First of all - thanks to everyone (that's more than 100 of you!) who took the offer of the free promotion of Olverston Grange ...and Other Stories. It is really gratifying that my words will be read by so many people in the UK, US, Germany and Spain! Makes me feel so happy!
Now for something I've been wanting to post for a while...
How to enjoy a party (for the English)
So. You've been invited to a party. How do you prepare?
1) What to wear? If you're a woman then you will need to acquire a cheap copy of whatever your favourite actress was wearing in a magazine a couple of months ago. That is not important. What is important is you buy shoes that will cripple you inside of two hours. Without this important accessory you will not have a reason to complain about spilled beer and broken glass on the dancefloor when you remove said shoes. If you're a man you will, of course, wear what your wife/girlfriend has prepared for you. If you're single then whatever smells clean(ish) will do. 2) Arrive "fashionably late". It makes no difference that your appearance (or lack thereof) is of no difference to just about everyone in the room. You heard the phrase with regards to movie stars once, so it must be de rigeur, right? Unfortunately everybody else is applying the same tactic with the result that the first 45 minutes the host feels foolish and unloved but that's a good thing! We're English and no-one can enjoy their moment in the spotlight.3) Complain about the beer. You have a local pub and drinking anywhere else feels like cheating on your partner. Worse, really. If that girl in accounts would look at you twice then you would cheat far more happily than enjoying a pint somewhere other than your regular haunt.4) Dancing. On no uncertain terms dance before the buffet.
5) Buffet. After a hesitant and insincere speech that begins with "I'd like to thank everyone for coming...." and ends with "the buffet is now open" food will be served. Irrespective of whether it's a few sweaty cheese sandwiches or a feast of Bacchanalian standards you MUST NOT leave your seat unless any of the following conditions are met:a) A minute passes without anyone approaching the foodb) A queue so long that you have to wait over five minutes to reach the vol-au-vents has formed.c) There is no food left. This is an excellent opportunity to complain.6) Dancing. You have been fed so dancing is now obligatory but only when two conditions are met:a) You are so drunk that the very concept of rhythm and co-ordination is beyond you.b) The DJ plays YMCA.7) The DJ. It is your duty as an Englishman to belittle and annoy the poor sap playing the music all night then act like they're your best friend when you want 'the best song ever' played. Your choice, of course, is NOT the best song ever - it is the B-side to a one hit wonder from the 1970s that no-one in the room knows. Well, we can't have all that dancing can we?8) Last orders. Despite drinking enough to sink a small flotilla you would like another (possibly two) pints. It it therefore VITAL you ignore the call for last orders at the bar.9) Time at the bar. When time is called and the bar staff begin to clear down for the night, this is the time to order more alcohol. This provides another excellent opportunity for complaining when service is refused.10) You've survived the night. As you leave the building with a stolen helium balloon and your necktie around your head, you can be sure that you will NEVER go to another party.*You have survived a party. You will have earned bonus points if you have sat all night with your arms folded, ignoring your partner with stoic indifference.*Until next time...Follow me on Twitter @GeordieWriterJoin the Blue Jackets on FacebookRead The Fallen each week for freeOlverston Grange on Amazon UK, USABlue Jackets on AmazonThursday's Child: Blue Jackets Part 3 UK, USAGrowth Spurt: Blue Jackets Part 2 UK, USA Induction: Blue Jackets Part 1 UK, USA