Jona Lewie’s tune “You will always find me in the kitchen at parties” ran through my head last Friday night as I enjoyed something that I haven’t experienced in over 2 years. A party!
Here in the UK, COVID restrictions have now been sufficiently lifted high enough to enable close social contact gatherings. In practice, this also means that pretty much everything, apart from the need to use face coverings on buses and in taxis, and some work related stuff I’ve previously posted about; is allowed to carry on as it did pre-COVID.
So last Friday night I was allowed out on my own and I went to a work colleague’s housewarming party a few miles away in nearby Halifax. This was not only the first time I’ve been to such a social event outside family circles in over 2 years, it was the first opportunity I’ve had to meet up with some of my office co-workers in the flesh since March 2020, when we were all thrown asunder to our ‘home offices’.
As with many a good party, this one started off and continued in, the kitchen; occasionally spilling out through patio doors into the balmy October night air. Normally at this latitude, at this time of year, a venture outside would warrant being wrapped up or a retreat back inside with the central heating blasting out. However thanks to the wonders of climate change, last Friday night outside was a comfortable 18 degrees C at 8pm, practically equatorial as far as Yorkshire is concerned. ‘Every cloud’ and all that!
Jona Lewie’s 1978 single, which I am old enough to remember in the charts by the way, sums up such gatherings and it’s easy to see why many, in fact, do end up in the kitchen. After all that’s where the fridge is with its beer and wine. At last Friday’s ensemble, the kitchen offered the most space as the living room of the property was actually quite small, as they tend to be in new builds I find. Again, as is typical, the kitchen help to pull revellers in with its spread of snacks and music – provided by a Google Nest audio gadget perched on a worktop. The living room had none of these virtues.
A very entertaining device that Nest thing proved to be as well. Not so much as for the musical pap that it churned out, but more so for the entertainment it provided as it struggled to interpret increasingly drunken instructions being bellowed at it as the evening wore on.
You get the idea I’m sure. Hilarious to witness.
Unusually for me at these type of soirees, I was pretty sober all night and managed to limit myself to just a 4 pack of Estrella (those small bottles as well!). Normally I’d be running down the street with my underpants on my head by supper time, particularly given the novelty of a party after all this time. But no, I was away home in an Uber by 11.30pm, still compos mentis as well.
I put this down to some initial anxiety at the thought of attending such a densely packed social gathering, the concept of meeting some different people after so long and the idea of being under the scrutiny of my colleagues, when the last time I saw them I was some 4 st (56lbs) lighter.
The cumulation of these anxieties was sense of wariness that I must remain in control throughout and limit my booze intake in front of work colleagues, a sort of defense mechanism perhaps. Who knows? In short, whatever the psychological reasons behind it, the ‘taste’ just wasn’t there last Friday night. The next time I may relax a bit more.
What I do know is that whilst I didn’t have a hangover the next day and considering it wasn’t a late night – was home in bed by midnight; I was very tired on the Saturday. This I put down to being on ‘high-alert’ most of the previous evening and having to socially engage with people, generally at high volume, over a period of several hours. Exhausting!
So there we have it, my first post-Covid party under my belt, or through my bladder – depending on how you look at it. Face-to-face gatherings at work have been relaxed so that means work social events and the numerous awards ceremonies they like to attend, are back on the menu.
Bring it on!
Note to self: Must keep a clean pair of grundies handy.