Mar 15, 2017
How it happened is a miracle. The things that went wrong were so many and so bizarre that it began to feel like we really should not be trying to organize a fab day for our students, friends and the lucky pupils and teachers (nice day out) of a nearby school.
We had decided to have a Christmas party way back in the summer, but our chosen venue - The Oval Theatre Cafe, had the builders in for the whole year it
seemed, so we could not confirm anything until they were definitely finished. We were sure it would be OK, but you never quite know with builders,
so it was not until two weeks before the party date that we could send out invitations. Luckily, a nearby school that know and love us was thrilled
to let their children come to our party to do some workshops and to have their faces painted. Things were going well, we had a great venue and lots
of eager faces to paint, we could ask all our students and friends so we only needed some nice food and drink and we would be ready.
That's where the trouble started. Unfortunately the caterers at the Oval didn't quite 'get' vegetarian food, so after saying no to chicken drumsticks and prawn spring rolls, we decided to do the cooking ourselves. No problem - we would bake some lasagnes and pop them in the car. Then disaster struck. Bibi's car was mysteriously clamped, in her own front drive.
No amount of telephone calls, court orders, all night emails, appeals to angle-grinder-man, threats and pleadings seemed to be able to get the offending yellow boot removed (now proving to be quite expensive for the perpetrators) and a busy week was ahead. Somehow, Bibi completed her multiple Christmas bookings, all the time hoping that sense would prevail and her car would be released, but no. Finally, Caro (also car-less) arrived and Linda kindly came to the rescue to get the shopping done. Thank goodness for late-night opening. We squeezed the three of us, our shopping, and her wheelchair into her purple classic Citroen and delivered back to Bibi's, with a promise to pick us up early in the morning to transport all the food, paints, kitchen help and Chrissy decs to the Oval.
We baked wonderful 'guaranteed vegetarian' lasagnes in the Aga into the early hours. In between the huge batches we tried out our quiz and invented face
painting games. The next day, already tired and emotional, we draped oversize tinsel round the walls, got to grips with the scary catering kitchen,
welcomed students and guests and what seemed like hundreds of waiting children and the fun began.
Everyone seemed to have had a great time, the kids tested out their painting skills on their hands (faces are precious!), we had an interesting explanation of the work of Teardrop Relief over lunch (and taught their representative how to use the donated paint), everyone teamed up and got quizzical, and we will definitely be doing it all over again but please, if you are listening up there, let us at least have a car.