperatures were hot and sticky all day. All the windows and doors were open to get a little breeze through the house. We were meeting our SLG friends for a pre-Christmas get-together and Robin was worrying about what to wear. After spending all day keeping cool in shorts and jandals he wasn’t too keen to change into his long trousers in this hot weather. But needs must, and wives have to be obeyed, so after a nice cooling shower he was all dressed to go out to dinner, wearing his long trousers! We started our evening with nibbles and a catch-up at our hosts Helen and Calvin’s home. It was lovely and cool there as we gathered on their large shady deck. Calvin and John sat on the wooden bench and we commented that they rather looked like a couple of the old fellows from the TV series “Last of the Summer Wine”.
We were dining at “The Furnace” at Trentham and our reserved table was ready and waiting for us. The set menu which Helen had carefully ordered seemed to have been overlooked by the booking staff, so after a bit of sorting out, the menu was arranged more to Helen’s liking. There was plenty of choice with some Christmas options on offer, including turkey and Christmas Pudding. The rack of lamb was declared the winner and really looked great.
While we were waiting for our choices to come, we were kept entertained with what was happening through the windows. There was a wedding party in the restaurant next door. Patrons from the Trentham Race Course just across the rail tracks spilled in to the garden bar outside, all dressed up to the nines. The girls were dressed in light floaty summer dresses, with fancy wisps of little hats perched in their hair. We watched in amazement as one girl walked in with a hat sporting three long pheasant feathers, which had to be at least two feet long! (This brought murmurings of the Pheasant Plucker ditty from some.) The police arrived to check that all these young people were old enough to be in a bar, and to make sure that the large group behaved themselves. They didn’t bother to check our party, we obviously all looked much too sensible and middle aged to cause any trouble. After our meal we returned back to our hosts home for coffee. Helen is very keen on Christmas decorations and has quite a collection. Here are a few of her Santa's.
Our group exchange gifts up to a nominated value at Christmas, and we like to make a game of it. To select a gift, we each have to throw a six with the dice. We can then chose a gift from the basket, or perhaps we like the look of something else which one of the others has opened. If we take a gift from another person, that person has another turn with the dice.
This can lead to some very spirited shenanigans, with some being known to try and hide the gifts they particularly want, so no one else can claim them. One year Calvin and I were fiercely competitive trying to be the one to take home a packet of peppermint creams! We all had a great night out, a lovely meal, good company, what could be nicer than that.