Margot tries the good life - May 2014 column


- Credit: Archant

A whirlwind of pressing social engagements in the village are a perfect excuse to shirk DIY duties and sneak off to a deckchair, glass in hand

Who would have thought dear Reader, that when we moved to the countryside all those months ago, we would be far busier here than we ever were in London? The Hampshire social calendar never seems to stop. Spring fairs, county shows, quiz nights against rival villages, barbecues, walks for charity, garden parties, bridge games…the list goes on and on. I don’t even know how to play bridge – I could tell immediately that I was a disappointing village recruit when I was first asked to make up the numbers and I had to admit my absence of skill.

Weddings are not to be left off the list either, with villagers turning out to walk the newly married bride and groom down the lane as part of a long running tradition.

A village ‘Safari’ supper was the latest advertised in a long line of events. Now what in heaven’s name is a ‘Safari’ supper, you might ask yourself? Took me ages to work out what it was all about. For those of you as much in the dark as Jerry and I were, I can tell you that it is essentially a large travelling supper party with different courses served in each house in the village from canapés to pudding. From what I can gather, the whole thing ends up being an elaborate booze crawl. Jerry and I shan’t just be crawling around the village. We shall most likely be face down on the verge if we drink the whole way round. Goodness, these country folk are made of sterner stuff than us townies, clearly.

There’s even an afternoon of wine and nibbles this month dedicated to celebrating a new bit of cloth for our village church.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I love a good party. ‘Never knowingly refused a drink’ would probably be my epitaph and I’m usually one of the last standing (well more like swaying) at any given gathering if Jerry hasn’t dragged me away with apologies for my embarrassing behaviour. Even when I have promised Jerry that I have no interest in staying beyond a certain time, I invariably end up being one of the last to leave. I never seem to be able to extricate myself from engrossing conversation or stop talking at parties long after Jerry has given me the nod several times across a crowded room.

With all these items pencilled in, it does make for a rather full diary, and I am in danger of never finishing the garden, or painting the house, or getting anything done at all.

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Please don’t let on to Jerry that all these soirees are keeping me from getting the house ship-shape and Bristol fashion. But lately I have been looking for any excuse not to have to strip wallpaper and paint the bedrooms so I have convinced him that it is vital we attend all get-togethers in a bid to be accepted into the bosom of our village.

One shindig that I will be making the most of this month though is my birthday. I’m already dreaming of my birthday wish - a clandestine half an hour, toute seule, with a glass of cool, bubbly champers or a delicious gin and tonic, a good book and a deckchair in the Hampshire sunshine.

Hmm…might have to put something urgent and ‘villagey’ in the diary for that day, otherwise my guess is that Jerry will have a paintbrush waiting for me.

I’d better sneak out now, dear Reader…..don’t you think?