Over 10 years ago we had a very drunken conversation in the pub about starting some sort of club. We threw around the idea of a wine club but in the end we decided to start a book club, which is actually a wine club in disguise and have been going strong ever since.
We meet the first Thursday of every month. Whoever is hosting puts on the food, chooses the next book and the rest of us bring wine. There is either 10 or 11 of us, I can never remember, woman from all walks of life: dentists, doctors, optometrists, teachers, PR, engineers and lecturers.
Over the years we’ve been through marriages, children, divorces and death, all the normal things that life throws at us. We’ve experienced every emotion from laughing to crying. I look forward to it every month and consider these women to be some of my closest friends.
I think the secret to our success is that we don’t take it too seriously; we don’t present the book or have formal questions or ratings. If we like the book we talk about it a lot, if we don’t, we say it was shit and move on to gossip. I can’t remember the last time I finished a book.
This week we had a special treat. Lucy from www.heavenisacupcake.net popped around with these gorgeous cupcakes just for us. They went down a treat and no one noticed that I hadn’t read the book. Look closely at the detail, she’s even written The Blind Assassin on one of the hand-rolled books. We were all truly impressed and they tasted divine.
If you have a special occasion coming up and live in Herts do give her a dingle and tell her I sent you.
And if you ever want to start a book club, I’d highly recommend it and I’m more than happy to help.
Saturday Night Sleepover Club was a resounding success! I must admit I was a bit nervous. I’m not very good at being woken up at the night, especially when it’s a distraught child and not my own. Her mother and I’d spoken about trying it but we weren’t too sure as they’re only 3.5 years old. Both families are in a situation where we don’t have family nearby that can look after them. Yes, we have a reliable sitter but it adds to the cost of a night out and the worst thing is dealing with a 3 year old in the morning with a hangover.
They do go to school together and know each other from the pub but they’re at the stage of playing side by side. We don’t want to force them to be friends but it would be really handy. It was all a bit impromptu. Madame’s friend came around for a play in the afternoon, we had a street party to go to and she wanted to come along. The girls seemed to be getting on well so I rang her mum and we decided to ask the little one if she would like to stay over and she jumped at the chance. The only stipulation was that mum and dad were at the end of the phone.
My biggest worry was getting them to sleep. Bath time was a blast; I think there was more water on the floor than in the bath. We had a little squabble about a pink towel but other than that it was a breeze. They feasted on ice-cream and popcorn while watching a DVD. Hubby read them one book and they were asleep within minutes. We didn’t hear a peep out of them all night. They slept from 9pm to 9am!
Back in December we were supposed to go and clear my deceased in-laws house and thankfully a good friend offered to take Madame for the night. The lovely people at Readybed sent us a Toystory 3 Readybed to try out, which is proving to be very useful. It takes about 10 minutes to inflate with a foot pump, has an integrated pillow and blanket and stores easily. Unfortunately, that trip was postponed due to the freak snow-storms in the UK. But, we’ve now used it twice and it’s a god-send as we don’t have a spare bedroom or any space to spare really.
The little one didn’t seem to have any complaints. However, I got up at 5am to check on them and she’d rolled onto the floor. She was still covered but sound asleep, so I didn’t dare move her as I didn’t want to wake her.
The funniest thing was the state of her parents when they arrived to pick her up this morning. I really wish I had my camera at hand. They were in their flannel jammies and flip-flops! They look like they had a really good night. I think I’m going to be blamed for their hangovers today but they were very grateful for a night out. Now we can’t wait for our turn!
Just when I was going to give up the Secret Post Club, the Royal Mail Red van pulled up and cheered me up to no end. I absolutely love the idea of the gift swap, but at the moment with everything going on, I really couldn’t face trying to remember to buy a gift by the 15th of every month. But, this was just what the doctor ordered.
The lovely and blog-famous Josie from ‘Sleep is for the Week’ obviously put a lot of thought into her gift. I wish I could say the same….
As you can see:
The wine is gone and I’ve moved onto bigger things!
The biscuits are open and I’m going to put the rest on a plate, cover with cling film and take to mother-in-law and pass them off as my own. ;-) Thanks for the brownie points or should I say cookie points.
And ‘The Wonderful Weekend Book’ by Elspeth Thompson’, don’t take it the wrong way but it’s the kind of book that you would put in the loo and pick up from time to time. It’s all about reclaiming life’s simple pleasures. Had a quick look at the table of contents and I’m going to:
Make a Movie
Have sex (not at same time as making movie)
Do a spot of spring cleaning (may get the cleaner to do this one?)
Go on a Spring Detox (in May 2025)
Compile a recipe book (consisting of take-away menus)
Pick your own (does my nose count?)
Get Out the Magnifying Glass (think hubby may take umbrage to that)
Light a Real Fire (Marlborough??)
Out with the Old and In With the New (ooh, a toy boy!)
All joking aside, I absolutely love books like this. We all need to ‘reclaim our weekends by recharging our batteries and enjoying the simple pleasures in life!’
Josie I can’t thank you enough for such a lovely, thoughtful present and it’s been a pleasure to meet you.
I’m guessing that this is probably not an original idea but I was inspired by @chickenruby’s recent blog about her accident prone boys and my neighbour’s drama last week when she accidentally locked herself out of the house when her 18 month old was asleep inside. I need to stress that I don’t think these two are bad parents in any way.
As parents we are not perfect, even though some parents purport that they are, which exacerbates the societal pressures on us parents. I’m not looking for stories that border on abuse but those that horrified you at the time but you can look back and laugh on them now.
To get the ball rolling I’ll share a few stories.
We were at one of Madame’s pals 1st birthday. I had a couple of glasses of wine but was in no way intoxicated. We were all sitting out back. She was in a Handysit on the patio. To this date I still don’t know exactly what happened but at some point I turned, unfastened her and then I must have been distracted. The next think I know she is lying face down on the concrete, screaming. She had the biggest goose egg on her forehead. I didn’t sleep for days beating myself up over it.
At that birthday, a friend of mine shared a bad parenting moment of one of his mates. He was running with their child on his shoulders, great fun. But wasn’t thinking and ran into the house through the patio doors and didn’t calculate the clearance! I’m sure you can work out what happened.
Last summer, when I was home in Canada my cousin was telling us about when his daughter was a new born. They had a menagerie of cats and dogs. He was in bed, felt what he thought was one of the cats on the end of the bed and kicked it off. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the cat but his daughter. Eeek!
To join the club, just post/share one of these stories and take the badge. As usual, this is open to everyone so please feel free to pass it on.
What a treat to return home to see that the postman has been and brought me a gift instead of bills. For those of you who don’t know what the Secret Post Club is, it’s the brainchild of Heather from Notesfromlapland. It’s basically a giant Secret Santa for bloggers. Each month everyone chucks their name in and then you are assigned a person to send a gift to. For more info or to join in click here.
This is the first time I have been involved and I received my first gift today. Emily sent me home-made blue cheese biscuits, wonderfully wrapped and with a hand written note. I haven’t had a handwritten letter in years, what a treat. She obviously put a lot of thought into this gift and spent time exploring my blog to see what I’d like. It probably didn’t take her long to work out that I can’t cook and I drink too much red wine. It’s the perfect gift and I can’t wait to try them but I’ll have to wait until wine o’clock. Many thanks Emily!
As for the gift I sent. There has been a wee hiccup. I’ll tell you all about it later.