Somewhere between the frantic last minute preparations, shoving flowers into vases and tea lights into jam jars, making popcorn still in my pyjama bottoms ten minutes before people are due to arrive, slicing a layer of skin off my ankle in the shower, blood flowing down the drain like a scene from Psycho, pulling on a black dress found in the bottom of my wardrobe, eventually emerging ready from my room half an hour after the first guests had arrived, somewhere between all that and finally making it to my bed, sleepily, dreamily, in the early hours of Sunday morning, I manage to have a wonderful time. We pull it out the bag, C, C and I, and, even without M there to mix the cocktails and do the post-party washing up, we manage to throw a damn good party. We drink mulled cider, gingerbread Bellinis, and a pear punch which halfway through the night morphs into a rum punch due to lack of vodka. Our lovingly hand made Hokey Pokey collapses in the heat of the packed rooms, we find it, stickily melted, in all sorts of strange places the next day. Pizza is brought triumphantly from the oven at 1am, to great delight. My camera is appropriated at some point during the evening, in the morning there are photos on it I didn't take, I know I didn't take this one. Non of the neighbours complain, no glass is broken.
The clean up takes the best part of Sunday but afterwards the three of us collapse contentedly onto the sofa to watch the first part of William Boyd's Any Human Heart.
Monday morning I wake in the half light, realise the weekend is over, Saturday night just memories, and feel deflated, entirely unenthusiastic about the week ahead.