Swimming, Stuffing and Snogging – The Hawiian Party
Yesterday was Hawiian party day. The end of school extravaganza for those selected friends of Kitty who could be trusted not to start fights, steal other girls’ boyfriends or sneak into my bar and drink the vodka. The limit was set at fourteen – that’s the number of invitees – their ages were 11 and 12. I was dreading it. At 57 and after years of living in slendid solitude and then reluctantly taking on a new family, having worked out that Kitty’s main financial demands would be when I was approaching 70, the last thing I needed was 12 kids (the 10 acceptances plus Guy and Kitty) running amoc in this oasis of tranquillity.
In the morning Kitty demanded that the whole pool area and the poolhouse be jet-washed to remove various cobwebs, dead earwigs and suchlike. She also wanted her Hawaiian posters put up, balloons and signs placed along the road for about two km to help direct visitors, the new barbecue to be tested and the plastic cups inspected for any signs of dust ! Two hours later it was done – you could have eaten your Full English Breakfast off the poolside terrace. Now it was my turn – the rules for the party.
These were accepted without question (which should have forewarned me of impending problems) and final preparations were made – the punch was created, popcorn was cooked or popped or whatever the term is, the burgers and sausages were readied and the melon and coconuts split and portioned. Amazingly, I was able to have a spritzer (yes – I know) and a cigarette before the first ‘guests’ arrived 15 minutes early.
Kids then arrived one by one until the full compliment of acceptances was reached. My groovy music was turned off to be replaced with mind-numbing, ear-splitting punk rock and the pool took on the look of a piranha feeding frenzy. Every magpie in the area went off for the day unable to compete with the high-pitched, 100+ decibel screeching which came from 8 adolescent girls and 4 boys and I closed all patio doors and switched on Wimbledon at the highest sound level. This was not much comfort as Maria Sharapova proceeded to grunt at every stroke at an ear splitting 103 decibels as measured by those stalwarts in the Wimbldon & District Noise Abatement Society.
One hour later I decided to have a quick look at the ‘party’. My immediate take was that this was a Facebook party in minature. One ‘couple’ were snogging like mad in the drive. The other two boys were trying to catch my goldfish by hand offering them little strips of burst balloon as an incentive to come to the surface whereupon they would be squished. The boogie boards were broken beyond recognition, and my bed-sized lilo was burst having been used as a trampoline. The poolside patios were covered with a cocktail of cranberries, popcorn and mango all of which when dried becomes like a new multi-coloured layer of render and the cats and Shadow were cowering on the top terrace….as was I ! ‘It was a party’ I tried to convince myself – 'there’s bound to be some mess' !
I ventured down to cook the food on the BBQ and noticed that the previously snogging couple had now split up and both were in tears being consoled by the other 11 year olds. The burgers and sausages were cooked to the diners’ satisfaction with the ‘snogging’ couple now sitting at opposite ends of the table. The food was scoffed down in record time and soon they were all back in the pool. Whatever happened to the advice about not swimming for at least an hour after eating….or am I being anal again ?
Soon the parents began to arrive to remove their stuffed, waterlogged and wrinkled kids. Some also had to cope with tear-stained, broken hearted kids but that was their problem – all I wanted now was a post-mortem on the rules, every one of which had been broken, another spritzer and a cigarette.
The sun still shone, the animals began to return to the house, the magpies started calling each other again and my spritzer and cigarette were pure bliss. Andy Murray won the tennis match on telly and I relaxed happy in the knowledge that for the next two weeks Julie and the kids were off to Spain leaving me and the animals to our own devices. More pure bliss !