If preparing to have small groups round for supper proved mentally draining, imagine the confusion that ensued when BOF decided he wanted a polite drinks for his birthday.
While I have become more Mother-Dearest than is comfortable about Pad entertaining, BOF, for his part, is making a study of punctuality. For this, he models himself on the esteemed Daddy BOF (D-Bof if you will). Though, as a military man, D-Bof has some excuse for his enthusiasm for regimental timing.
Gone are the days when BOF would complain to me at the end of term that D-Bof had planned to be up at Cambridge for half seven in the morning to pick him up. Such timing is necessary, D-Bof would say, so that one can pack up the room, return home and be out for a morning jog by 9.30 - having purchased and assimilated the papers somewhere between London and Cambridge.
|Will resist urge to go down|
This does not sit well with Kate in the Countryside, and combines painfully with my MD-style worst-case-scenario attitude to entertaining. This means I formulate plans that demand we move all of the Pad's furniture into a single room to prevent breakages. Or fretfully tack all of our 643 fairy lights to the ceiling so that no one breaks a bulb and gouges herself to death on the broken glass [you know who you are]. All sensible policies.
However, BOF's time-love means that I now team obsessive list-making and furniture-moving with a crippling fear of being ready late and spoiling BOF's whole evening. Though since merely anticipating my probable (inevitable?) lateness is agony for the poor chap, nervousness feels like the only reasonable response.
Suspecting the other day that my flexible attitude to time might not be the best way to approach catching trains, visiting parents etc, I allowed BOF to advise me on the time buffer required when travelling from the Pad to King's Cross (by my reckoning, a twenty minute journey).
It was as follows: 'Right, you need to allow half an hour for getting there, then fifteen minutes to buy a ticket and five minutes to find a platform. And don't forget time for walking to the station. An hour!' Beaming at his usefulness and the thought of my impending once-in-a-lifetime on-time journey, he consulted his watch. 'Oh dear. (Crestfallen) Too late already.'
And though when BOF's birthday drinks started I was decidedly in the shower, he was easily sedated with fizz and a homemade cocktail involving sloe gin. Something to bear in mind for the future I think.