diamond geezer

 Monday, July 21, 2008

I eat chicken in a garage.
Posted by DiamondG under private secret diary

The combined masses of the Women's Institute eye me quizzically.

"We've heard so much about you," they say. I wonder if they have ever seen a male under the age of 50 at one of their events before. "Would you like a stuffed olive?"

I have accidentally arrived in the village on the weekend of the annual WI Safari Supper. Four courses from starter to dessert, in four different locations, sequenced according to which committee member has the biggest conservatory. Only ten pounds a ticket, and husbands and hangers on are welcome. How better to spend a Saturday evening?

I find myself standing in a thatched cottage surrounded by women in flowery blouses. I stick close to my Mum, because in this environment she's the only coherent identity I possess. As each new couple enters through the low-beamed dining room they look at me with temporary bemusement, then turn to talk to the regulars. I sip my sherry a little faster.

A dear lady, who I later discover is 90, beams at me from the wicker chair in the corner. I am briefly introduced to the elegantly coiffured chairwoman as she and her husband glide past, effortlessly meeting and greeting. Maybe wearing Reeboks wasn't a good idea.

I attempt to make endearing smalltalk with our hostess. "Lovely garden you've got here." I think I'm winning.

The safari progresses. Prawn cocktail is served in the big house up the lane, in a room packed with ornamental owls. I find it nigh impossible to scoop up the saucy lettuce with only a small teaspoon. Thankfully everybody else is having similar difficulties. I can only smile and nod as the assembled company discuss ten bob notes and Marion's operation.

A yomp across the village green builds up my appetite for the main course. "Are you the last?" asks a man in the driveway. He's wearing an algae-green suit and clutching a choice of wines. I am ushered into the garage to sit at a cloth-covered picnic table. All the lawnmowers, hacksaws and jamjars full of nails are carefully hidden behind a makeshift screen of clothes-pegged blankets. I await my chicken.

"I've booked the peacock man as one of our speakers next year." This is not going to be an easy conversation to take part in.

Eventually the headmistressy lady to my right attempts to engage me in dialogue. "You're from London, then?" I hope she hasn't deduced this because I'm holding a knife in my hand, even if it is only lightly serrated. We discuss the treasures of the British Museum until our plates of gravy-soaked poultry arrive.

One last stop, for dessert. The spread of creamy pavlova, creamy gateau, creamy trifle and creamy profiteroles (all with optional additional cream) explains why so many husbands have agreed to attend tonight. We sit in the conservatory and go back for thirds. It is going to be a long night.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream