Back at the Pad, our entertaining ambitions have peaked with the acquisition of a Nigella Cookery Book. Laters to Jamie, at the Pad we're all about aspirational nightlights and tablecloths and cake. While BOF wows all with a selection of healthy and nutritious main courses, I generally stick to the non-compulsory element of the evening (cake). And, er, Nigella lipstick.
Dinner party pitfalls are many and varied. But both MD and Bofles (BOF's younger brother) were in London this weekend, so we knew we had to up our game: this was to be the uber-dinner party, where we gathered together all we had learned from the previous few.
As BOF and I readied ourselves for the MD-Day Sups, we stilled our nerves with the thought that we were entertaining veterans by now, and previous dinner parties had passed off OK. True, it would have been better if I hadn't cut my hand on a blunt knife last week while washing up and bled all the way through pudding. But BOF, belligerently optimistic as ever, reinterpreted the grotesque spectacle as symptom of our devotion to dinner, and our guests were duly grateful.
More blood injuries were sustained another day, when an enthusiastic chum almost sliced a finger off with cavalier cocktail-making and retreated to the bathroom whimpering. But a monkey plaster and a caipirinha later, he was only emboldened by his injury. Though perhaps I shouldn't have chased him and others out of the door with a steak knife when they admitted that they weren't keen for clubbing actually, and they didn't want a coffee from the coffee machine either.
And, yes, when we accidentally set fire to our (Mother BOF-loaned) tablecloth the week before there was some confusion: (BOF) 'Ah. What's the consensus on what we should do at this point?'. But from the brink of calamity Precociously Media-Savvy friend (PMS) saved us all. Just as the napkins burst into flames, she threw her glass of water in the the blaze with sniper-like accuracy. Soaked salad, wax and oil combined deliciously to form the main course.
But these small misunderstandings and incompetences just paved the way for the presence of Bofles and MD at our table. And on the scale of incompetence? Well. I ran out of time to make a cake, and then was so worried about my only dish not being on the menu I had to be restrained from compulsive baking at 7.45 that night. And MD managed to peep over the disproportionately high table despite her Thumbelina proportions (we gave her the only proper chair). But otherwise… people left on time, no one shouted, no blood was spilled or fires started. Pagan it was not.
Frankly, it was rather a disappointment. We'll have to have the team back again. Perhaps with the addition of the Fight Clubbers from down the road. That should do it.